Finnish Video Games

A History and Catalog

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About the Book

In the past three decades Finland’s video game industry has become the backbone of Finnish cultural export. Angry Birds and Clash of Clans are dominating sales around the world and the small Nordic nation has become a gaming superpower. Drawing on more than 60 interviews, this book covers the Finnish video game phenomenon as told by the people behind its success. The history of the industry is documented in detail for the first time. Two hundred game reviews are included, presenting the best (and worst) of commercial video games made in Finland.

About the Author(s)

Juho Kuorikoski is a Finnish journalist and a contributor at Pelit magazine, the biggest video game magazine in Scandinavia. Kuorikoski received the Power Player of the Year (2014) Award from the Game Developers Association of Finland. He lives in Finland.

Bibliographic Details

Juho Kuorikoski
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 332
Bibliographic Info: 68 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9962-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2119-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Preface and Acknowledgments 1

Introduction 3

Primordial Ooze and Commodore 64, 1979–1989 7

The Original Gangsters 11

The Man Behind Uuno Turhapuro 13

Entertainment from Across the Pond 16

The Birth of Game Journalism 17

The Games 21

Raharuhtinas (1984) 21 • Tsapp! and Tsapp! 16 (1984) 23 • 10…Knock Out (1985) 24 • Joe the Whizz Kid (1985) 26 • Space Satellite (1985) 26 • Yleisurheilu (1985) 28 • Miner Machine (1986) 28 • Painterboy (1986) 28 • Sanxion (1986) 30 • Uuno Turhapuro muuttaa maalle (1986) 31 • Delta (1987) 32 • Octapolis (1987) 33 • Quedex (1987) 33 • Sceptre of Baghdad (1987) 34 • Netherworld (1988) 35 • Zamzara (1988) 35

Born in the Basement, 1990–1999 37

The Demo Scene Brings Players Together 39

The Great Old Ones Are Born 43

The Angry Bird of Its Time 48

The New Face of Finnish Games Journalism 50

The Games 54

Slicks’n Slide (1990) 54 • Moonfall (1991) 55 • Turboraketti (1992) 57 • UnReal World (1992 [2013]) 57 • Stardust (1993) 58 • Elfmania (1994) 59 • Super Stardust (1994) 61 • Alien Incident (1996) 62 • Damage: The Sadistic Butchering of Humanity (1996) 64 • Death Rally (1996) 65 • Rally-Sport (1996) 67 • Ski Jump International 2 (1996) 67 • Triplane Turmoil (1996) 68 • Legal Crime (1997) 68 • The Reap (1997) 69 • Maagi (1998) 69 • The Blobjob (1998) 70 • BoaBite 3D (1999) 71 • Drop Mania (1999) 72 • Supreme Snowboarding (1999) 72 • Thrust, Twist’n Turn (1999) 74

WAP, Max and Conquering the Globe, 2000–2004 76

Max the Action Man 79

Drifting Around Corners 80

The Domestic Console Development Kicks into Gear 83

Game Journalism Expands Its Horizons 85

The ­Blue-and-White Game Console 86

The Lynx Lurking in the Communicator 90

The Mobile Studios Strike Back 91

Technology Does Not a Mobile Game Make 94

The Grand Opening of an Online Hotel 96

Straighten the Ranks 99

The Games 100

Puzzle Station (2000) 100 • Ski Jump International 3 (2000) 100 • Deluxe Ski Jump (2001) 101 • Max Payne (2001) 101 • Rally Trophy (2001) 103 • Rampage Puzzle Attack (2001) 105 • Bones: The First Adventure (2002) 105 • Porrasturvat—Stair Dismount (2002) 106 • Racing Fever (2002) 106 • Transworld Snowboarding (2002) 106 • Crimsonland (2003) 108 • Flo Boarding (2003) 108 • Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (2003) 109 • Space Station Manager (2003) 110 • Tough Trucks: Modified Monsters (2003) 111 • Zoy’s Rescue Mission and Zoy’s Rescue Mission 2 (2003) 112 • Deluxe Ski Jump 3 (2004) 113 • FlatOut (2004) 113 • Johnny Crash (2004) 115 • Jumbo Rumble (2004) 115 • Mafia Wars (2004) 116 • Mole Wars (2004) 116 • Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Glacier and Pitfall: The Lost Expedition Jungle (2004) 117 • Racing Fever 2 (2004) 117 • Santa’s Rush Hour (2004) 118 • Street Soccer (2004) 118 • Sumea Ski Jump (2004) 119 • Sumo Smash! (2004) 119 • Turbo Camels (2004) 119 • Turbo Sliders (2004) 121

Industrial Revolution, 2005–2007 122

A Frozen Byte Vaporized 124

Stardust Takes Over the World 125

Recoil versus Remedy 126

Life in a Hotel 128

2007: An Economic Growth Odyssey 128

Mobile Games Are Off to See the World 129

The Curse of the License 130

Optimization Is Business 132

Education of the Third Degree 133

The Games 136

Get Rich or Die Tryin’ (2005) 136 • Glimmerati (2005) 137 • High Seize (2005) 138 • Metal Smash Pinball (2005) 138 • Pathway to Glory and Pathway to Glory: Ikusa Islands (2005) 139 • Shadowgrounds (2005) 140 • ShortHike (2005) 141 • Super Drop Mania (2005) 142 • Tower Bloxx (2005) 142 • Bounce Out (2006) 143 • Bowling Evolution (2006) 143 • Cyber Blood (2006) 143 • Darkest Fear (2006) 144 • Desert Sniper/U.S. Marine Corps Scout Sniper/Marine Sniper (2006) 145 • FlatOut 2 (2006) 146 • Paid to Kill (2006) 147 • Pile Up! (2006) 148 • Playman Beach Volley 3D (2006) 148 • Playman World Soccer (2006) 149 • SiL—The Silhouette Game (2006) 149 • Triplane Turmoil 2 (2006) 150 • Turbo Camels Circus Extreme (2006) 150 • War Diary: Burma, War Diary: Crusader and War Diary: Torpedo (2006) 151 • Wolfmoon (2006) 152 • Burnout (2007) 152 • Darkest Fear 2: Grim Oak and Darkest Fear 3: Nightmare (2007) 153 • FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage (2007) 153 • Magic Inlay (2007) 154 • Patron Angel (2007) 155 • Puzzle Scape (2007) 155 • Sega Rally Revo (2007) 156 • Shadowgrounds Survivor (2007) 158 • Sparkle (2007) 158 • Star Marine (2007) 159 • Super Stardust HD (2007) 159 • Warhammer 40,000: Squad Command (2007) 160

The Apple, 2008–2011 163

Bird Flu Spreading 166

Down Comes the Axe 172

From Gaming Phones to Services 173

Touch Me, Alan 175

The Rumbling Digital Distribution Wonder 176

Recoil Hits the Downturn 178

The Games 181

Bounce Boing Voyage (2008) 181 • De Blob (2008) 181 • Formula GP Racing (2008) 182 • Golf: Tee It Up! (2008) 183 • Monster Trucks Nitro (2008) 184 • Playman Summer Games 3 (2008) 184 • Reset Generation (2008) 185 • Smash Kart Racing (2008) 185 • South Park Imaginationland (2008) 187 • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (2008) 187 • Super Stardust Portable (2008) 188 • The Tales of Bingwood—Chapter I: To Save a Princess (2008) 189 • Talvisota: Icy Hell (2008) 190 • Tiki Towers (2008) 192 • Totomi (2008) 193 • Trials 2 and Trials 2: Second Edition (2008) 193 • Wacky Races: Crash and Dash (2008) 195 • Air Conflicts: Aces of World War II (2009) 196 • Angry Birds (2009) 196 • Azkend (2009) 198 • Bounce Tales (2009) 198 • Collapse! (2009) 199 • Crayon Physics Deluxe (2009) 199 • DrawRace (2009) 201 • East India Company (2009) 202 • Monster Trucks: Nitro II (2009) 202 • Pinball Dreams and Pinball Fantasies (2009) 203 • Shattered Horizon (2009) 204 • Super Collapse (2009) 205 • Treasure Grab (2009) 205 • Trine (2009) 206 • Trials HD (2009) 208 • Zen Bound (2009) 209 • Alan Wake (2010) 209 • Beat City (2010) 211 • Commander: Conquest of the Americas (2010) 213 • Dead Nation (2010) 214 • Floorball League (2010) 215 • Kung-Fu Live (2010) 216 • Lead the Meerkats (2010) 216 • Lucid (2010) 217 • Marble Mixer (2010) 218 • Vancouver 2010 (2010) 218 • Zen Bound 2 (2010) 219 • 1000 Heroz (2011) 219 • Bad Air Day (2011) 220 • Bike Baron (2011) 221 • Cabals: The Card Game (2011) 224 • Cities in Motion (2011) 225 • DrawRace 2 (2011) 226 • Jack Claw (2011) 226 • Kung Fu High Impact (2011) 227 • MotoHeroz (2011) 228 • Outland (2011) 229 • Pirates of Black Cove (2011) 230 • Rochard (2011) 231 • Tiki Towers 2 (2011) 232 • Twilight Series (2011) 232 • Trine 2 (2011) 233

Free Is the New Black, 2012–2013 235

Free-to-Lunch 238

The Indie Scene Rises 241

We Are the Investors 247

The Great Old Ones Strike Back 249

Crowd-Powered 252

New from Old 255

Down Comes the Axe Again 258

The Games 260

Alan Wake’s American Nightmare (2012) 260 • Amazing Alex (2012) 261 • Angry Birds Space (2012) 262 • Angry Birds Star Wars (2012) 263 • Bad Piggies (2012) 265 • Clash of Clans (2012) 267 • Deluxe Ski Jump 4 (2012) 269 • Hay Day (2012) 269 • Hill Climb Racing (2012) 271 • Legend of Grimrock (2012) 272 • Lucius (2012) 273 • Ridge Racer Unbounded (2012) 275 • Shardlands (2012) 277 • Starcrossed (2012) 278 • Super Stardust Delta (2012) 278 • Swordigo (2012) 279 • Tiny Troopers (2012) 280 • Trials Evolution (2012) 281 • Angry Birds Go (2013) 282 • Angry Birds Star Wars II (2013) 283 • Badland (2013) 285 • Benji Bananas (2013) 286 • Cities in Motion 2 (2013) 286 • Driftmoon (2013) 288 • Fester Mudd: Curse of the Gold (2013) 289 • Kinghunt (2013) 290 • Noble Nutlings (2013) 291 • Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas (2013) 292 • Resogun (2013) 294 • Supernauts (2013) 295 • The Swapper (2013) 297 • Tiny Troopers 2: Special Ops (2013) 298 • Trials Frontier (2013) 299

To Infinity and Beyond! 301

Bibliography 311

Index 315