User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Tex Murphy series

Group Description

A series of adventure games set in a post-apocalyptic world with elements of a detective film noir setting, starring the private investigator Tex Murphy. The games were developed by Access Software and designed by Chris Jones, who also played the titular character in all the installments of the series that featured live actors.

The setting in all the games is the city of San Francisco in the fourth decade of the 21st century. Following the Third World War, much of the city has been damaged or destroyed; many of the surviving humans, exposed to radiation, have turned into mutants. During the series' timeline, non-mutated humans (called Norms) co-exist with mutants. The titular protagonist is a "hard-boiled" P.I. with relationship and drinking problems; lonely, observant, and witty, Tex Murphy recreates the classic film noir detective type in the unusual post-apocalyptic scenario.

The gameplay in all Tex Murphy games is based on conversations, interrogations, searching for clues, as well as inventory-based and other types of puzzles. Later installments emphasized the puzzle-solving aspect, introducing increasingly complex puzzles; they also featured in-game hint systems and the possibility to have the puzzles solved automatically at the expense of points.

From a technological point of view, Tex Murphy games have made some significant contributions. The series' first installment, Mean Streets (1989), was among the earliest games to implement VGA graphics and the so-called RealSound technology that allowed the PC speaker to reproduce digitized sound effects and voice samples, as well as one of the first adventure games to offer an open 3D world to explore. Under a Killing Moon (1994) was the first adventure game with high-resolution, texture-mapped 3D graphics, and relied on extended full-motion movie cutscenes with live actors. Overseer (1997) was the first game developed to take advantage of DVD-ROM technology.

In 2012, Big Finish Games, a developer founded by former Access Software employees, announced the development of the long-awaited sixth game in the series under the working title "Project Fedora."

Related links:

Selected Covers

Tex Murphy: Overseer Windows Front Cover
Front cover for Tex Murphy: Overseer
Under a Killing Moon DOS Front Cover
Front cover for Under a Killing Moon
Tex Murphy 1+2 Macintosh Front Cover 1st version
Front cover for Tex Murphy 1+2

Selected Screenshots

Main Title/Main Menu
Screenshot from Tex Murphy: Overseer
Title screen
Screenshot from Under a Killing Moon
Title screen
Screenshot from Martian Memorandum
Title screen from the intro
Screenshot from The Pandora Directive