Remember Crimson Wars? I sure do. But it’s not the only obscure game I remember from my childhood.
When I was in primary school I was really bad at math. I think my parents were worried I would never pick it up if they didn’t help it along, and so we had a couple of educational math games at our house. One of them was Gys på Regneslottet, released in 1996. It’s a math test disguised as a spooky castle adventure in which you open secret doorways by solving complicated puzzles such as 5 + ? = 6.
A few months ago, a friend and I somehow ended up talking about it as he also remembered playing it back in the late 90s. Google it, however, and you’ll find even less information about it than Crimson Wars. For the most part, it’s off hand comments in random, decade-old forum posts. Now, more than two decades after its release, I haven’t found anywhere to download or buy it, and the forum users promising to dig it out of their attics eventually fall silent. At first glance, it feels a lot like those “lost game” creepypastas that used to be popular; it just needs some tragic backstory to draw people in.
But of course, that feeling quickly subsides when you realize that two public libraries claim to stock a copy of it. When I looked, Gys på Regneslottet was currently out on loan, and I do wonder what kindred spirit got the idea to borrow this thing at the same time as me. Recently, their time was up and it got sent to me. What can I say, the system works.
As virtually no images of the game or its box exist online, I had hoped to scan whatever physical material came with this copy. Unfortunately, the front and back covers were sloppily cut out of the original box and placed in a soft plastic sleeve. The paper and plastic have fused together and it’s now impossible to remove the paper without tearing it. Bummer. You can find what’s left of it at the end of this post. No manual was included.
With a title like Gys på Regneslottet I had always assumed the game was some local Danish product, but it seems the game is in fact somewhat international. Gili Soft, who translated and published the Danish version, was a tiny company that operated between 1996 and 2002, but the game was apparently developed by a company called Compedia (probably these guys). I haven’t been able to determine the original title of the game, but it seems to exist in Turkey as Sevimli Hayalet. If you happen to know anything else about the game, do get in touch!
To conclude, here’s my rip of the disc. The game was made for Windows 9x and won’t run on any sort of modern PC, but here’s a hot tip: the virtual machine for Crimson Wars should work if you decrease the colors to 256. Good luck slaying the dragon!