Forerunners is a neat mini-documentary about the history of PC platformers

As far as sidescrolling platformers of the '90s go, consoles have a monopoly on the era's canonical titles. But if you were anything like me, reared on Apogee and Epic Megagames shareware, names like Monster Bash, Commander Keen and Jill of the Jungle probably evoke more fond memories than Mario. 

Forerunners is a mini-documentary about sidescrolling PC games, and it manages to be both nostalgic and informative. The doco features Cliff Blezinski talking Jazz Jackrabbit, Tom Hall on Commander Keen, and John Romero on that trusty ol' classic Dangerous Dave, among others.  

Naturally enough, it touches on id Software's breakthrough pioneering of PC sidescrolling, and the studio's efforts to use its tech to get a Mario PC port off the ground (consoles beat PC to the punch with seamless horizontal scrolling). Having no success, they used it for Commander Keen instead.

Check it out below. It's full of fascinating tidbits, most well known, but fun to revisit.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.