I was talking with a friend earlier today about the state of computer games.
He is a far more knowledgeable man than I when it comes to computer games, and rattled off games and systems I had never even heard of. But it did get me thinking about some of my favourite computer games, back in the day. I don’t really game much anymore, I think because I work and read and am doing other things. Primarily, I think that working on a computer lessens my love for it when I do not need to be working, so I don’t really want to track down and install emulators and so forth to run these games. It would be kind of fun to get an emulator running, though, return to the heady days of my youth.
At any rate, in no particular order, computer games of my childhood:
Really, what’s not to love about Oregon Trail! There’s a whole generation of California kids that grew up playing it in the computer lab, and we all remember it fondly. My oxen always died. Or some shit. I think I made it all the way through once. I got really good at the hunting part, though. I liked indiscriminately spattering the landscape with bullets, so I usually ran out about a third of the way through.
The Manhole was a super cool hypercard game. Does anyone remember hypercard? Well, it was cool. Anyway, the Manhole involved climbing into a manhole and discovering all these cool worlds. Kind of a precursor to Myst and Riven, both of which I enjoyed. I like interactive puzzles which are also totally cool with letting you wander around the world. I don’t really remember very much of the Manhole at all, and I would probably think it’s completely lame now, but maybe I should track it down anyway.
Megaball was my all time favourite game ever. I used to think that I would become a professional Megaball player, sweeping megaball championships around the world. My father got tired of it pretty quickly, but I would stay up for hours through the night playing it and designing new boards. Because you could design boards. How cool is that? I think I would still be playing Megaball for hours at a time if I had an Amiga. Man, I loved it when I got lasers.
FAA Flight Simulator
Our Amiga also came with a bad-ass flight simulator. My favourite thing to do was load the map of San Francisco and crash into the TransAmerican Pyramid. I also liked flying under the Golden Gate Bridge. My main problem was that I could not land on the aircraft carrier without exploding, so I had to enjoy the flight.
There was also a sweet car chase game, I forget what it was called. Grand Theft Auto’s beginnings, if you will. I loved evading the cops, driving the wrong way on cloverleafs, and hitting those giant barrels filled with water.
Clearly, I need an Amiga again.