Sunday, June 5, 2016

Some Awesome Old Computer Games

As I am sure a lot of you do, I have many fond memories of my video gaming youth. Other peoples stories often goes something along the lines of "I had an older sibling who played and so I started to play..." or "my parent was really into video gaming..." or "I got my first console/computer when I was four..." and so on. It wasn't really that way for me, I didn't own my first console before I was 12-13 something and we didn't get our first computer until just some years before that. But I came across video and computer games every now and then and managed to build up an interest and love for them. My earliest memory is probably from playing Lemmings on some computer owned by a friend to the family. I must've been around five or six at the time.

Most of the games I came across growing up are still around in some way today. Even if they're hard or expensive to come by, there are often ways to get around that, at least until you've saved up enough to get your own copy (Symphony of the Night, you will be mine!). But then there are those that seem to have disappeared, sometimes so utterly I question whether I ever experienced the game at all or if I just dreamt it. This seems to more often be the case with computer games and I have many memories from games that I've spent tons of hours on back in the day that I've found difficult to get working nowadays.

I remember a marble game on our Mac (no, not Marble Madness) that I used to play with my mom. I loved it but for the life of me I can't find any information about it anywhere. It doesn't exactly help that whenever I try to find anything about a marble game on a Mac, all I ever find is Marble Madness. Damn you Marble Madness. However, when researching this post I finally found the game! It's Oxyd - this seems pretty impossible to get working.

Then there was a game I used to play with an old friend of mine - Monkey Shines. It was a simplistic platformer for the PC (if I recall correctly) and we played the hell out of that game, just like we played the hell out of a lot of games together on the PC, her and I. I'm greatful Youtube is around to provide proof this game ever existed, but look at it. It's ugly as hell and the gameplay looks abysmal, a 6-year old could probably produce better in Game Maker. Yet I clearly remember how much fun we had with it. It wasn't like we were completely out of options either, at this point we both owned an N64. But maybe our standards were lower? The music isn't half bad though.

Asterix & Obelix was another one we played for hours. We really sucked at that game I recall, it was SO HARD! But we inched our way forward slowly but quite surely. We played it two player and I remember crowding around the keyboard trying to get a good fit. I don't think we ever beat it and we probably didn't even get very far. This is the case with most games I played around this time, a lot of time invested but little to show for it except good memories. But that's all that matters really.

And last but not least for this post one of my favorite shareware games, and there were many good ones! - Escape Velocity. I have probably mentioned this game before, but it deserves mentioning again. I started out playing just Escape Velocity, but then there was a version or sequel or something (I'm not quite sure what it is) called Escape Velocity Nova. The core concept is simple, space trading and exploration - something which seems to be all the rage nowadays. Imagine No Mans Sky with less procedurally generated content and typical mid 90s PC graphics and you're pretty damn close. Just read this information on the game from the creator Ambrosias own homepage;

"Escape Velocity offers a rich and open-ended environment that evolves as you play. Over a hundred worlds occupy the galaxy, each with its own technology, alliances, and commodities. As you earn credits and gain fame, Confederation peace keepers and Rebel patriots struggle for power, leaving you in the middle.

Numerous sub-plots fill Escape Velocity's world; your choices affect the story's development, guaranteeing that each game will be different from the last. You'll have the opportunity to infiltrate hostile military bases, ferry emergency supplies to distant star systems, rescue passengers from stranded cruise ships, stop alien invaders, and more."

Doesn't that sound awesome? I can't recommend this game enough, I remember not too many years ago when I was talking about it to my then bf and a friend of his and they decided to try it out (the Nova version). They both got completely hooked and played it to the ground over a couple of days. Just looking at a video of it now makes me want to play it again.

What are your favorite computer games from back in the day?


  1. Yeah, some of those old games were really fun. Granted the graphics weren't the greatest and the AI could really suck at some points but they were still a lot of fun. One of my favorites used to be the AD&D gold box series for the PC. I remember running Pools of Radiance (if I remember correctly) on an old 8088 machine with four color graphics. It was slow as hell and looked pretty sketchy but I loved playing those games.

    1. Yeah I don't know why, but for some reason I had a lot more patience with games back then. I often try to get back to that mindset nowadays, but it's difficult. There are so many games to play and so little time. Back then there were few games to play and all the time in the world!

  2. Good list of games.

    I bought my PC when I was already 19 (had NES and Dreamcast tho).
    Old games were usually hard, a lot harder than those we have now. Especially when you can't save a game and need to start from the beginning, again and again.
    And there was definetly a bit more souls of developers inside of those games ;)

    I remember Solomon's keys - god knows how I didn't get a stroke while playing it. One of the most interesting and hardest games on NES in my opinion.

    // btw, nice Bio/System Shock letsplays, didn't expect that. You should definetly play Bioshock Infinite: it's a very good continuator of 'shock' series that will break your heart by it's ending.

    1. Oh yeah they were definitely harder. That is probably why I have trouble with the 8-bit era of games now, I didn't grow up playing them so I find them more frustrating than entertaining most of the time ^^ I remember Solomon's Key! Must've emulated it I guess, but I did not get very far...

      I'm glad you enjoyed the Let's Plays, those are some good games :) I've got both Bioshock 2 and Infinite lying around just waiting for me to find some time to play them!