I was just thinking about computer games I used to play when I was younger — so many of them I barely remember, just flashes of them like screenshots. Well, the internet is a grand thing: with the help of my fairly decent Google skills (search terms like “computer game weaving knots” eventually got me there), I managed to track down all of the games of which I was thinking.
This is it. Fringer and Jewel Chase were my absolute favorites. I’m actually trying to figure out whether there’s a way to get hold of the games and play them (Windows games) on my Mac. It would be awesome. I really loved those games, well over ten years ago, but then I eventually almost forgot about them once my family got a different computer, and I could no longer play them.
Treehouse is one of the first games I can remember playing on the computer. It’s so old that we had to actually type in code (I remember there were backslashes involved) in order to start the game. I believe it was actually for kindergardeners, so that gives some idea of how long ago I once played it.
There was also an incredibly old version of Sim City (it was actually my dad’s game, I believe). It was so old that the buildings were barely more than colored blocks, yet I loved it. I’d make parks around the water, and my dad taught me that if you typed in “FUNDS,” you’d get more money. However, if you did it too often, a Godzilla-type monster would appear and wreck havoc on your city. That part was kind of fun, actually. We later got my dad an updated version, but I never really liked it — too complicated.
There was also Midnight Rescue, an educational game that involved taking photos of evil robots. Seriously, it’s amazing what you can do with a few keywords, Google, and a bit of persistence.
3-D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night was an amazing pinball game. It had so many different elements (and three separate levels). 3-D Ultra Pinball: Thrillride was also a lot of fun. It’s really fascinating what’s still hiding in the back corners of our minds — I haven’t thought about most of these games in years, and yet, now that I’ve started, I keep thinking of more and more games.
We (my dad and brother and I) played a fair amount of a game named MegaRace — it involved racing cars through really cool environments, and if you won, you’d get ridiculous “prizes” like car seat covers. It was a lot of fun. In my Google searching today, however, I discovered that the game was actually about killing the people in the other cars, which horrifies me. I had no idea that’s what it was supposed to mean. I just remember the pretty cars and the speed.
Oregon Trail — We had a slightly later version at home, but we played a version at school that was so old, the buffalo-hunting looked something like this (computer graphics have really changed in the past decade or so):
Warcraft and Age of Empires II. Were they rather odd games for me to play? Yes, I’ll freely admit that; war games are not really my style. They were my brother’s, or maybe my dad’s, but I had fun with them at times. Warcraft was (to me) about having the little houses have Christmas lights, mining gold, and such things. AOE was about gathering lots of berries and food, fish, lumber, and gold. It was about building Wonders . . . and also typing in cheat codes to make the archers turn into trees and walk on water, or create catapults that threw cows. I hated it — hated it — when the computer opponent would attack me. I didn’t want to fight; I just wanted to grow my little civilization in peace.
I don’t play computer games much anymore. Oh, I had a Diner Dash phase a few years ago, and then there was a period of time when I got distracted by several of the big games on facebook (I have since quit that habit cold turkey). Typically, though, I find that a lot of current computer games are more complicated than I really want to deal with. It’s not fun if I can’t figure out what’s supposed to be going on. Plus, they can get really expensive. I would, however, kind of love it if I could find a way to resurrect some of my old favorites.