Friday, June 24, 2005

Games of the Past

My childhood was pretty boring. I lived in the country for the most part, and my gaming extent was confined to a 150 Gigahertz, 16 Mb of RAM, Compaq Presario, which if you know anything about computers, you hold the Compaq in the same light as Hewlitt Packard computers. Cheap, and pretty much…terrible. But that doesn’t mean I couldn’t pass the time while playing some overall great games. You’ll recognize a few games on this list, but some you won’t. Or probably wont that is.

Age of Empires
Yeah, the first one. Screw the 2nd one. The first one really opened me up into the world of pc gaming, and besides another game that blew me away at the time, which was Chrono Trigger by the way, was the definitive game to have back then. With its beautiful graphics, and nearly infinite replay value, this game could hold your attention for a long time coming. This only was helped by some smooth online play, which allowed even me on my 33.6kbs dial-up modem to play relatively well. Plus you can get it and its expansion, Rise of Rome, for only ten bucks now. You can’t beat that.

Crime Fighter
Time to dig way back here. What could very easily be the predecessor to today’s Grand Theft Auto series, this game does exactly the opposite of what it says you should be doing. Instead of playing as a crime fighter, you begin as a weak little nobody in the crime world and must move up by completing tasks like kidnapping kids and selling them for cheap labor, blackmailing the mayor with nudie photos, and causing large train wrecks for money. But what makes this game awesome is the absurdity of it all. You may attempt to break into a house, only to find that Rambo owns it. You may try and kidnap a kid, but upon nabbing the kid, all the grandma’s in the park pull machine guns out of their purses to attempt to stop you. And you thought Grand Theft Auto was bad. This is a really old DOS game, but does fine on Windows.

Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight
The first Dark Forces game was good, but this improved on the idea so much, it easily gets the nod. The first game to give you Jedi powers and the first game that allowed you to run around and slash people up with a lightsaber. It also allowed you to choose, depending on whom you killed and what force powers you use during the game, between the light and dark side of the force, each with a separate ending. Truly awesome game. What’s really strange about this is that there is still a small mod community around this game at

Bad Mojo
I had to include this. You play as a cockroach. Sounds exciting already huh? Back in the day though, this game had some serious graphical muscle, and look surprisingly good with its photorealistic graphics. But, oh right, the story. You are a mad scientist who transformed himself into a cockroach. You must survive the everyday perils of a cockroach, dodging a hot oven, scalding hot chili, and of course, insect traps. What’s also cool is they recently re-released the game with the name Bad Mojo: Redux, which is pretty much the same game, but it’s only for twenty bucks. You owe it to yourself to give this game a look.

Grand Theft Auto
I had to put this on here, because a lot of people hadn’t even heard of the series until the third iteration came out. The original was a top-down version of essentially the games you play today, except playing top-down is a bit harder than it is in 3D. Recently Rockstar released this as a classic free game. So, especially since it’s free, you should definitely check this game out.

Duke Nukem
Before the series went 3D, and now has gone AWOL, the first two Duke games were classic side scrollers, and surprisingly good games. It didn’t have the gratuitous violence, and the women like 3D did, but it did have a solid action component that was surprisingly more fun than it probably should’ve been. The 2nd iteration was by far more sophisticated and more fun than the first one, so check that one out first.

Lemonade Stand
Do NOT hate on this game. Everyone of you know that one time or another, you were attempting to set the prices right at your stand, so you could get maximum money without losing customers. While this game has turned into a cheap, quick, online flash game, it used to be an original DOS game, with super simplistic graphics, and mostly just text. But as boring as it sounds, it was highly addicting, and I’m sure it all made your mommies proud that you were learning supply and demand at such an early age.

The first game in the series redefined the First Person Shooter, and brought the genre into a new age with its graphics, and the real quick reactionary abilities needed. It also had superb level design, and good lighting for a game of its time. It’s also had the netcode necessary to hold impressive multiplayer battles, which is the primary reason this game became such a huge hit.

X-wing Alliance
I’m a big space sim junkie, joystick and all, and the last really excellent title in that series to come out is X-wing Alliance. A deep, deep story mode, with extra goods depending on how well you do in some of the missions, and some very unforgettable online play made for one hell of a space sim game. And again, for its time, the graphics were great.

Alright, I think I’ve compiled a pretty good list of PC games that you might have missed from back in the day. I’ve also included some links here at the bottom to point you in the right direction of where you can find demos or full versions of these games on the Internet today.

Age of Empires –
Crime Fighter –
Star Wars Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight –
Bad Mojo –
Grand Theft Auto –
Duke Nukem –
Lemonade Stand –
Quake –
X-Wing Alliance -
The Gipper
posted by TheGipper at 10:34 AM


I LOVED the first Duke Nukem. Used to be I could beat the entire shareware version (first of 3 episodes) in about eight minutes. What about classic web games, like Bejeweled?
Anonymous Game Guy, at 1:45 PM  
Do you remember all the games we played back in the 80s and early 90s on the C64, Aimga and old PCs ? Well, checkout this website, it has a huuuge archive of all the old Classics. The games can be played on so called emulators, that turn your modern PC into an Amiga, a 386 or a C64 to play the games. I simply love to do this, expecially when you hear the first time the music of a game that you used to play 10 years ago:

Have Fun, Jessica
Anonymous Jessica, at 11:56 AM  

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