Top Ten: Computer Games from My Youth (Part 1 of 2)

ComputerGames1I was talking about computer games with a friend this week and we discovered that we both had the same LucasArts computer game five-pack! I spent hours, days, weeks of my life on those games. So I started to put together a list of games from my youth… and came up with 15 easily. So I decided to try to think up a few others so I could do two lists of ten. I ordered them alphabetically so that I wouldn’t have to rank them based on my favorites 🙂

I left out a few I didn’t know the names of. One was a text-based DOS math game run off a floppy disk which was the only game I had on my first computer (which didn’t even have a hard drive; it ran off a floppy). Another was a game I played in school and loved, where words dropped out of the sky and you had to type them on the keyboard before they hit the ground. And then there was Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, which had a race car game built in, but I was terrible at it and didn’t learn how to type properly and quickly until I discovered AOL Instant Messenger.

So here are the ones I do remember.

Top Ten Computer Games from My Youth (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Battle Chess

    In this chess game, when pieces took each other, there were interesting, unique little battles. I did not learn how to play chess well while playing this game. I understand how the pieces move, just not the strategy. What I’d do is create custom boards with one side all queens and a king and the other side all pawns and a king. Or I’d place them so they would do match-ups and I’d get to see how the different pieces battle each other.


  2. Castle Wolfenstein 3D

    This was the first first person shooter game I ever played (not counting Duck Hunt). The concept was, as far as I could tell, to invade a Nazi stronghold, kill the bad guys, and steal their treasure. I wasn’t really a fan of the killing, and my mother was especially sad every time she watched me kill a dog. I really liked the parts where I found secret rooms behind walls or paintings. I must have spent hours trying every single wall, looking for more secret areas. I beat this game a bunch of times.

  3. Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons

    In the first Commander Keen adventure, he goes out looking for parts of his spaceship (did he crashland? I can’t even remember the plot now). He avoids aliens and picks up strangely ordinary items like slices of pizza and books. It reminded me a lot of the original Super Mario Brothers. I’m sure I never made it all the way through, but I liked playing it.

  4. Commander Keen: Secret of the Oracle

    This is the fourth Commander Keen adventure. And though the graphics are more advanced, the idea was still to roam around different parts of an alien world and collect things. I played this all the way through very many times. And, after finding an online version, immediately played it again.


  5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

    What happens when they make one of my favorite movies into a video game and my parents buy it? I can’t stop playing! It was so much fun being part of the movie I knew almost line-for-line, picking up items and using them at the proper place and time. I remember being stuck for days not being able to fly the plane to escape from the Nazis on the blimp, before I realized I was supposed to have picked up a book on how to fly planes back near the beginning and having to start over. Oops!


  6. Joust

    I never quite bought why a jouster would be riding on a giant flying bird and beating his enemies by landing on their heads and collecting their eggs. But this one had a wrapping screen and took some thought and coordination to get through all way.


  7. Lemmings

    This one was all about the puzzles. You had to get a certain number of lemmings to the exit in each level by assigning a limited number of roles like blocker and digger to the lemmings. This controlled the flow of the masses of lemmings just dropping and mindlessly walking about. I didn’t make it too far, but I cleared a whole bunch of levels after many attempts and strategies. I liked that the pause button were two little paws.


  8. Lexicross

    This game was like wheel of fortune and battleship in one. you had to reveal tiles and guess letters to form clues to the puzzle’s answer. I cannot begin to explain how much I loved this game. I had dozens of characters, some who were very good and some very bad at this game. I’d play two person games against myself, making one character so stupid as to only reveal the tiles that lost him points or gave rewards to his opponents, while the other character only revealed good tiles and got all the points possible while solving the puzzles (in my version, there were a limited number of puzzles, so after playing hundreds of times, I knew them all at a glance).


  9. LOGO

    I played this at school in the computer lab many times. Using logic and specific commands, you moved a little turtle around the screen. When you got good, you could make him draw intricate patterns, spirals, etc. It was definitely my first programming language, defining new terms for algorithms and all with this cute little turtle. My favorite thing to do was to make him draw a turtle that looked like him.


  10. Loom

    A fascinating game involving music and puzzles. It was another one where you picked up items and carried them around to solve problems later, though this one was set in a fantasy world and had to do with musical notes and magic and a giant loom which could be used for good or evil. I had so much fun playing through this game, but I only completed it a few times and I don’t think I’d ever seen the expert level bonus clip until I saw it on youtube.


Part 2 next week!

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2 Responses
  1. melydia says:

    I played Battle Chess as a kid too and LOVED it. Mostly we tride to play in such a way to see all the different ways various pieces killed each other. I loved how the rooks turned into rock monsters, and how the king and queen smooched before he stabbed her in the back with a dagger.

    I also played Lemmings like a fiend. I got pretty good at it too, IIRC, but it’s still a little traumatizing to see the little guys plummet to their death, splashing(!!) on the ground.

    OMG LOGO. We played that in the school computer lab too, along with Oregon Trail. But in our crappy basic version, the “turtle” was just a triangle, which always annoyed me. Turtles are not triangles!

    I was going to babble on about my other favorite childhood games but I think I’ll wait until next week’s post just in case you talk about them then.

    • KateKintail says:

      Oregon Trail is definitely on my list for next week. Oops–spoiler? LOL

      So cool that someone else “played” Battle Chess the same way I did! Watching all the different combinations of fights was definitely the best part!

      I agree about the turtle/arrow situation! I remember the classic arrow as the one we used at school, but I went with the image with the turtle because I liked it a lot better 🙂

      Yeah, I didn’t like having to sacrifice some of the lemmings either, like when I had to blow them up to create paths. Not my favorite part of the game.

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