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

This is a continuation of last week’s top ten list, showing computer games I enjoyed during my formative years. To make this list, I had to like playing the game, it had to have been a game I played on the computer (not in an arcade or Nintendo), and it needed to have been something I played between the ages of 5 and 18 (i.e. before I left for college– so World of Warcraft doesn’t count here).

I ordered the list alphabetically so I didn’t even have to think about playing favorites. See Part 1 for A-L. Today’s list is M-Z.

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

  1. Myst


    I didn’t make it far into this game, but I remember it having something to do with a book, different ages of a world, and two feuding brothers. One of my friends showed me one of the possible endings on her computer, and I thought it was neat to have an ending that depends on the way the player chooses to play the game. I was also in awe of the huge notebook she had filled with notes and answers to puzzles, that she and her sister created and used to make it through the game. My family decided to make the game a competition: me & my sister against our mom & dad. Each team got equal time on the computer. Each time managed to figure out one big thing. Each team ended up cheating to figure that thing out (though I am 99% sure that the parents’ team cheated first and none of us knew the other team was going online for answers for a week or two). All four of us were terrible at the game and didn’t get far.


  2. Number Munchers

    A math game where you were given problems and possible solutions… with consequences if you chose poorly. You also had to avoid the creatures who were going to eat you if you got too close to them. I played this one in the computer lab at school. I still remember the sense of victory when I got things right, which I didn’t always do. It was so much fun.


  3. Oregon Trail

    Load up your wagon with supplies and family members and head out on the Oregon Trail. I played this one in school as well, but we also got a later version at home. I had a hard time shooting the cute animals for food and usually most of my family members died. And, yet, it was a lot of fun and I always made it to Oregon.


  4. Pong

    Basically, simple ping-pong, hitting a ball with a paddle. I preferred the “paddle war” version that was a bonus game in Commander Keen 4, but I did play the original. I kicked serious computer butt on this for hours.


  5. The Secret of Monkey Island

    Another point-and-click verb/noun game. Guybrush Threepwood arrives on Mêlée Island and wants to be a pirate. He’s got to do some convincing, falls in love, runs into a ghost, and carries a WHOLE LOT of items with him. I believe there’s some drinking of grog as well. This is still one of my absolute favorite games ever. So many colorful characters and things to figure out.


  6. Scooter’s Magic Castle

    Scooter walks around the magic castle, solving puzzles, clicking on things to make them react, planting flowers, fixing spells that have gone wrong, creating things. This was technically my little sister’s game, but I LOVED playing it.


  7. SimAnt

    There are lots of interesting Sim games. The Sims, SimCity, Sim Theme Park, etc. What did I get as a present? SimAnt. Yeah. You’re an ant and you dig tunnels or walk around looking for food and then leading your colony through a yard, into a house, where you get trapped in a sink. Or you can choose to be the ant queen and sit around while workers bring you food all day. I never quite got the ant trails to work. The best I ever did was surround a caterpillar and turn him into little green food pellets. It was not the most exciting Sim game, but it’s what I had. And I almost always got painfully eaten by spiders. Sometimes I would write my name using the underground ant paths.


  8. 3D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night

    Do you know how long it took me to figure out the exact name of this pinball game? But, yes, this is it. It’s pinball… with spooky backgrounds and tons of special paths and rewards. My favorite was the vortex that would open up and you had to get as many balls into it until it closed. I freakin loved this pinball game.


  9. Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

    Use knowledge of the world’s history and geography to track down the elusive Carmen Sandiego. I played this a lot at school. My sister had a newer version at home, but I didn’t play that very much… possibly because it was a version that required more than the skills I wanted to use (she might have had Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego) and possible because my sister wouldn’t let me play her game. I’m not sure. But I loved playing the version the school had, even though the graphics are simple and painful by today’s standards!


  10. Zork

    Finishing the list with a non-flashy one… Zork! I played this at school as well as at friends’ houses. So much fun to explore and imagine the world in your head… sometimes I’d even draw maps of the house and forest to figure out where I was and where I wanted to go. The height of creativity and exploration back in the very early days.


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