On Sunday, I hooked up my childhood Nintendo (yes, my original one from 1988/1989; it still works perfectly, as do all the games). I popped in Dr. Mario at once and started playing. It really took me back. Last year, I found a nice website dedicated to video game music. Without further ado… Oh, but keep in mind I pretty much had to buy my own video games and I didn’t have a lot of money as a kid; so there isn’t very much variety
Tag-Archive for » video games «
Thoughts: Oh dear. I don’t know Ike. I have never played Fire Emblem. But he seems like my kind of guy, judging by the description with creative capitalization.
I was always terrible at car/driving video games. Still, I’ve got to love this one. How perfect for a license plate!
Please note that I did not throw any barrels at the car or try to pass it.
I learned (the hard way) that I have to limit my computer game play… or it consumes my life. So I tend to only play online computer games that are somewhat short, so I can walk away at any time. Except that I don’t walk away… I play for hours.
Every other Thursday, I’ve been posting crafts. I’m going to try to make one of those posts each month an ATC.
So here’s my Super Mario Brothers ATC. It was the only one I did out of a series of classic video games. Super Mario Brothers was my first real video game love as a kid (I saved my babysitting money and allowance all summer to buy a Nintendo system).
I found some images of the baddies and reduced them in size as well as cutting out the backgrounds. After printing them on cardstock, I carefully trimmed around the edges (some shapes were easier than others… I think I clipped one of the koopa troopa’s wings–oops!). I drew in the background and then glued the characters on in a fun arrangement. Sadly, it’s going to be pretty impossible for Mario to get out of this situation I put him in, but I’d like to see him try!
I picked up a Mario Brothers trading card pack at the store for $1 and used one of them as the base of the card. I like doing that with ATCs and leaving some of the original card showing on the back.
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)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ScvM9pecFOo
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.
I 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)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
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.
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.
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).
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.
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!
I happen to love the holiday season. Everyone is a little more generous, and everything is a little more magical. Maybe I wouldn’t appreciate twinkling light displays if I saw them every day, but I’d be willing to take that chance.
Today, I put up my 8-bit video game Christmas wreath. I’m scared to turn it on at night because I suspect I will forget to turn it off again and drain the batteries. I’m forgetful like that. But I know it’s going to make me smile every time I come home.
One of my favorite things about the holidays is decorating my Christmas tree. My tree and its ornaments are full of memories and fun things that make me smile. I thought that it would be fun to do a series on my blog, showing some of my fandom-related ornaments. Look for that here in December!