Outside Xtra posted a list of old games that everyone feels like only they remember and Jane mentioned a ‘Barbie’ game that my friend had!
My friend had a Commodore 64 and we would play on it for hours. This game was as ridiculous as Jane describes it – Ken would call Barbie with yet another change in plans and she would need to go buy a new outfit. Talk about promoting consumerism!
So that got me thinking about other games that I played as a kid!
She also had Life and Death, which, at age 10, we didn’t really understand or have the patience to learn, so we ended up winging it ala “Weird Al” in his Like a Surgeon video, slicing away with our scalpel until the heart monitor flatlined.
I still remember her Dad coming up next to us, touching the computer and telling us that it was “getting too warm” and we should go do something else so it did not overheat. We fell for it every time. I mean, what did I know, we had an Apple IIe at my house!
This is where I honed my platformer skills with classic Donkey Kong, saved (and sometimes accidentally landed on) stranded survivors in Choplifter and played a large amount of games that may or may not have been pirated via the sailors my Dad worked with (copy protection wasn’t very sophisticated back in the 80s, you just had to clip a small hold in the side of the floppy disc).
I tried to play the ‘Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy‘ text game, but it was a bit over my head (but I guess I could try again because now it is all online with a shiney new interface!).
I remember wandering around Prydain with Taran searching for Hen Wen in The Black Cauldron game, which spanned three discs and came with a map. Of course, I didn’t want to write on the map, otherwise I could have made notations about where the disc changes occurred. Instead, I would walk around the border, have the “Insert Disc 2” message pop up, only to turn around immediately after it loaded and have to reinsert Disc 1. I do not miss multi-disc games AT ALL.
I also remember giving up after falling into an Oubliette for the umpteenth time in Labyrinth. Seriously, for a game based on a movie targeted at kids, this was pretty unforgiving and tricky and I don’t think my character ever escaped from the Labyrinth..
Another game that stuck with me was playing Little Computer People, a very early version of a Sims game. For some reason, I could never figure out the controls and my little person just ignored me and sat in his chair, slowly wasting away. I remember his little face turning green and just being so upset that he was clearly DYING BEFORE MY EYES! I shut it off and never went back to the game after that.
I’m going to stop there because after this we will get into the mid-90s games and my introduction to Nintendo.
What are some wacky early PC games that you played growing up that you loved and/or scarred you for life? Let me know in the comments!