What Childhood Computer Game Should We Play?

This is related to beauty and fashion because it is.

All of us have spent the morning discussing computer games that were not 1) Civilization or 2) Oregon Trail. Look, you think those games destroyed your life, because you played them for like, 6 hours a day, and now every time you see a river,  you’re lik “ford it!” But actually, those games helped you with life. It taught you that you should always overpack. And, at least for me, Civilization got me through my Freshman year seinar on Thucydides because I was able to make a point about how an army that had only triremes was fucked. Just totally fucked. Triremes are the most sinkable ship on the planet, so the battle outcome should have been surprising to precisely no one.

That said – anyone else play Creatures?

creatures norns

This game was supposed to teach you about genetics. You bred this race of big eyed creatures called “norns” and you could download special versions that we different colors or musical progidies. It was a great game for kids with God complexes. And I will say that, despite any other achievement I have in life, one of my top ten achievements will always be that I bred a norn that was half purple and half blue. I’d probably mention that if I won a Pulitzer.

Mostly what that game taught you was that anything with big eyes is absolutely adorable.

I also relentlessly played this game called Afterlife, which was essentially a parody of Sim City. You zoned heaven and hell. It looked like this:

afterlife game

Just like Sim City, you had to set up utilities like re-entry portals and angel/demon training colleges. Unlike Sim City, you could click on any reward or punishment and it would give you a little description of what it was. What I remember most is the hell punishment where you would be waiting in line to be reincarnated, and the line next to you would always look like you were moving significantly faster… until you switched lines.

Also, if you set up too many angel colleges, they’d rebel and overthrow heaven.

Christ, that game was brilliant. It taught me to never switch lines. Ever.

Also, pretty much everyone here was into Sim Ant. I have no idea what we took away from that. A hesitance to step on ants, I guess. An awareness of how ants exchange food.

Okay, your turn, tell us about your favorite childhood computer game. I’m leaving you with this picture.


Pics via Creatures

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    • Somnilee

      We had a great one on the school computers when I was in year 4 (so I was…8 or 9) and it was a badger simulator, basically. You had to do badger-y stuff like dig for worms and avoid foxes.

      There was also a brilliant one when I was in year 1 (5 or 6) called, I believe, Grandma’s Garden, which was a “choose your own” adventure to do with rescuing kids from an evil witch. It was really easy to lose on the very first level by opening the left hand rather than right hand door of the cupboard (one gave you the key you needed, one had the witch attack you).

      Plenty of others, but those were the best school ones.

    • Fabel

      OOHH I have so many! (okay like, 3?)

      I had the whole Secret Paths series from Purple Moon (http://www.cdaccess.com/jpg/shared/front/large/secretpf.jpg) where you basically collected stones & made a necklace with them, which somehow solved the problems of each girl in the treehouse? I remember reading an article pretty recently about why this whole series & “games for girls” in general failed, but I thought it was a good game.

      I also played this American Girls game (yes, American Girl dolls made a computer game) (here is a screenshot I somehow found http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lifni0HynX1qzdfl4.jpg) I remember you got to choose a “scene”, characters, and then record lines & actions for each character in order to make a “play.” It was pretty bizarre, but that’s how I spent my time in 6th grade.

      Then, in stark contrast to the others I played, there was Microman http://img.brothersoft.com/screenshots/softimage/m/microman-adventure_1-16163-1228801852.jpeg You walked from left to right, just shooting a bunch of stuff.

      I think Myst was popular around the time I was playing all these things, but I could never get past the part where you go up the tree elevator…

      • Nicole

        Myst was the best! You have to go *down* the tree elevator! I even kept playing through the end of the series when they weren’t that good anymore. The first three games were fantastic though.

        Tania, I remember Kyrandia too!

        Also, does anyone remember Spelunx? I played it on our old Apple II…

    • Fabel

      Ah, fuck, I’m awaiting moderation? Did I get too link-happy?

    • Tania

      Commander Keen. The Hugo games. Hocus Pocus.

      Legend of Kyrandia: Malcolm’s Revenge.

      Laura Bow Mysteries: the Dagger of Amon Ra (which I never managed to beat because I picked up a piece of evidence I shouldn’t have picked up. Turns out that when you mess with evidence you shouldn’t mess with, a gangster shoots you dead in your sleep at the end of the game).

      Lemmings! Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure.