It's summer time where I live which means I am riding my bike to work about 3 days a week. This allows me to kill two birds with one stone; I get exercise AND I get to work. Score!
The other bonus is that cycling in takes just a few minutes longer then a drive would, which allows me a to listen to a podcast or just think about whatever is on my mind.
On the ride in the other day, I found myself thinking about how I got started with computer games. This turned into a journey down the 'memory lane' of lost but not forgotten titles... I always smile when I think back on my time working through these games. Back then, PC gaming was so very new and fresh that you could consider each game to be revolutionary in some way.
Chronologically my timeline went something like this:
Zork I - 1980:
This was a Christmas or birthday gift from my parents I have pictures showing the box standing up next to a pile of wrapping paper. I spent hours playing this game with my dad. I was too young to be able to get through it all myself but with his help and a pad full of graph paper we would do a little 'Zorking' a few nights a week before I had to go to bed. I'll always remember that.
Wizardry I - 1981
There was a drugstore on the corner down the street from my house. My dad used to help the family with their Apple computer. In return, they gave us a copy of Wizardy I on some 5 1/2 inch disks along with a photo copy of the game manual.... I would be lying if I said I didn't take that manual to school with me every day for 3 months straight. I used to read the spell names and descriptions. I'd study class and race stats religiously. I loved that game. My dad and I would sit for hours playing. One of us would man the graph paper and the other would drive at the keyboard. Every move down the hall or into a new room was a coordinated effort between the driver and the mapper. Forward, Forward, Kick... An encounter!!!
Ultima - 1981
My wife has this game and Wizardry to thank for my computer RPG fetish. We used to play this in the computer lab (Apple II) back in school. Not sure how we pulled that one off, but hey... I still got into 'Collej'. I remember roaming big open continents in an Isometric perspective.. Quite cutting edge for the time.
Escape from Rungistan - 1982
This was another handed down copy from our friends at the drugstore. One of my first graphic adventure games. I loved some of the puzzles in this game and I can remember trying to dodge trees while skiing down the hill over and over and over... Take Candybar.... Give Candybar...
AutoDuel - 1985
I was into CarWars for a little while and this game was based on that IP... We didn't have a joystick for our computer and I remember playing this using a Koala Pad as an input device... I know, I know... Ghetto to be sure. I remember running missions in this game to advance the story and gear up my vehicle... I also remember lasers being way too overpowered and the fear I had of getting lost on the roads outside of town.
Bard's Tale - 1985
I loved this game... I liked the packaging, the town of Skara Brae, the music, the dungeons... It was great! I would come home from school and plunk down in front of the PC for a bit each afternoon to see what I could discover in the world. You can still find ports of Bard's Tale and Wizardry for today's PCs. Ahh the nostalgia. I was soooo disappointed at the crappy reuse of the Bard's Tale IP on the console generation. fail.
Sentinel Worlds I - Future Magic - 1989
A great Sci-Fi rpg. This one also had great music and good graphics for the time as well if memory serves correctly. I played this through to the end and enjoyed the whole thing. Nice balance between ship combat and party based combat. This was my Eve minus the whole online persistent world thing...
...and I'm rolling through the gate at work. Another nice ride and some good memories. I wonder what I'll be playing with my son when he is old enough... I only hope he doesn't roll his eyes and tell me 'That's for old people' if I show up with graph paper.