VOGONS

Common searches


Your oldest favorite computer game?

Topic actions

First post, by RacoonRider

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hey there!

I want you to try and remember the oldest computer game you actually like. This thread is not about how game A played an important role in the history of the genre or the whole industry, but rather about how game B managed to conquer your heart despite infinitely limited resources of the early computers. I do not wish to specify a platform here. I myself have zero experience outside PC, but I would love to hear your love stories with other platforms - ZX Spectrum, Amiga, etc.

I'll start with myself.

My adventure into the world of computer games started in 2003 when my father brought home my first computer. Therefore I have a special spot in my heart for the titles the early 2000s - GTA 3, Vice City, Max Payne, Mafia, NFS: Porsche Unleashed, Etherlords II, Gothic 2, Re-Volt, etc. I also had some older games, notably Heroes III, Fallout 2, and Turok 2, and it felt like I could not enjoy anything older than those. In 2011 I got hold of a complete 386 and dived into retro hardware and retro PC games. Throughout the process of scavaging, building, upgrading, hoarding, and sometimes even playing games, the oldest game on my list of favorites changed from Master of Orion (1993) to Lemmings (1991) to King's Bounty (1990). At that point, I thought I probably would not enjoy anything older. And then I found the Hidden Agenda (1988).

agenda.png
Filename
agenda.png
File size
6.1 KiB
Views
1169 views
File license
Public domain

Hidden Agenda is a political strategy set in a fictional Latin American country of Chimeria. Right after the revolution, you accept the role of el Presidente of this small ruined state. Your people are starving, your military is divided into two camps at each others throats, health and education are non-existent. Foreign powerhouses of the US and the USSR offer help as they play their own dirty games behind your back.

The gameplay is a series of political decisions that you perform as you try to keep it all together. It is represented by meetings (encounters), letters from officials, council from your ministers. The attention to detail is striking. Every decision you make has serious consequences and there is no such thing as right or wrong, only a million shades of gray. Every once in awhile the natural game flow is interrupted by riots, betrayals, assassination attempts, terrorist acts, financial crises. It is your goal to lead your country to prosperity, although in all likelihood you are going to end up removed, exiled, or dead.

ussr.png
Filename
ussr.png
File size
7.7 KiB
Views
1169 views
File license
Public domain
us.png
Filename
us.png
File size
5.54 KiB
Views
1169 views
File license
Public domain
2685_4ad99ae54d435.jpg
Filename
2685_4ad99ae54d435.jpg
File size
74.13 KiB
Views
1167 views
File license
Public domain

Hidden Agenda is monochrome, yet quite aesthetic even by today's standards. It is text-based, with real pictures of people and surroundings beautifully transformed into black and white. The game is astonishingly real and believable as if you were browsing through a bunch of 1980's newspapers or watching an old documentary. I must admit, it takes some mental effort to play, but it is totally worth it.

Ever since this game conquered my heart I spend a few evenings a year in a cozy chair with a big cup of tea and a Libretto running Agenda, reading pleas of coffee growers, plantation owners, teachers and government officials and hoping for a happy ending.

Libretto.jpg
Filename
Libretto.jpg
File size
1.26 MiB
Views
1169 views
File license
Public domain

Reply 2 of 63, by Zup

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Hy29KoBnGY
Jet Pac, 1983

Last edited by Zup on 2020-05-31, 11:55. Edited 1 time in total.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 4 of 63, by imi

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

it's really hard for me to pick favorites, there's been a few games that just stuck with me forever.

most notably is probably Monkey Island 1 and 2
other favorites of mine are Descent 1 and 2, Duke3D, Lemmings, the Crusader games and Carmageddon 1 and 2.

Tyrian2000 gets a honorable mention, played that a lot ^^

I know these are all pretty "mainstream" and there's probably a lot of less popular examples, but those are just the games that have stuck with me and I'd count as my all-time favorites.
I'm sure I'm forgetting something though, probably a lot of older games, but none of them seem to have stuck as much.

so what is the oldest then... I guess it stays with Monkey Island ^^
coincidentally that is also around the time when I got my first PC in 1989/90

edit: one really old game I can think of is Sokoban I enjoyed back then, but wouldn't really call it a favorite.

Last edited by imi on 2020-05-31, 11:35. Edited 6 times in total.

Reply 5 of 63, by Grzyb

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Spacewar!
Originally created in 1962 for PDP-1, and there's some fascinating story behind it - http://www.wheels.org/spacewar/creative/SpacewarOrigin.html

I first encountered it in the form of a PC variant by Bill Seiler, from 1985/86.
Back then I had a PC with Hercules graphics, not really suitable for games, as they were mostly for CGA and didn't look good with CGA-emulation on Hercules.
Spacewar, however, was different - there was native Hercules version, and the game in general was well suited for high-resolution monochrome graphics - even the CGA version used the 640x200 mono mode, as opposed to vast majority of CGA games.
I had a lot of fun playing it against a live opponent - unfortunately, the game's AI was plain dumb, playing against the computer was rather boring...

Reply 6 of 63, by newtmonkey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Wizardry: Proving Grounds of the Mad Overlord (PC 1984)

I listed the PC release date above, as that's the version I played, though the game was originally released in 1981 for the Apple II according to Mobygames.

I actually only played & finished this game a couple years ago, as I had previously just assumed it was too ancient to be enjoyable. My plan was to explore a few levels and then skip right to Wizardry 7. However, I got seriously addicted and ending up completing not only Wizardry 1, but transferred my party and went on to complete 2, 3, and 5!
It's just a fantastic game. The dungeons have really smart layouts and aren't just seemingly random corridors and rooms (a major criticism I had with the Bard's Tale series), and the game is balanced surprisingly well; by the time you have completely mapped a floor you are typically just around the right level to being exploring the next. It's also quite fair, though I did back up my save file as I played.

Reply 9 of 63, by xjas

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Wizard (C64, 1984) / Ultimate Wizard (1986) is an absolute all-time favorite. (Ultimate Wizard is the same game with an expansion pack.) I literally have a framed boxed copy (EA record-sleeve style) of it on my wall. A lot of C64 games of that era are really awkward or clunky, but these hold up. Fluid controls, good sound effects, nice sprite art for the time. Plus, a fully-featured built-in level editor and yes, I do still have all the old levels I made as a kid. Love this game, I still come back to it at least a few times a year to this day.

Lazy Jones is another 1984 game that I still come back to. It's objectively not as good of a game but I have lots of fond memories of it & still give it a playthrough every now and then. It was actually made as a tech demo for David Whittaker's dynamic music system, so the soundtrack is pretty cool.

This is more of a recent thing, but Space Station Oblivion / Driller (1987) just blew me away. I've had an original C64 copy since the early '90s, but I never beat it until recently, and didn't really realize how impressive it was until I started digging in. It's not perfect, but the technology behind it is mind bending for a 1987 game that came out on 8-bit platforms (64, Spectrum, CPC.) To be fair the 8-bit versions are nearly unplayable now (1-2 FPS), but the Amiga/DOS/ST versions are exactly the same game, run way better, and are a fascinating romp through early 3D world building.

Hmm... I still fire up Alley Cat and Burger Time (1982/3) every so often. I wouldn't call them all-time faves but they're really solid arcade-style games from the era.

Interesting topic. I find a lot of the stuff from the early '80s to be really awkward and just don't offer much to a modern player, but there are some real gems from back then that still stand out. I'll probably think of more later.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 11 of 63, by xjas

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

^^ Yeah, it's hard to find DOS/PC-booter games from that early on that hold up very well (aside from text adventures, but those are kind of their own thing.) Alley Cat has a level of polish that wasn't common for another couple years at least.

Thought of another one: Impossible Mission (1984.) I think I like the sequel from 1988 a little better, but the original is an excellent game and still plays well.

Re: Ultimate Wizard - this isn't the best pic but this is what I have on display above my couch. These really are the only two items of "nerd art" I have hanging up anywhere, but I like them.

20200531_115307.jpg
Filename
20200531_115307.jpg
File size
202.22 KiB
Views
1070 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6:30 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 12 of 63, by cyclone3d

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

C64 - Delta - 1987
https://www.c64-wiki.com/wiki/Delta

Looks like crap on a screen without scanlines.

Looked absolutely awesome on a Commodore color composite monitor.

PC - Mechwarrior 1 - 1989

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 13 of 63, by rmay635703

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

As a kid I found paratrooper to be a lot of fun, in its green screen glory on my uncles then new 5150 with upgraded graphics.

I also found the games from the Channel F to be fun as a kid, one of the games looked like you were flying a spaceship in the first person, sadly the game cart burnt up.
It was likely from the late 70’s

Reply 15 of 63, by will1384

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

I can't pick just one, so here is a list with the year each game came out.

1982 - Parsec -- I had this game on my TI-99/4A home computer, had an arcade game feel to it from what I remember.
1986 - Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter -- I played this on an Apple IIe computer at school, unfortunately I cant remember too much.
1989 - DOS 1993-94 - The Adventures of Robbo -- I bought this game at the local Walmart, I played this too much.
1990 - Microsoft Solitaire -- I have likely played this more hours than any other game - 🤣
1990 - Microsoft Taipei -- Another game I spent countless hours playing.
1992 - Galactix -- I liked this game but only ever had the Shareware version
1992 - Wolfenstein 3D -- I had a few different paid and Shareware copies over the years
1993 - Doom - Another game I got at the local Walmart, this was the first game I played over a network, "Linksys LNE2000 Ether16 LAN ISA Card"
1993 - SimCity 2000 -- I spent way too much time playing this.
1996 - DX-Ball -- I loved this game
1996 - Quake -- I like this game a lot - I got it at Walmart -- I made a better computer just to play this game
1997 - Quake II -- I like this game a lot - I got it at Walmart
1997 - Interstate '76 - I played this multi-player with a dial-up modem - everyone was cheating, they had flying school buses covered with machine gun nests, it was amazing!
1998 - Unreal -- I loved this game
1999 - Unreal Tournament -- I sometimes still play this

Reply 16 of 63, by Shagittarius

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

The original Karateka on Apple ][, I remember being so proud I figured out how to beat that one when I was in elementary school. Also love the original 2d Escape from Castle Wolfenstein, though I never beat that one while I was in elementary school.

Reply 17 of 63, by BSA Starfire

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Star Raiders 1979 Atari 400/800.
Elite Acornsoft 1984 BBC Model B.

286 20MHz,1MB RAM,Trident 8900B 1MB, Conner CFA-170A.SB 1350B
386SX 33MHz,ULSI 387,4MB Ram,OAK OTI077 1MB. Seagate ST1144A, MS WSS audio
Amstrad PC 9486i, DX/2 66, 16 MB RAM, Cirrus SVGA,Win 95,SB 16
Cyrix MII 333,128MB,SiS 6326 H0 rev,ESS 1869,Win ME

Reply 18 of 63, by chinny22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
rmay635703 wrote on 2020-06-01, 02:09:

As a kid I found paratrooper to be a lot of fun, in its green screen glory on my uncles then new 5150 with upgraded graphics.

Agreed although I was in the IIe and doesn't rate as my favorite

Our first computer was a Apple IIe from 198? - 1995
My 2 all time favorite games on that were both released in 84 for Apple
Conan https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conan:_Hall_of_Volta
Moon Patrol https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_Patrol
But as Moon Patrol is a port from a 82 game I guess that wins?

PC side of things would be either of the 1989 titles
Street Rod https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Street_Rod_(video_game)
Super off Road https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Off_Road
Although Super off road wasn't ported to dos until the following year

Reply 19 of 63, by Desomondo

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Stunts (1990). There is something about games that come with editors (an awesome track editor in this case) that tickles my fancy. My mate introduced me to this one in early high school and I was hooked immediately. We made tons of tracks and swapped them back and forth. Good times...

Win98 PC: Pentium 4 3.2 | Gigabyte GA-8I865GME-775 | Geforce4 Ti4400 | Aureal Vortex 2 + YMF744
WinXP PC: Core 2 Quad Q9400 | Gigabyte GA-G41MT-S2PT | Geforce GTX 280 | X-Fi
Win10 PC: i7-8700k | ASUS Z370 TUF | GeForce RTX 2070 Super | X-Fi Titanium