I feel it’s important to preface this list with the assertion that I am not now and never have been a gamer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried, but my lasting memories of playing computer games are largely trying to get Lara Croft to jump or fight or some such thing, but instead getting stuck walking into a corner without any clue of getting out. Or else, playing as Tails on my friend’s Sega and being so slow that I repeatedly fell off the screen.
Basically, I suck at video games.
That said, I have enjoyed them from time to time. I have some good memories of Lemmings and Worms, of one of the many annual reiterations of FIFA, and of driving around aimlessly while enjoying the radio in GTA: Vice City.
But this list is devoted to some proper retro computer games from way back in the day…
You’ve probably never heard of this oddity. But I loved it. It’s a relatively simple platform game about a minor who goes down into the sewer and into some strange new world where there are monsters such as chattering wind up teeth. I used to play it on my first computer, an Acorn Archimedes, but it stopped working when we updated to RISC OS 3. I rue the day. Over the years, I’ve tried to track the game down in the hope that someone has created a version that is playable on today’s computers, but no joy so far.
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis
This was the type of adventure game that was my speed. Your old fashioned point and click adventure. None of this 3D landscape malarkey. Honestly though, this game was legitimately engrossing, and I know I’m not alone in recalling this particular game quite fondly. The game had such an impact, that when rumors surfaced of a potential fourth Indy film, there was considerable speculation that the plot would be modelled on this game. Also: for some reason I never forgot the line about an old jar of mayonnaise resembling diesel oil.
I don’t know if Red Alert truly qualifies as a retro game, but to hell with it – this is my list. I’ve got some good memories of this game, which is inarguably superior to others in the Command and Conquer series. Back when I was in school, one of my mates would have a bunch of us over his house to play on a LAN and good times resulted. My favorite tactic was to team up with someone from the other side, so that we could both have access to the full range of allied and communist arsenals. We would pretty much wipe everyone else off the map. Good times.