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Computer Gaming

Something I've had at the back of my mind ever since I did that computer survey, so I think I'll rehash it in a public space.  Are PC/general computer games - the kind you buy, not play online - a thing of the past?  Are they completely outpaced by video console games, the aforementioned internet games, or do people just outgrow them after like age 12?  Because I adore 'em, but I feel like nobody ever mentions them.  Is it because you have better things to do with your time?  (PROBABLY.)  

Regardless, today I thought I'd discuss some classics.  And by "classics" I mean "whichever CD-ROMs I can physically pull off my shelf."  I'd also like to remind you that when it comes to gaming, I am largely stuck in the 90's, because that decade was full of win.  It will also become pretty self evident that I pledge my allegiance to what I call 3M: Maxis, MECC, and Microsoft.

Everything I own, in listy format:

Africa Trail
Garage sale find.  Only played it once; seemed drier and more educational/less entertaining than the others of its kind.

Amazon Trail II
Replayed it a few months ago - went a lot quicker and was much easier than when I last played it at probably...age 13?  This, too, drills the education home in occasionally pedantic ways, but the graphics are lovely, the mini games and your interaction with the historical figures is entertaining if you don't play often, and spear fishing/jungle photo ops are ALWAYS fun. 

Age of Empires II + Conquerors expansion pack
Although I am itching like crazy to try version 3, and/or further expansion packs, this game as it is is one of the best in the history of the world.  Normally such simulations are far too complex for me to wrap my head around, but somehow I figured out how to work this one, and it is a source of literally endless entertainment.  Even though I can't get through a game without resorting to unlimited-resources cheats, because while I start in the Dark Ages and diligently work all the way up, at some point my patience for toiling villagers runs out and I just want to storm the enemy towns with my formidable army.

Castle Explorer
I don't even know if my computer can still run this,  but in elementary school, my brother and I were both obsessed with it.  A DK educational game, it taught me more than I can remember about castle life and medieval times, while sending you on super entertaining quests and featuring interactive room maps where you could click on various sections to reveal the scene underneath. 

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
Garage sale find.  Haven't run it since the time it froze, waiting until I have bigger hard drive on which to do full game install in order to avoid that problem.  Seemed fantastic, though.

Dogz
Super cute idea, but have always been envious of later and more advanced versions of the Petz.

Encarta Encyclopedia '96
Hah!  OK, not a game.  But this came with our very first computer, and I am counting it here because there's an epic trivia game hidden inside, where you have to make your way through a castle maze by answering various questions (the answers to which can all be found in the Encylopedia).  Also, remember when Encarta CDs were the resource that, like, everybody used for their research projects in fourth grade?  Before the internet was commonplace?

FloorPlan 3D Design Suite
Haha, okay, this is not a game at all, BUT STILL, I forgot I even had this and it's thrilling.  When did I get this?  If this is the program I'm thinking of, it was awesome for creating visual representations of houses in my sim world/Great Big Complex Fictional Universe.  I was bad at spatial design in general, but this program made it exciting.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Rescued from my brother, who was  trying to sell it to Half Price.  HELL NO.  I invested way too much time helping him advance through certain steps back in the day, but I never got to finish it.  Still working on that, actually.  Keep forgetting about it.  Regardless, adorable, and a fun point-and-click adventure.  Anything Harry Potter = automatic win.

Mall Tycoon
Garage sale find, haven't actually played it yet.  I just like knowing it's there.

Oregon Trail
The original Windows (upgrade from DOS) version.  Good for occasional, extra-nostalgic fun.

Oregon Trail II

Quite possibly the best game of all time.  It's certainly the best version of this one, anyway.  Between the endless choice of supplies, the realistic hunting, the choices and random events at every step of the way, I have probably gone on thousands of expeditions and have yet to get bored.  Current top score: 29,000, held by one Nikki Betancourt, because lately all of my wagon parties have been made up of various TV show casts.  (she schooled Mac Taylor by a margin of 4k.  On a related note, Don Eppes is about 600 points ahead of Charlie on the list of legends)  

Oregon Trail III
To my distress, the computer will no longer recognize this game.  It prompts me to install it, I do, it takes me back to the first screen, and then orders me to insert disc 1, even though disc 1 is sitting right there in the tray.  Woe!  I want to go fishing again!  And gathering plants!

Roller Coaster Tycoon
Garage sale find.  See "have trouble wrapping my head around complex games."  I'm sure this will be grand once I really try it, though.

School Tycoon
Played once.  Nice to know there is eternal replay available.

Sim City
CLASSIC.  I tried it out the other day, and am pleased to report that for all its simplicity, it remains inordinately satisfying to watch your town grow.

Sim City 2000
Honestly, I'm still pretty bad at this.  Too complex for my feeble mind!  Neat graphics, though.

Sim Earth
Came as part of a trio of games, I never really understood it...dull.

Sim Farm
MORE CLASSIC.  Best farm simulation ever.  I don't know what people like about "Farmville," but its obnoxiously cartoonish graphics made me hate it on sight.  This game?  Much cooler.  Yes, the animals are just tiny specks bouncing around, but there are more detailed pictures available.  Plus, I marvel at how such a simple concept and simpler scripts can make for such addictive turn-based gameplay.

Sim Park
This was, basically, my dream game.  Which is saying something considering it's aimed at kids from about age 8-10, but while the language is simple, the realistic depictions of plants/animals/scenery are unlike anything I've ever seen...and what's more fun than managing a budget while trying to populate a park full of animals that is also enjoyable for human visitors? 

Zoo Tycoon
And this would be my other dream game, since it's basically the grown-up version of Sim Park, albeit from another company and with a slightly different platform, and with the impressive online community and add-on/downloadable features of Age of Empires.  Third favorite game of all time.  I mean.  You get to design a zoo!  And you can actually see all the little animals from your birds-eye view, wandering around in their enclosures!  And sometimes they have babies!
-------------------
There is a whole separate list for "freeware/abandonware" that I've downloaded in digital copy, but first I'd like to see if this post generates any interest.

P.S. My ultimate goal in life is to play The Sims.  I have been dreaming of this for...almost half my life?  It sounds like everything I have ever wanted out of a game, but I have always restrained myself due to not needing additional sources of time-wasting.  However.  This is an Ultimate Dream, and I will realize it someday. 

In conclusion, a poll!  Unless multiple versions are specified, feel free to check the box if you've played an earlier or later version of something mentioned here as well.
Poll #1538139 PC Games

Which of these have you played more than a couple of times?

Africa Trail
0(0.0%)
Amazon Trail II
1(25.0%)
Age of Empires II
0(0.0%)
Castle Explorer
0(0.0%)
CSI
0(0.0%)
Dogz
0(0.0%)
Harry Potter
0(0.0%)
Oregon Trail
0(0.0%)
Oregon Trail II
0(0.0%)
Oregon Trail III
0(0.0%)

continued

Mall Tycoon
0(0.0%)
Roller Coaster Tycoon
0(0.0%)
School Tycoon
0(0.0%)
Zoo Tycoon
0(0.0%)
Sim City
1(33.3%)
Sim City 2000
0(0.0%)
Sim Earth
0(0.0%)
Sim Farm
0(0.0%)
Sim Park
0(0.0%)

Write in up to three of your other favorite games:


Comments

rainbowstevie
Mar. 15th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
I didn't even know they had a CSI: NY game! Logically I should have assumed it, but...interesting.

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