October 18, 2012 1 Comment
Back when I was a wee laddie, my mom sometimes picked me up after school and had me spend the afternoon at the office in Makati where she worked. Having nothing better to do, I would kill time by mucking around with the icons on their Windows 3.1 workstations and typing in nonsense commands in DOS (much to the chagrin of her co-workers). Eventually though, their computers got upgraded with the most important feature: actual games! And I’m not talking about Minesweeper and Solitaire either (although they’re OK time-wasters, I guess). I’m talking about stuff like:
SkiFree: One of the first PC games I ever played, it’s a simple game with a simple premise. You guide a skier down a snowy slope with the mouse and avoid obstacles like trees and dogs. Your reward at the end is a high score for the fastest time, plus a few seconds to try to escape the belly of a hungry yeti! If you’re good, you might survive long enough to have a second yeti chase after you. Either way, you’re gonna get eaten. It’s awesome. Someone should remake this for the iPhone or something, although it is free to download directly from Microsoft these days.
Chip’s Challenge: Although she doesn’t look like it now, my mom was actually quite the gamer back in her day, completing the old-school King’s Quest games without the help of strategy guides or the internet. (How she got any work done in the office, I’ll never know.) One of the games she still has me beat at is Chip’s Challenge, a fun block-and-switch puzzle game that tells the timeless story of a nerd who risks life and limb to get a prom date with a girl genius. Naturally he has to go through said girl’s laboratory, where her deadly experiments have run amuck. (I can totally relate to this guy.) For literal decades, I was stuck at the Castle Moat level (which my mother beat ten levels ago, then she got bored and promptly quit the game) until a YouTube video showed me how to beat the damn level in one minute. Boy, do I feel stupid.
Hover: Basically a cool 3D bumper car version of Capture The Flag, taking place in some sort of futuristic theme park. You can use these different power-ups like springs and cloaking devices to gain the advantage over the enemy team. This game came bundled with Windows 95, thus proving that Windows 95 was the best version of Windows ever.
The Incredible Machine: A super-fun puzzle game where you construct a Rube Goldberg machine to complete specific objectives, like popping balloons with a series of gears and rubber bands. Then there’s Freeform Mode, where you can build your own machine with unlimited parts. For some reason, every kid who played this game built a lot of contraptions specifically made to torture the in-game cat.
I can talk all day about these old games, but I gotta jet. And to think, nowadays they don’t even allow Minesweeper and Solitaire where I work!