The kids at PC Gamer posted a list of what they consider the top 100 games, then throw in the disclaimer that these are the best games today. They have some from the mid 90’s but most everything else is recent visual masturbation. They completely ignored the ground breakers, the innovators, and the pioneers. So, being a gamer that has seen them all since 1982, I’ve decided to add just a few of my favorites from the dawn of computer gaming. These would be on a TRUE list of the top 100 PC Games EVER.
Kings Quest (1985) and King’s Quest 2 – Romancing the Throne (1987): During those years, we had next to nothing except a Tandy 1000 and an EGA monitor. Many a Saturday night was spent playing this 2D scroller. Despite it not being driven by a $600 NVidia card, the graphics were stunning. The music and sound were unheard of (no pun intended). It was the first truly interactive experience on the PC with a story that made you want to complete the quest, but were left saddened when it was over. This game spawned a number of Sierra knockoffs like Leisure Suit Larry, Space Quest, and Police Quest. Truly groundbreaking and worthy of every gamer’s respect.
Bedlam (1984): It was a BASIC text adventure that placed you in the middle of a large insane asylum. The goal was to escape since you were wrongly imprisoned there. If another inmate caught on to what you were doing, you would have to bribe them with cigarettes. Oh, the good old days of text adventures. Trying to decipher and remember the various verb – noun combinations that unlocked whatever secrets a room held… and putting them in the right order… yikes! I had this game for the Tandy CoCo (Color Computer). It came on a cassette tape that was loaded by plugging in the speaker of a tape recorder to the input jack on the back of the CoCo and pressing ‘PLAY’.
DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D (1992): An 8 bit first person shooter that not only introduced that generation of gamers to 3d worlds, it beat them over the head with how incredibly forward thinking this technology was. I played that game over and over for years and never got tired of it. As a young developer, I could not even begin to grasp the kind of engineering knowledge necessary to create such an immersive world. Hell, I was getting excited having just wrote DOS pop-up menu’s. Not just groundbreaking or exciting, this is the one that started it all. It opened the world of 3d depth and game play to the masses. Thank you, ID software.
Bushbuck Charms, Viking Ships, and DoDo Eggs (1991): As a young engineer, I had the pleasure of working on this game. PCGlobe was a small company that made mapping and statistical data software. They wanted to cash in on the Carmen San Diego craze and decided to write a game that centered around world travel, using facts and figures from their PCGlobe and PCUSA products. When you think of small development shops, this was one of them. There were 2 full time developers, a graphics guy, and a sound guy (a side gig for Andre Bormanis, who went on to Hollywood and became the Science Adviser on most all post-90’s Star Trek shows and movies). Oh yeah, and me the 1/3 developer, 1/3 QA, and 1/3 PC Tech. This game wasn’t ground breaking, innovative, or particularly interesting, but I listed it because it was the first one I worked on.