Throwback Thursday: Earliest PC Games from Childhood

Also known as the games I played as a kid that endeared me forevermore to the puzzle genre. Sure, later, there came Nintendo and PlayStation, and with them the RPGs that dominated my life (I’m looking at you, Ocarina of Time, and FFIX). However, once upon a time, we only had one little computer in my home.

My father would play Solitaire (still does, in fact, though now there’s also Free Cell), but my brothers and I, we’d tackle the simple pixels of Rodents Revenge and Chip’s Challenge

Trap the cats. Eat (i.e. crush) the cheese. Don’t die more than three times.

Remember the elemental boots?! And the sound Chip made when he died . . .

Seriously, I would love to own boots that could protect my entire body while walking through fire.

You can find both of those games online now, of course, the Internets being what it is, but my best finds so far have triggered massive bouts of nostalgia, and I cannot help but share them with everyone.

Who recalls the cognitive joys of The Incredible Machine??? In 1992, creator Kevin Ryan made a classic Rube-Goldberg game to rival all followings of the genre, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover this Mega Pack by Good Old Games featured on Jayisgames. Hours of see-saws and pulleys, balloons and tennis balls, pipes and bombs. Oh yea, and an invincible white cat.

There have been several series and new releases by Sierra Entertainment since that year (including an iPad version in 2011), but my love will always reside in the tinny sounds and simple satisfaction of the original.

My final pick for today’s TBT (because I just arbitrarily decided on four favorites; don’t both me with silly numerical queries) caters to my girly side. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast MS-DOS game was da bomb, little annoying Chip character aside. It was here with this addictive game that my young mind learned how to multi-task. I swear it; none taught me better.

Yes, yes, there were memory games like the snow-to-springtime garden, the color-changing laundry,

the ones based on books and pattern with Cogsworth, the dancing dishes–all in played with the strangely-hypnotic monaural melodies in the background. BUT. The one that topped them all: the friggin’ hopping eggs game.

I don’t care about your cakes, Mrs. Potts. I just want those eggs to survive long enough to make it into cakehood.

See, little me loved figuring out the path to victory. Little me loved baking sweets. It was such a diverting challenge, this kitchen conundrum. What makes me laugh is that I’m really, really bad at it now. I don’t know if I just couldn’t recall correctly how difficult this level was and underestimated it, or simply that my brain is aging, but wow. Talk about embarrassing.

What? Why are you laughing? Here, you try it at classicdosgames.com. Right now. Go. And then come back and tell me how much you loathe Mrs. Potts and her “Oh dear, best be careful with those eggs!” or sommat like that. (Well, you know what Mrs. Potts? Have you ever thought about just why those eggs are moving?! You’re cooking up panicked chicken fetuses into a glamorous confection that will only serve as a harbinger to diabetes and post-dessert self-loathing.)

Gosh, that got dark fast, didn’t it?

Ahem. Apologies.

My point is, please regale me of your own experiences with past PC gaming. What were your favorite pre-MMORG entertainments? Did you dedicate time to Civilization? The Oregon Trail? How about Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? Or did you eschew all those candidates in favor of the great outdoors (blasphemy, eh)?

Slam in a comment below and tell me about it.

Meanwhile, excuse me, but I have eggs to save.

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6 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday: Earliest PC Games from Childhood”

  1. Carmen San Diego – I loved that one! Rise of the Dragon and Gabriel Knight were favourites too. I remember getting a computer that was capable of running Doom and playing that quite a bit. I definitely logged the most time on Civilization and Age of Empires in my teen years.

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