Games of the My Past
Ye olde Sim games – SimAnt, SimEarth, SimCity 2000, SimPark, SimTown
SimEarth and SimAnt were among the first games I played, both during elementary school. SimEarth was the first “grown-up” (non kiddie) game I played, purchased for me by my dad at CompUSA. The manual was incredibly thick and I didn’t really understand most of it, but I knew the cheats to advance my societies quickly! SimAnt and SimCity 2000 followed closely behind when I was a little older and more able to understand the structure of the games. I always had difficulties keeping my cities from not degenerating into rioting messes in SimCity, but I was pretty successful as an Ant Empire Leader in SimAnt.
King’s Quest V and later editions
King’s Quest V: Absence Makes the Heart Go Yonder wins the prize for the first adventure/role-playing game I ever played. I picked it up with my mom as a “report card present” at the store. Five days later we were at the store again to pick up the walk-through guide since I was hopelessly stuck! This game instilled in me a great hatred of empty desert zones.
Age of Empires, Civilization, Caesar II
I’ll lump all these games together as my strategy game experience, although Caesar II is more of a city-sim mixed with some strategy. My sister and I both played these games (she never liked King’s Quest) and she was typically much better at them than I was. Still, I had fun cheating and wrecking armies in Age of Empires.
The Realm Online
The Realm was one of the first forays into graphical multi-player games and I was allowed to subscribe to it for a brief stint in middle school, never getting much higher than level 15 or so. My favorite part was creating characters and picking out nice outfits for them. Once again, the apparent fantasy game obsession with large desert zones struck here. This is also where I first encountered the standard adventure game trinity of tanks, healers and damage dealers (in its infancy, of course)…and decided that healing characters were wimps.
Carmen Sandiego and other Educational Games
Pretty much any game that said “educational” was a go in my house. This included classics such as Carmen Sandiego and the Oregon Trail, but also lesser known titles such as the Amazon Trail and the Gold Rush. They were educational, I suppose. Thanks to Carmen Sandiego I learned what spelunking meant and thanks to the Gold Rush I learned how to prevent scurvy.