There are many ways to misspend your youth. Some people get in trouble, some people eat too much, some people spend their entire youthful summer holidays reading books, some people spend their days giving atomic wedgies to nerds. Others even spend their time pushing wet paint rollers over space marines before getting in endless arguments at the local sherriff store. Personally, I played computer games. My first computer was the ancient ZX81 Spectrum. No, not the one with rubber keys and the little rainbow in the corner, I mean the badass abacus that could kick your digital watch’s butt.
So I present to you, dear googlespiders, a collection of my faded and jaded memories of some of the lowlights of my career in lamerness. It is by no means a complete list or even slightly authoratitive, but just a selection of those games I remember!
Seriously, this game pushed the boundaries of what we thought was possible. We would huddle around our ‘female friends’, jaws agape at the phenomenal intro, the life like graphics and sound effects, and we were stunned. It couldn’t get much better than this. It was like you were really in this fantastic world. Then the gameplay started. It was impossible. It would be game over within three minutes, if you were good. The only reason anyone actually played this is thanks to some unknown superhero called Roger. If you walked up to the first person you encountered on your right and asked him about ‘TEN PINTS’, he would say something like ‘THIS ONE’S FOR YOU ROGER!’ and make you invincible, which made the game a tad more playable. To be fair, it was quite a good game with the cheat on and definitely wouldn’t make the list if someone had told me about this cheat before the game spent ages languishing in a cupboard.
This was about as close to a workout as many nerds got back in the day. Spirit Of Excalibur was actually quite a decent game, set in an exciting land of knights and dragons. The problem was that this game made disk swapping into an olympic discipline. Seriously, you think installing the likes of Diablo II off 3 cds is tough… well thats just peanuts to SOE. It would require a disk swap at least every five seconds, and the airy fairy old english language about magic boxes and gold medallions (drives and disks) made the whole experience unbearable. Ever see a 90’s teenage boy with one muscular arm? Could be Spirit Of Excalibur!
This game came out amidst one of the regular reoccuring waves of eco-friendliness. It was basically SimCity for hippies. Do you SimCity thing, but beware the wrath of mother nature should you allow your ecosystem to get out of balance, man. All sounds good in principle right? Well there was a problem. Maybe it was just me, but no matter what I did in game, I always managed to trigger an ice age within about twenty minutes. Game over, this land belongs to the inuits, innit? Even spending all resources to build hundreds of coal fired power stations failed to avert the freezing of mankind. If this game was actually based on scientific fact then get that jumper your nan knitted you out of the loft NOW!
Apparently this game was made by a bunch of Germans affiliated with a famous puzzle maker. What is puzzling is that it seems no-one actually tested the game before release. I’ve seen less bugs in a siafu nest. Just stay away and stay sane!
At the time I don’t remember this being such a bad game. The premise is easy enough, you have been coerced, under threat of death by an alien called Bruce or something to find Wanda and get her to reveal her secrets. You end up on an alien planet, and must play several simple minigames to make some cash. Once you have enough cash you can go and buy Wanda a drink or something. The problem is that you can never get enough cash. It is physically impossible. If by chance you win loads of money, Wanda’s drink simply gets more expensive, so inevitably you always lose. An interesting game no doubt, but an incredibly cruel, cruel trick to play on a ten year old.