Gaming Made Me: Mathew Kumarked These Highly

By Mathew Kumar on July 11th, 2009 at 1:22 pm.

I am totally not Alec in the arty screenshot making.
To be frank (don’t worry, you can still be Shirley) the first thing that disturbs me about writing about how gaming made me is that so many of you reading this won’t be old enough to remember going into a John Menzies and browsing the racks and racks of games between £1.99 and £2.99, buying one almost certainly on the basis of how interesting the cover was (or sometimes how many games they’d managed to crush on; Codesmasters sticking four, usually terrible, games on some of their tapes got me more than once) and then going home and waiting for the tape to load while reading the insert.

Good lord, so few of you will remember running down to the newsagents, back when newsagents were observably owned by a bloke or a family and weren’t “convenience stores” with bright lighting and dirty magazines with blue wrappers so you can’t see the boobies; running down to the newsagents with the crappy wood panelling and boxes of fingered-too-many-times sweets because it wasn’t good enough to be one of the shops with the glorious rows of jars behind the counter (just fags at this one); running down to the newsagents to get the latest issue of Your Sinclair or Zzap or Amstrad Action to obsess over not even the games but the writing, somehow; obsess over how Linda Barker or Gary Penn or Frank O’ Connor or Jonathan Nash (oh god, Jonathan Nash) managed to thrill and make us laugh by writing about bloody games.

Bloody crappy games, honestly. It’s nice to go back and be nostalgic, but when talking about how gaming made me, it’s remarkable to remember how long I spent playing games that weren’t any good on my beloved Amstrad CPC (oh, how I loved you; how I still regret selling you for £30 to a family with some young kids so they could have their attention captured by the Play School disks we bought for my brother.)

Even the ones which were good—brillo conversions of Chase H.Q., Smash T.V. and Gryzor, for example—don’t really stand up in this day and age, where we can play the originals on our PCs with some jiggery-pokery.

So I’ll just talk about the one which I remember that transcends.

I do prefer head over heels.
Head over Heels (Ritman/Drummond/Stevens)

There’s a lovely PC remake of this, so I can get away with it, I think. Head over Heels is the first game that I can remember that I actually cared about. There were isometric adventure games before, and I had played them, never quite gelling with the forever slightly clumsy diagonal movement (my CPC came with Spindizzy, for example, which many remember fondly) but here, finally, was a game with proper character; a pair of characters, in fact. The titular Head and Heels. Trapped in their separate prison cells, our initial task is—quite simply—to reunite them.

It’s surprising to read that so many years later Ritman claims to have made the story up in ten minutes (well, according to Wikipedia, anyway) because he’s forgetting that what made Head over Heels so charming—still charming—was that it sublimely recognized the importance of strong characterization through not only art but design (Head can carry stuff and jump high; we surmise he’s the brains of the operation. Heels runs fast; so he’s muscle) and the pacing. That our initial goal to unite Head and Heels is so superbly rewarded with their combined powers, and our new quest opens up several worlds in which we’ll be forced to use Head and Heels powers together and, in moments of wonderful risk, separately, is a work of wonder recognisable even by my 8-9 year old self.

In fact, I’d be hard pushed to argue that there hasn’t been a game since that has used the multiple protagonists with separate skills quite as well. I can’t think of one, anyway.

Oh, I think we were all looking at Professor Sternhart

Wolfenstein 3.D (id)
Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (Lucasarts)

A strange pairing, but they are forever linked in my mind. As my Amstrad CPC entered its twilight years and my Game Boy—gorgeous cream brick that it was—didn’t satisfy all of my needs, I began to look for a replacement. I scoured the magazines, returning to a comparison article in Games-X (of all things!) comparing the latest systems. I whittled it down. Obviously I was going to get the just-released Super NES or an Amiga.

(Worth noting that my decision to get either—for a few years at least—didn’t preclude me loving Amiga Power and Super Play, the same way I loved Your Sinclair. Did I mention I love games writing, so much I’d read it without owning the system? Really I should be writing an article about how games writing made me.)

My father didn’t like either of the options I put to him. A Super NES, after all, was just a toy. And to him, an Amiga was yesterday’s technology (remember, this is ’92—I held onto my Amstrad a LONG time.) He decided we were going to get a PC.

There’s a strange thing he did here, though, something I remember well because he didn’t just make the decision. He convinced me it was the right thing to do, which in retrospect was a pleasing thing—to have respected my opinion enough to know he had to make me see why he was making the right decision. (Thanks, Dad.)

He took me round to the house of a friend of his. They had kids a few years older than me, and he asked them to show me their PC. They booted up the newest game they had. Wolfenstein 3.D.

Often I’ve wondered about what would happen if we pulled someone from even just twenty years ago and showed them one of the current batch of games. I wonder, because I imagine the sound of their popping synapses would snap me right back to the moment I saw Wolfenstein 3.D.

The colours!

The smooth, 3.D. movement!

The murder of history’s favourite villain, the Nazis, and their dogs, who really didn’t know any better!

My father could have walked me right out of the room there and then and I’d have sold one of my feet for a PC. But they went one better and booted up their other new game—Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis.

Now, I’d heard of the LucasArts games, and they were one of the reasons I was thinking Amiga, even with all that disk swapping. But again, the colours got me. You have to understand how amazingly well LucasArts had learned to use the 256-colour VGA palette. This wasn’t the sprite and backgrounds of the SNES; it was a moving painting to my eyes. The opening of Fate of Atlantis was as scene setting as anything I’d ever seen, the kind of amazing storytelling that astonished me was even possible

A few months later, I’d be sitting at the dining room table in front of a brand-spanking new 386, loading up copies of the very games I’d been shown. The crafty so-and-so, I realized; my dad had wanted a PC because he knew how easy it would be to keep me entertained with games he’d copied off his friend’s PCs.

I showed him, though—I own a boxed copy of every PC game I’ve ever loved.

This Geography Homework is a total fail.
Civilization (Meier)

It’s probably strange that this comes next. It’s the least flashy title that you could ever imagine an eleven year-old being enthralled by. And I was no precocious nerd by that point, either; history was as foreign to me as it was to your average kid.

Like the rest of my early PC games, this came in an envelope in the form of a scribbled on 3.5” floppy, but surprisingly it came with a full photocopy of the manual (sorry to everyone entirely disgusted by my early history of piracy, here.)

Clearly, the game wasn’t intended for me. It was intended for my Dad to play, as the—my memory says German, for some reason—German bloke who had scribbled on the disk had included a note about how great it was.

My dad, a card shark, not a gamer, had no interest. It was passed to me and I booted it up.

There are a lot of flaws to the original Civilization, but the power that lies in the game is how incredibly cleverly it can “scale” with the player thanks to the bedrock of a very board game-esque world in which the rules are everything and in which each turn you can enjoy progress at your own speed.

When I started playing Civilization, eleven-years old and no idea what a Phalanx was, I’d start my Civilization with one city as soon as possible. I’d then sit there and make that city as glorious as possible. I’d barely scout. I’d barely involve in diplomacy. I’d start no wars.

I was a little, one city nation in which everyone was thrilled to live; a city overflowing with wonders (I was playing on the easiest difficulty) and constant progress.

One day, sitting in school, I realized all I was thinking about was my little civilization. Was I going to put more money into taxes to pay off the next wonder, or was I going to make people happier? I was doing little bits of math and wondering about historical facts and figures (I poured over the Civilopedia) during the very time I was supposed to be doing a lot of proper maths and learning about historical facts and figures (which I absolutely hated doing, paradoxically.)

I was addicted to a video game. Addicted. I kept playing, learning to scout, learning when to be diplomatic and when to fight, learning to irrigate, learning to build a civilization of tens of wonderful happy cities with connected road networks and a fine army. I bumped the difficulty up until I realized the computer was a cheating bastard.

It would be easy to say I lost interest there. But just because Civilization was over—an addiction that would flare again with Civilization II—the fact that video games were my life was solidified. If I wasn’t spending all my time thinking about Civilization, I was spending all my time thinking about Ultima VII. Then Sam and Max, or Wing Commander, or, Alone in the Dark, Syndicate, Baldurs Gate, Fallout, Deus Ex and more and more and more until I’m here now today writing this in front of my PC. In my pants. I’m here because I loved video games so much—loved playing them and love reading about them and then writing about them—that love them, play them, read about them, and write about them, is what I do.

Thanks, games. I don’t know if you made me or ruined me, but I’m happy either way.

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48 Comments »

  1. bansama says:

    Don’t worry! I remember =) Loved my Green screen Amstrad CPC464 to bits. Almost as much as I loved playing Starquake on it and reading Amstrad Action (right up to the very last issue too — by which point it was terrible piece of trash slandering its once great name).

    I still remember waiting upwards of half an hour for one level of a Bards Tale dungeon to load only to reach it’s exit to the next level in under 5 mins just to wait another half hour for the next level to load. A fact I like to remind people of when they complain about how slow whatever current-gen game is taking to load (which is usually still under couple of minutes for goodness sake).

    But if anything, thanks for trip down memory lane to the time when Toys R Us used to devote entire isles to CPC games, all for under £3!

  2. Flobulon says:

    Great article, can’t wait for the next in the series.

  3. simonkaye says:

    I was waiting for someone to talk about Wing Commander. Absolute ground-breaker for me. Dynamic character interaction, branching mission structure with alternative endings, and a faux-3D model that was way ahead of its time. Love it love it love it

  4. Frye says:

    I’m from the commodore 64 days. I got instantly hooked when i saw one at a friend’s house. He got one one because he had to stay in bed for months after a rather hefty skiing accident. Forbidden Forest was the first game i saw on it and I couldn’t believe how cool it was. Later, he accused me of only coming around so i could play his Commodore and i remember feeling terribly hurt by that. I still don’t know for sure whether that was true or not. Anyways, i started my first job just to get one for myself.

    Check http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxx6jvOAaJ4 for a vid of Forbidden Forest, once the pinnacle of home gaming. I still find the music rather atmospheric if you consider the limits of the hardware.

  5. leederkrenon says:

    ah, £1.99 for the old firebird and mastertonic games, buying games based on the blurb on the back of the box rather than interweb hype. innocence lost.

  6. leederkrenon says:

    also if your sinclair still existed today, then i am sure the RPS staff would all be offered jobs. there is a very nice similarity between the two, which makes this the only gaming website that i can cope with reading.

  7. cheeba says:

    @Frye: Ah, forbidden forest, I love that game. The sequel’s even heavier on the atmosphere, the whole sense of dread and foreboding seemed so far ahead of its time. I still have a bash on them from time to time, classic stuff.

  8. Nick says:

    I loved Head Over Heels on my Amstrad.. I still remember the music it played on some of the worlds when entering new rooms.

  9. hydra9 says:

    leederkrenon:
    Your icon is the perfect one to see in this thread. I was also once a wide-eyed kid who wandered into WH Smith and bought budget games just because of the cover and the tiny screenshots on the back. But the thing that amazes me is my first *ever* game purchase just happened to be Julian Gollop’s ‘Rebelstar 2.’ I got it home and had no idea how to play it, but it seemed really cool. Then, many years later, I discovered that ‘UFO: Enemy Unknown’ was the most amazing game ever created. And a few years ago, I loaded up Rebelstar 2 on an emulator, and found that UFO’s distant ancestor is one of the few Speccy games that’s playable and fun to this day.

  10. Arathain says:

    I remember those Codemasters 4 games on a tape deals. There were occasional gems, according to my preadolescent memories.

  11. Dominic White says:

    Everyone should at least give that Head Over Heels remake a spin. It’s seriously class stuff, and 100% accurate to the source material while updating it to post-16-bit era spritery.

    It’s also just as hard as it always was, which is nigh impossible.

  12. Brulleks says:

    Oh. My. God.

    I’d never heard of the Retrospec website before. That’s going to keep me busy for days. Nice one.

  13. MrPhil says:

    According to Kieron, Mathew Kumar is accompanied by an unpleasant odour. ;)

  14. Helm says:

    For the vaguely uninteresting record:

    Barbarian (over at at a friend’s house on his monochrome c64 screen, first time I saw the decapitation and then the little pele monster kicked the head and dragged the body. TRANSGRESSIVE ART) also Ikari Warriors blew my mind that day.

    Police Quest 1 (on a black and white 8086 that belonged to my uncle) seemed like the most realistic simulation of police life ever. Bitten by the adventure game bug right then and there when I instructed the one playing the game for us, to >open locker and then >take briefcase. Ah. I learned to write in english to play the early sierra games I did.

    Shadow of the Beast on the Amiga. I think aesthetically everything I do is still informed by the slightly haphazard artistry of this game.

    Flashback: And this. I know more about this game than anyone I’ve met on the internet. Even really nerdy details like how it came to be originally as a Godfather franchise tie-in game but then US Gold told Delphine ‘alright, do whatever you want with it’ and that they did.

    Rings of Power on the Genesis : some have their Ultimas, some their GTAs. Rings of Power was my first ‘open world’ in videogames.

    Galatea and A Mind Forever Voyaging : these quite later, showed me what can be done with storytelling and NPC presentation in an interactive medium that were not at all attempted by the graphicsful mainstream of the 90s and the 00s.

  15. James G says:

    Ahh, sometimes I am thankful for my precocious interest in gaming, coupled with parents who weren’t hugely wealthy. I was born in 1984, and started gaming four years later, on a Commodore 64 which my parents had brought shortly before I was born, and had relegated to the loft when a mewling newborn and a hardware niggle shifted it to the back of their priorities. The C64 died a true death (or so we thought, I’ve subsequently realised that it would have been trivially easy to repair, assuming I remember its post-mortem report from a family friend correctly.) a short while later, and was replaced with a second hand Spectrum, or rather a series of second hand Spectrums as each failed for one reason or another. This lasted me until ’92, my eight birthday, when I received an A600.
    As a result though, I still remember the £2.99 cassettes picked up in newsagents, the frantic crossing of fingers as I listened to the screeching of a loading cassette, the excitement of not knowing exactly what you had just brought. I also remember the thrill of owning a dying system, (twice, as I we didn’t get our first PC until late ’95) and suddenly trawling car-boot sales to find a treasure trove of old titles. It was partly a bit depressing, but I loved both systems, and felt like a captain going down with my ship.

    I’d have hated to have missed out on all that. With sites such as RPS, I’m really beginning to appreciate gaming as something a bit more than just a hobby, and its great to have feel I have lived some of the most interesting bits of its history, rather than just read about them. It is as much this meta-gaming experience, as the games themselves, which has made me. It is why I am so excited about the changes that have happened in the past couple of years, with the Indie scene really establishing itself again. Digital distribution, such as Steam and GoG, are making those spontaneous purchases possible again, and bringing the car-boot to your desktop.

  16. BigJonno says:

    James, I embrace you as a brother. That’s pretty much my early gaming history, with a couple of format changes. Born in ’83, bought a second-hand Spectrum +3 when I was five and an Amiga A500+ when I was about eight. That Amiga, along with an ill-fated Game Gear, was my only source of gaming pleasure until I bought a Playstation when I was 13.

    I do feel like we’re the last of our generation and that one day, when the old bastards at RPS and the like have all passed on, we’ll be the only evidence that those amazing, games for £1.99 from your newsagents days existed.

    Because we’ll all be living in the aftermath of the zombie apocalypse at that point and the internet will have long since gone dead.

  17. Cigol says:

    Oh wow, I can totally relate to this one. Not just going into John Menzies and buying games for a couple of quid purely on the strength of the cover, but also in choosing a PC over the Amiga at my fathers insistence! Although where yours managed to unearth classics like Wolfenstein & Fate of Atlantis to demonstrate its abilities, mine was resigned to window shopping in Tandy, where the full power of the Intel processor was being illustrated with a simple overhead Intel demo about some boy called CHIP finding CHIP’s (of the Intel variety, naturally). Needless to say I wasn’t impressed and it only further cemented my feeling PC’s weren’t able to play real games.

    He wasn’t deterred though and would bring home great big hulking magazines like PC Shopper and it was in these that I’d finally caught a glance at several screenshots and descriptions of games that piqued my interest. Only it wasn’t until I’d actually gotten the PC itself that I discovered I’d been duped by cut-scenes from titles such as Z! Nnnnnargh curse you PC shopper!

  18. Hi!! says:

    I’m loving these articles. Partly because they’re so personal, and partly they all feature some games that have been important for me as well, so they remind me of my own childhood (unlike a lot of other nostalgia-articles on the web, which often focus on console games – completely alien to me at the time).

  19. Quinns says:

    Weird. I have a similar memory of being exposed to Civilization way too young and having no idea what I was doing, but I went the other way. I would take my scouts and drag them all across the map, making contact with other nations and finding trade resources, hoping to find a point to the game as my capital rotted away in disuse.

  20. Wirbelwind says:

    When I was 11 I was hooked to Civilization 2. Not sure what made me love that game more than either Tomb Raider or Myth, but I loved it nonetheless.

  21. cheeba says:

    @Wirbelwind: You first played Myth at 11? I think you’ve suddenly made most of this comments thread feel spectacularly old.

    At least if you hadn’t qualified it by adding Tomb Raider, we all could have pretended you actually meant the c64 game where you fought those cool skeletons, hydras and stuff :(

  22. hydra9 says:

    @Cigol: Alright, that’s at least three of us with fathers to thank. I really wanted a PC, but after saving and begging money for about a year, I was still about £500 short. I was all ready to give in and buy an Amiga instead when my father unexpectedly told me, “No. If you want a PC, don’t settle for second best!”… and ‘lent’ me the rest of the money. I owe him my eternal thanks… and £500.

  23. Rob says:

    Ah Civilization. I started playing it at about the same age, although it was on the school computer so I lacked an opportunity to get truly addicted; I did however miss the point of the game to the extent that I built 3 cities in adjacent squares.

  24. Jaytay says:

    My first FPS was wolfenstein 3D :>

  25. DMJ says:

    Head over Heels… Reading this pushed me into a sixty-second “zone out” that in a movie or TV show would have faded to a sepia-toned flashback.

  26. techpops says:

    Not wanting to spoil the love in the thread or anything but the Amstrad, along with Tandy, BBC’s and anything that wasn’t the Spectrum or Commodore based was to be jabbed at and hated. None of these computers could handle the kind of games you were getting on Sinclairs dinky darling and Commodores mighty machines.

    So as Adam Savage might say, I reject your gaming reality and substitute it for my own.

    Great article btw and I can still draw many parallels to my own experiences despite the platform differences. For instance although I hated the PC too, owning an Amiga at the time (it was compulsory to hate on the PC then) I did have that synaptic explosion in the form of seeing Quake 1 on the PC and sold my whole Amiga setup that same month and bought a PC heh

  27. l1ddl3monkey says:

    Elite on my Grandfather’s BBC Micro took up a whole summer holiday. It was 1984. I was 10. Not that I’ve consistently been a gamer since then; I lost interest in it when I was a teen and I only really picked it up again about ten years ago.

    I feel this is descending into a PC Games version of The Four Yorkshiremen sketch… (Google it if you don’t know it)

  28. TheArmyOfNone says:

    Ahh, the 386, my first PC as well. The glorious day of when I was four years old and lost in boxes as my dad put up the technological shrine on the desk miles above me sticks with me to this day. Thanks again for the article, guys :)

  29. pilouuuu says:

    I completely share that kind of obssesion with video games.

    I remember I spent a good deal of my childhood thinking about games instead of paying attention to classes.

    And how glad I am of those experience. I can’t help but feel that I “lived” more experiences than those boys that didn’t play. I hunted ghosts, saved the earth a few times, travelled to the space and time, was a pirate, raised civilizations, participated in fights, ran through the highways, killed zombies, saved the earth again, etc, etc, etc.

    Gaming is so amazing and I’m also happy to have lived most of its history instead of just seeing games as they are now with its advancements, but also with its failures, due to the fact that gaming is now an industry and not so much a labour of love as before.

  30. clive dunn says:

    l1ddl3monkey says: ‘Elite on my Grandfather’s BBC Micro took up a whole summer holiday. It was 1984. I was 10. Not that I’ve consistently been a gamer since then; I lost interest in it when I was a teen and I only really picked it up again about ten years ago.’

    Err, this is EXACTLY what happened to me. Did you have a ten year gaming sabatical from 15 to 25 to concentrate on your drink and drug intake like me as well?

  31. pilouuuu says:

    I have a question for you all… There’s quite a few classics which I haven’t played or haven’t played enough at its time.

    Do you think it’s possible to come back to classic game like X-Com, Strike Commander, Dune II, etc and play them today? Would you still enjoy it or do they became too dated? Considering the remake trend we have nowadays I expect most of this titles to be remade, so that new generations can enjoy them.

    That’s really my big doubt. Are those games really better than games today or is it due to our nostalgia and we should leave them just in our memory. The classics I come back the most are Lucasarts adventures and most fare quite well even nowadays.

  32. mystic sika says:

    I came across the joy of my young life in my local newsagent courtesty of firebird.

    rebelstar!

    I still have it somewhere, god knows where my Amstrad went too though heh.

    I cant remember if it was £1.99 or £2.99 though. A bargain either way.

  33. Dominic White says:

    @pilouuuu – Sometimes it’s nostalgia, sometimes the classics are just that good.

    X-Com, for instance, still holds up great today. It’s not too complex, but never simplified either, and the art style holds everything together quite nicely. Aside from possibly Jagged Alliance 2, I don’t think much as improved on its particular subgenre.

    Dune 2, however, is pretty painful to play now as the RTS genre has moved forward so far.

  34. negativedge says:

    mr. kumar, come to select button you silly bitch. some of us still remember you

  35. Nick says:

    A lot of the classics have only dated in graphics, some fare less well though – things like System Shock’s bizarre control system does need to be wrestled with till you get used to it, but if you can get past that the game is still miles ahead of a lot of stuff released before and after in many ways.

    Just because a game is old doesn’t mean its a classic, but nor does it mean its automatically become bad due to age, there are shining examples of greatness from every era, just like in film.

  36. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    I had been an owner of Amstrad CPC myself….it was TEH MACHINE, mind you…ICP Return, Cerberus, Freddy The Strongest I+II, Crazy Cars, Salomon’s Key. Man, I loved it.

  37. MaxNormal says:

    I loved my Amstrad – I still regret selling it even though I managed to sell it for more than I paid for it after 3 years of use. Gaming doesn’t get much cheaper than that !

    Antiriad, Ikari Warriors, gauntlet, thrust, Batman (isometric game like head over heels), elite, endless crappy conversions of speccy games – it kept me entertained for years. I remember spending something like $700 NZD to buy a disc drive for it and spending lots of time shuffling games between discs to fit them all on as they cost so much.

  38. Psychopomp says:

    You hivemind guys have something special with this series.

    You really do.

  39. Στέλιος says:

    @MaxNormal: I never finished Antiriad, even though it looked amazingly atmospheric. And it had a loading screen – pretty amazing to me on my green-screen CPC 464!

  40. Στέλιος says:

    P.s. love this series of articles. I’ll echo Psychopomp, Hivemind did well.

  41. GreatUncleBaal says:

    It’s true you can play the original arcade version of Chase HQ on your PC nowadays, but I think that the intro music on the spectrum version is one of the finest bits of game music ever written. It’s just so jolly.

  42. Vagabond says:

    @pilouuuu
    I find the thing that tends to makes old games unplayable today is the UI, and the gameplay tweaks that have come along since that remove some of the more tedious aspects of play. This means that some genres are affected worse than others.
    I tried to play Warcraft and Dune II again a few months back and it is just painful. Especially having to build concrete slabs before you can place buildings in Dune II.
    I have Jagged Alliance 2 on Steam and I find I just can’t be bothered playing it because the interface is too clunky and it makes the game play so slowly. Funnily enough I played X-Com through to the end recently though.
    I’m also left wondering how I’d feel about the lack of mouse look in most early FPSes these days.

    @Dominic White
    I’d say Silent Storm is probably the latest iteration in the “Top down, turn based, squad based action game” genre. I’m not sure how much it’s added beyond what JA2 had, given my unwillingness to play JA2 for more than an hour, but given the fun I’ve had with panzershreks and the destructible building physics, it’s definately got something going for it.

  43. terry says:

    I got unbelievably stung on those budget Spectrum games. My first was “Ghost Hunters” by Codies, then “Ball Crazy” by Mastertronic, followed up with the legendary “Don’t Buy This”.

    Bafflingly, none of those put me off buying other, even worse, budget games. I still consider visiting John Menzies (or Boots, Woolworths or that grimy basement computing shop with the smell of stale sweat and the balding, grunting, becardiganed middle-aged loners) a gaming rite of passage. Along with possessing a Lenslok, breaking at least one microdrive, replacing a keyboard membrane and buying text adventures advertised by classified ads in the back of computing mags (invariably coded by balding, grunting, becardiganed middle-aged loners).

  44. Helm says:

    Sadly Antiriad devolves into not-very-good-ness 10 minutes after you get the suit :(

  45. itsallcrap says:

    Good lord, so few of you will remember…

    That may be true of gamers in general, but it seems the average age of RPS-ites is rather higher – I reckon kind of late 20s.

    I too remember Head Over Heels. I always thought it was over-rated. I loved Starquake. And Chaos, obv.

    I shiny new penny to anyone who can tell me what J Nash is doing these days. It doesn’t seem so very long ago he was making wibble like this:

    http://www.theweekly.co.uk

    …with Reader Millington of AP fame. But now he’s just disappeared again. :(

  46. itsallcrap says:

    edit: *A* shiny new penny. Curse my morning cognition.

  47. Babs says:

    I wonder how many PCs Wolfenstein sold? I persuaded my parents I needed one after playing it in a postage-stamp sized window on a 286.

    And Fate of Atlantis is another one of my seminal games, it captured the mix of comedy and nazi fighting of the movies absolutely perfectly. That and DOTT are still two of the best games ever made.

  48. Risingson says:

    Funny! I spent a lot of time during the weekend playing Head Over Heels in my PSP spectrum emulator. What I realized is that this game, as hard as it is, is better than the other filmation examples just because it is not that unforgiving. It’s just rewarding, something that 8-bit games forgot to be.

    It’s a very good game that is still adictive after all those years.