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Have You Played... Qbasic Gorillas?

Completely bananas

Fun story: I didn’t know what Qbasic Gorillas was called for over 20 years.

As a kid, we would refer to it simply as “The Banana Game”. I had to rely on my Dad to play it, as only he was able to access an unfathomable portal called “DOS”, summoning it out of the inky void using long strings of seemingly random letters; an incantation that gave it a sort of mystical allure.

Liam and Ed recently investigated how much time World of Warcraft takes up in your life for the first episode of Inventory Space.Watch on YouTube

The game itself is simple. Two hairy beasts are plonked opposite one another on the rooftops of a randomly generated cityscape. Players take it in turns to enter the velocity and angle of their throw, before the gargantuan gorillas hoy their bananas towards their foe. The bananas - naturally - explode upon impact, and the game is won when one gorilla is obliterated by a blast of white hot potassium.

The game itself is whatever. A fun timewaster. But for 20 years I assumed I had dreamed it. Whenever I’d casually mention it to friends they’d furrow their brows and express concern. “Do you mean Worms?”. No, I didn’t mean Worms. I get that it sounds like Worms. But Worms didn’t feature two flexing apes, and to be honest it was all the worse for it. It wasn’t until recently that my friend’s wife was present for one of my desperate pleas of recognition and casually referred to it by its actual name: Qbasic Gorillas.

I was almost disappointed that it was real. I’d grown quite fond of the narrative that I alone had access to something for all those years, an experience that was seemingly only shared by my Dad and I, huddled around a tiny CRT monitor in the mid 90s.

So have you played Qbasic Gorillas? Maybe. But I can guarantee you’ve never played The Banana Game, its ethereal cousin that existed purely in my head for over two decades.

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