My Old PC Games

by Darius Kazemi on June 9, 2010

in games

Sorry about the lack of updates for almost a month! I’ve been dealing with working and moving apartments and a bunch of other transitions. In the process of moving apartments, I found a bunch of old PC game CDs. I figured I’d list them here and provide some annotation for each.

  • Afterlife – a LucasArts city building game where you’re building heaven and hell. I was really excited about this game before release. Then it came out and I didn’t like it at all. I don’t remember what in particular I disliked.
  • Alpha Centauri – simply one of my favorite games of all time.
  • Blade Runner – this point-and-click adventure was graphically stunning for its time, and actually a pretty good game.
  • Cannon Fodder – I actually only played this for about 20 minutes. I didn’t really get it. I should give it another whirl.
  • Children of the Nile – See entry for Cannon Fodder.
  • Civilization II – This ate up a lot of my time. It was one of the first games I ever modded, too, since the rules were contained in a simple text file and the graphics were similarly easy to edit. Hooray for data transparency!
  • Civilization III – So disappointing.
  • Civilization IV – So amazing.
  • Command & Conquer – The first and last RTS I ever really got into.
  • Deus Ex – another of my favorite games of all time.
  • Duke Nukem 3D – I spent many hours playing through the demo, and the full game didn’t really capture my imagination like that initial level did (which was often a problem with shareware: the free episode was often better than the full thing). I just played that opening level over and over.
  • Dust: A Tale of the Wired West – a totally slept-on hidden gem of an adventure game from 1996. The first game I ever played with a clockwork town, where the residents move around in realtime. This is also one of the first games I played with multiple solution paths.
  • Escape from Monkey Island – fourth game in the series. Hated it.
  • Fallout – the third RPG I fell in love with (after Earthbound and Chrono Trigger). Fallout basically spoiled me for every other RPG ever to come.
  • Fallout 2 – I actually couldn’t get this to run on my machine. I played it for the first time in the summer of 2008, and enjoyed it a great deal.
  • Freedom Force vs the 3rd Reich – for some reason this didn’t enthrall me like the original Freedom Force.
  • Gadget – a weird adventure “game” that actually only contains a single puzzle towards the end. Most of the experience is just clicking your way through creepy environments. More an animated movie than a game, it still left a huge aesthetic impression on me.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III (Linux version) – ate up many hours of my life.
  • Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis – I had fun with this one, but looking back it’s a pretty middling LucasArts adventure.
  • IndyCar Racing II – never even attempted to install this. I picked it up from my former boss back in 2001 because it was made by one of the pillars of the 1990s Boston game dev community, Papyrus, and I thought I should own it.
  • Interstate ’76 – this game taught me that style really counts.
  • Jagged Alliance 2 – my favorite game ever. I’ve written about it before.
  • Jedi Knight – Perfectly good game, the shooting and force powers are awesome but the light saber leaves something to be desired.
  • Jedi Knight 2 – In this one they finally got light sabers right. One of the few multiplayer games I ever really got into. I was extremely handy with a light saber and took a lot of joy in dominating a battlefield without ever picking up a gun. One of my fondest gaming memories is teaching Darren how to use a light saber in a series of one-on-one matches. For a while I used to beat him without even swinging my sword — I would just clip him with it while walking by in the defensive position!
  • Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith – Expansion to JK1.
  • Magic Carpet Plus – My first encounter with 3D terrain deformation. I recall this game as a super awesome tech demo with middling gameplay.
  • MDK2 – Never actually played it, came bundled with a sound card.
  • Prince of Persia 3D – Pretty craptacular.
  • Prince of Persia CD Collection – Pretty amazing. I played PoP1 quite a bit, though I never beat it. PoP2 was a lot more frustrating to me so I didn’t get very far with it.
  • Psychonauts – as a blogger on the intertubes I feel like I can’t say much that hasn’t already been said about Psychonauts. Except that for me, the board game level redefined what a platform game could be.
  • Rebel Assault – stupid minigames juxtaposed with LIVE ACTION VIDEOOOOO meant that I was gullible enough to enjoy this game as a kid.
  • Rise of Nations – I lied about Command & Conquer. I actually played the crap out of this game.
  • Rise of Nations: Thrones & Patriots – …and the expansion was even better, particularly the New World campaign.
  • Shadow Watch – If you like turn-based, squad-based games like X-Com or Jagged Alliance or Final Fantasy Tactics, you should play this. It’s not the best in its genre but I very much enjoyed its stripped-down mechanics and unique settings.
  • Sid Meier’s Gettysburg! – I played this one like a clickfest. I just moved things around and I kept winning for some reason. Got bored once I started losing maybe 5 missions in.
  • SimCopter – I have a deep abiding love for this game, which let me fly a copter around a 3D rendering of my SimCity 2000 cities.
  • Streets of SimCity – Same with this game, except I got to drive around a muscle car with rocket launchers. Both of these games turned SimCity 2000 into a level editor for some random 3D fun.
  • Terminal Velocity – incredibly fun 3D arcade-style flight game. Grab the shareware episode here.
  • The Comedy Collection – a collection of comedic Infocom games that I played around the age of 17. Very important in my video game history education.
  • The Sci-Fi Collection - a collection of sci-fi Infocom games that I played around the age of 17. Also very important in my video game history education.
  • The Curse of Monkey Island – Third in the series. I think this is the best Monkey Island game. So sue me.
  • The Last Express – After being thoroughly impressed with the first 10 minutes of the game, I failed to “get” this. Need to go back and play it.
  • The Suffering: Ties That Bind – I won this as a prize for being best at some random QA task during the development of D&D Online. It’s surprisingly good, although I wasn’t so surprised after I learned last year that Richard Rouse III was the Creative Director and head Writer.
  • Thief II – really enjoyed this but I played it at the same time as Deus Ex, which greatly overshadowed it for me.
  • Unreal – meh.
  • X-Wing vs TIE Fighter – My favorite space dogfighting game.


Matthew Weigel June 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm

One of my favorite turn-based squad strategy games – after X-Com, which is my favorite thus far – is actually Shining Force 2, for the Sega Genesis. The first one was alright, but got a lot bigger and more ambitious in the second one, for some really interesting battles.

Darius Kazemi June 9, 2010 at 3:31 pm

I played (and liked) the first one but not the second, I’ll have to look into it!

bobisimo June 9, 2010 at 9:30 pm

MDK2 is worth playing, but it’s a pretty difficult one. :)

Nels Anderson June 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

Heh, I’ve got a massive box of old PC games in a box under my bed too. I may have to drag them out and similarly catalog them sometime.

Go back to The Last Express sometime. The notion of a world where every actor has motives they execution upon, rather than merely standing around and waiting for the player to come along, is still incredibly rare.

(And I think I agree about Curse being my favourite MI game)

admin June 10, 2010 at 6:09 am

Funny enough, that game Dust also featured independently motivated actors! But yeah, I’ll revisit TLE.

Adam G June 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Streets of Sim City and Sim Copter were 2 of my favorites growing up. The music for Streets was brilliant, and I think Sim Copter might be the first game with spoof radio commercials. I suddenly have the urge to play those again…

Darius Kazemi June 10, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Yes! I remember one of the songs in Streets of SimCity and still sing it from time to time…

“You’re the czar! when you’ve got a kickass car…”

Full lyrics at this (odd) blog post:

Roland June 14, 2010 at 1:52 am

Haha, I just did the same thing. I discovered the original TIE Fighter, Alpha Centauri, Alien Crossfire, and Deus Ex: Invisible war.

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