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PC Games
This page is really dedicated to the "classic games" of the 1980's as I am unfamiliar with anything released after 1995 and am proud to say I've not touched a joystick in at least a decade. However these games provided endless fun and entertainment in the 1980's and paved the way for the bogglingly-sophisticated and graphically stunning games out in the market have today. If you feel very nostalgic, you can still buy your favourite classic games off eBay or MobyGames.

SimCity 3000 (Maxis)
I have been a fan of the SimCity games from Maxis for years, starting with the original SimCity with a blocky 2D, top-down view of the landscape in VGA. The underlying logic was somewhat more sophisticated, particularly in the latest SimCity 3000 simulation and I found that if one is idle for many weeks without many other distractions, SimCity 3000 can be very absorbing indeed. However, like all games, one will tire of it after several weeks of intense gameplay. SimCity 3000 does well in throwing up the occasional surprise and so there is always the incentive to continue playing and experimenting with different scenarios. My favourite aspect of this game? Seeing those beautiful farms pop up in the distant countryside or cultivating really beautiful commercial skyscrapers. I must be really shallow.

Artemis's SimCity 3000 Page: Screenshots of Olympus
Maxis: SimCity Page

Red Alert (Command and Conquer)
During a particularly long Christmas break, I started to play a copy of Red Alert borrowed from my cousin and was quickly hooked, even though I quickly realised I could never be a field commander in real life; I was far too impatient! Battle scenarios were long-drawn and each level could sometimes take 2-3 hours to complete. Graphics were excellent and gameplay was stunningly realistic, and perhaps it also desensitised one to extreme violence because it began to feel particularly satisfying to run my tanks over enemy troops just to hear the cute squelching sound. Oh, and I used cheats occasionally, took on the side of the Soviets (baddies) and eventually won the game.

Westwood Studios

John Madden Football (Electronic Arts)
If you're an American Football fan and like it for its more intellectual (ahem) aspects, you'll probably like this game. Graphics are simple but that ensured fast gameplay on slow 8086 machines! There is a lot of emphasis on quarterback strategy here and hundreds of "plays" to choose from. I learned a huge amount about football strategy and rules here, and it's really quite exciting to score a touchdown.

MaddenMania - all the John Madden Football games available
A Review in Game Bytes Magazine

Screenshot for Flight Simulator II not available,
using Flight Simulator 2000 instead.

Flight Simulator II (Microsoft/SubLogic)
Definitely the simulation game that kept me engrossed for hours. Scenery was beautiful compared to earlier flight simulators where the horizon was represented by a jagged green line across the screen. Here, I could fly right through buildings, or record my flight and then choose to represent it as a "fuel truck", hence I had a lot of flying trucks in my "scenarios". I even buzzed the Golden Gate Bridge and flew through Coit Tower without a scratch. I never got hold of any of the scenery disks, or I would have probably tried crash-landing my Cessna on Battersea Power Station. Night-flying is particularly lovely and scenic - all those little lights!

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000

Apple IIe Games

The Apple IIe may be long rotten, dead and gone but for many of us, it was our first computer and I started my own long love-hate relationship with computers with an Apple IIe clone and a green monochrome monitor in 1985. It had 64K RAM, a 5 1/4" floppy drive, a creaky joystick and came in ugly light-beige casing. And for me, that was more than enough.

Now you can get an Apple IIe emulator for Linux as well as Windows machines. Here are some of the better-known ones.
Jonathan Badger's Apple IIe Emulation Page has emulators for Linux and Windows. I have tried a couple and they work very well.
Fairway: Apple IIGS Emulator and Games ROMs
Apple IIe Emulator Resources Guide by Alex Maddison

Archives to find old Apple IIe/C64 game ROMs:
ClassicGaming archives, one of the best

The Silent Service (Microprose)
Another of Sid Meier's award-winning simulations. This was a game that invoked a deep sense of suspense and anticipation in me; the tension with which I waited to see if the torpedo will actually sink the enemy ship and the huge relief and glee to watch the distant explosions. To those who think computer games are a complete waste of time, I did learn a lot of submarine terminology here as well as wartime tactics of how to avoid sonar pinging detection. It was a somewhat sophisticated simulation for its time and very engrossing.

Silent Service II Review

Rescue Raiders
Another strategy game that I was pretty hopeless at, but it provided hours of frustrated entertainment anyway for a teenager trying to avoid homework. You're a field general of sorts, controlling an army at the right of the screen, deploying choppers, missile launchers, soldiers, ambulances and so on. Your enemy has the same sort of resources but works from the left of the screen, and the whole aim of the game seems to be gaining more territory and eventually reaching your enemy's base at the far left (and to prevent him from reaching your own base where the game will end).

It was fun while it lasted, but when I replayed the game on an Apple IIe emulator a few years back, it puzzled me how it could have captured my interest for more than 5 minutes.

Download the Rescue Raiders ROM from the ClassicGaming vault.

Ultima IV: Quest Of The Avatar (Origin)
No gamer's collection in the mid-80s would have been complete without the Ultima series. They were the ultimate in RPG games even though at the time, graphics were blocky (see Wizardry I) and a lot was left to the imagination of the gamer. Ultima IV's quest was for developing one's personal virtues - with the ultimate goal of becoming an Avatar. This involved wandering around Lord British's oft-unpredictable realm of Britannia and getting others to join you on your personal mission. Amazingly sophisticated, this was one of the most imaginative games ever designed. I have not played all of the Ultima series, but of those I have played, I regard this as the best, a true RPG classic.

Origin: Ultima Online
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Roadwar 2000 (SSI)
It's the year 2000 and the world (or at least the USA) is in a state of anarchy.You lead a gang and your mission is to locate a group of scientists while moving your gang and their equipment (converted trucks and cars) around the USA. Rival gangs will try and murder you, or they may become allies - how it goes all depends on you. I didn't find this game particularly compelling when I first played it, and thought it mostly depended on luck (and lots of game saves) - I never solved it, but for some odd reason I spent a lot of time playing this after school.

Download Roadwar 2000 from the ClassicGaming archive.
GameWinner's RoadWar 2000 Cheat Sheet

Lode Runner (Broderbund Software)
Not usually a fan of arcade games, nevertheless this one engrossed me for months even though I never did get beyond level 50 or whatever it was, and knew I probably had another 50 to go. Does wonders for your hand-eye coordination. It requires a combination of strategy and skill, and yet the concept remains amazingly simple. There's a version for Linux called Scavenger which is really an Apple IIe Lode Runner clone with different level scenarios, and it runs well on RH Linux 7.0 and 7.2. Highly recommended for a quick fling.

Jason's Lode Runner Archive
Play it Now! The Lode Runner Emulator Java Applet
Lode Runner for Linux: Dave Ashley's Scavenger Page

Law Of The West
Not much point to this one really, apart from practising your prowess at the joystick. Certainly, I almost wrenched mine out of its socket playing this, trying to shoot the baddies before they got me. You play a sheriff and walk around town, encountering a variety of townsfolk from sweet little old ladies to murderous gangsters out to get your hide. Your responses to their queries tend to influence the outcome, i.e whether they go away peacefully or pull the trigger on you. However it quickly tended to breed sadism in me and it became quite funny to gun down people at random. Oops, maybe I shouldn't have confessed that....

Download Law Of The West from the ClassicGaming archive.

Where In The World is Carmen Sandiego (Broderbund Software)
A truly excellent children's educational game, this had me going for a while - and the USA version ensured that I knew every state capital within hours. Carmen Sandiego, glamorous thief- extraordinaire, has stolen away something valuable and your mission is to track her down, flying all over the world, and questioning various people for clues as to this pathological globe-trotter's next destination. This is a laughably easy game to solve for anyone over the age of 10 but the animation kept me well amused.

F-15 Strike Eagle (Microprose)
The earliest flight combat simulator I can remember playing. Goodness knows, there wasn't much of it either - mostly line graphics and minimal sound effects. Still, it was meant to be quite accurate and it was an enlightening learning process, flying missions over Libya and so on and learning how to "jam" enemy radar and missiles. Whenever I hit an enemy jet though, graphics were laughable - just lines emanating from a flailing stick-target. Simulations have come such a long way since then, and guess what - I don't play them anymore! Which is a shame...

GameSpot's Preview of Jane's F-15 Flight Simulator
MigMan's Flight Simulation Museum - requires subscription to get anywhere good, phooey.


Karateka (Broderbund Software)
Oh my, this is probably the 2nd computer game I had ever played, this was appallingly simplistic and yet I spent such a long time playing it, kicking and punching my way to rescue the beautiful captive princess who then rewards me with a suitably passionate embrace. It did not pose much of a challenge, apart from the annoying hawk or eagle which was the only vaguely difficult obstacle in the game. I thought it had beautiful graphics at the time, even though my monitor was green.

Download Karateka from the ClassicGaming archive.

The Bards Tale (Electronic Arts)
Another role-playing classic with an innovative change of perspective. It employs a 3D maze through which you navigate the town in your adventure. You lead a band of merry adventurers through Skara Brae, bursting through doors, revelling in taverns, haggling with blacksmiths and hacking off trolls' limbs, that is, when they are not hacking off yours. This is not generally a difficult RPG game in comparison with others but I never got too far with it. Nice, catchy theme music though.

The Bards Tale Webring - link to all the B.T fan sites out there
The Bards Tale Section: a website dedicated to maps, hints and other BT info.
Download The Bards Tale from the ClassicGames archive.

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