The Dot Eaters chronicles the history of video games with detailed behind the scene’s info, screenshots and sounds, and more. It’s a simple site, but all the goods are there.
Definitely a trip down memory lane for me growing up during the home computer boom for video games. Here’s some of the one’s that really took me back:
Pong! Yes, I really did have a friend (Johnny I think) who had older sisters, and they got a Pong system. From what I can remember, we played it all afternoon but never picked it up again after that. It was intriguing, but not much fun.
And naturally we had to get an Atari like the rest of the world. It’s hard to describe how hot this console was. I remember one of my Dad’s co-workers coming over to play Pole Position on it. The guy damn near skipped dinner and was glued to it all night!
And then after the Atari, we got a Commodore 64! I can honestly say that if it wasn’t for this computer, I wouldn’t be in the career I’m in today. My Dad and I learned to program BASIC and even assembly code on this little powerhouse. But what the Commodore 64 was really good for was games (especially since most of the C64 community actively pirated everything under the sun).
Zork I. Oh… My… God… I remember spending tons of time on this one with my buddy Jason. We had the books, we drew maps and flow charts. You had to because the save feature only worked half the time and you had to remember what steps needed to be done to get back to wherever you were. It was amazingly complex game and the lack of graphics was actually a cool feature that made you use your imagination (GASP!)
Jumpman. Possibly the catchiest little game of it’s time. Compared to the Atari, the Commodore games offered what was considered great graphics, gameplay, and sound. And this game featured all of them.
Ultima III. Before Final Fantasy (maybe not actually) there was Ultima. Being a role playing game nerd (don’t tell!), this game was cutting edge. In fact, doteaters.com has a Ultima III sound clip and I swear it gave me shivers! There wasn’t much music in these games, so what there was, was played ALOT! Considering the amazing man hours into this game, I’m surprised I’m not still humming that little tune.
Dr. J and Larry Bird One on One. One of the very first from EA before they were EA Sports. EA games were a huge step forward in graphics development. Even if the premise of the game wasn’t that intriguing, you ended up playing it anyway because it was superior to the rest. We also played Archon and Pinball Construction Set.
Heart of Africa. Now here’s a real gem that was a ton of fun to play in a politically incorrect manner. The premise was you were an early explorer discovering new lands on behalf of your nation. You could attempt to make peaceful relations with the natives and acquire wealth slowly. Or of course, you could amass an army, start a war, and simply take over their country; which nearly always was the key to winning the game. Good lesson for kids 😉
And the worst part is, my Playstation 2 has died for the second time since I picked it up in November of 2000. I guess I won’t be hitting that sweet tooth tonight. And Playstation 3 is pushed back again until Christmas! ARGH! I’m going to have to find a C64 emulator and load up some old school games!