Saturday, November 12, 2011

Games Unplayed

I've mentioned before in this blog that I'm a computer gamer.  Well, actually, I used to be more of a computer gamer than I am now.  Somewhere along the way I became halfways responsible and I spend a lot less time playing games on my PC than I used to, mainly because annoying distractions such as work, family and my home (i.e. the maintenance thereof) tend to place demands on the time that I used to spend playing games. 

But I still do like to tinker with them from time to time, and I'm a pack rat when it comes to computer software.  I keep everything!  Others play games and then, when they've finished them or they tire of them, either throw them away or give them to friends or sell them or something.  Not me.  I keep 'em, and collect 'em.  Incidentally, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool PC gamer.  I own no gaming consoles, nor to I plan to get any.  "Give me a game that requires a keyboard and mouse!" I say.

Even when I used to spend a lot more time playing computer games, though, I failed to finish them, more often than not.  Over the years, I've collected a lot of games.  There's a post on this blog entitled "Clutter" which shows some pictures of my little attic retreat, whence I go to play games, post to my blog or just get away from the world for a while.  Said pictures include a shot of my main computer game shelf (I say "main" because that's not all there is by any stretch of the imagination).  Click here for a look.  As your eyes scan the boxes and their various titles, know that I have not finished most of those.  Know too that, some of them, I haven't even started!  I picked them up because I'd heard good things about them and/or they were being offered for what seemed like a bargain price, but I just never got around to trying them.

I also used to read computer gaming magazines fairly regularly.  My favorite was the now-defunct Computer Gaming World (or CGW for short).  I found a really cool web site called The CGW Museum, where you can view or even download almost every issue of CGW that was ever published in PDF format.  Being the nostalgic fool that I am, I'm gradually downloading the whole collection.

I was browsing through the October, 1986 issue this evening (the pleistocene era using the computing time scale).  The inside cover featured an ad for a game called ROADWAR 2000.  "Hmm," I mused, "I think I might have that in my collection somewhere".  I seemed to recall purchasing a copy of something called "ROADWAR" several years ago, at a small computer store that was moving and therefore selling off their older inventory at bargain basement prices.  So, you see, ROADWAR was already dated even at the time!

I scanned my gaming shelf and, sure enough, there I spied a pale yellow box with the title ROADWAR emblazoned on its spine.  Interestingly, it said only ROADWAR, not ROADWAR 2000, so I pulled it down for a closer examination, in order to determine whether this was the same game that was being advertised in CGW back in October of 1986 or something different.  Well, it turns out that what I've got is ROADWAR BONUS EDITION, which includes ROADWAR EUROPE, ROADWAR 2000 and something called WARGAME CONSTRUCTION KIT.  Inside the box are three 5¼-inch floppy diskettes for IBM PC-DOS or MS-DOS PCs.  Yes, I said 5¼-inch and, yes, I said DOS.  And, yes, you guessed it, I have never tried these games even once.  And, yes, I still intend to someday.

P.S. - For those of you not in the know who are now protesting "But today's PCs won't run those games anymore!" I say, that's what DOSBox is for!

What did we ever do before the internet?

Update - September 25, 2012

Somebody out there appears to have created an online game especially for people like me who never finish games.  It's called You Have To Burn The Rope.  Click the link and have fun!  That's one more game that I've actually finished. 


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