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My Top Ten Computer Games

September 2, 2010

Old computer games have been on my mind lately…it started in Maine. My laptop really can’t play the Sims 3…technically, it can…but on the lowest quality settings, and there is no room to install expansion packs. But…I can’t go to Maine and not have a game to play.

I’ll admit it…computer games are my favorite pastime. Actually, I love playing any kind of game…board, card, roleplaying, console, whatever…but computer games are my fave. They are what I turn to when I need to relax and unwind, take a break from work….they are my nightly entertainment. I don’t watch much TV…sure I have particularly shows that I adore (Bones, Lie to Me, Castle)…but I watch those on hulu when I’m in the mood for them. I don’t sit down and senselessly flip around on the TV. I could easily get rid of my TV, if I didn’t live in place that had occasional tornado warnings.

I needed a game for Maine…but the lappy doesn’t play any new games…not that I have any new games. So, I hunted through my old games. I ended up playing Zoo Tycoon…and when I got back home, I wasn’t in the mood to start playing Sims3, or Tropico3, or any of the other stuff I had been playing. So, I went back to the older games and this spawned me to write this post. These are *not* what I consider the greatest games of all time…they are simple my personal favorites.

Top 10 Favorite Computer Games of All Time

Subject to Change, Of Course

10) Zoo Tycoon (2001): I love the detail of the animal exhibits- terrain, elevation, foliage, housing, enrichment- they all matter. The animal info tabs have a wealth of information on each individual animal- and it is obvious that the designers cared about what they were doing. You get to put in everything from the vending machines to the compost pile to the insect houses. Tons of available “research” keeps the item pool interesting. Plus, the expansion packs let you play with dinosaurs and marine life (lots of sharks!). You even get to design shows for your marine animals.

9) Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon (1997): I’m embarrassed to admit I love this game, but I haven’t read the books. Clearly, I need to remedy that…::goes to Goodreads and adds them::: Anyway, this game is an amazing point-and-click adventure. It is both challenging and humorous…it is totally bizarre…which suits me. It’s super fun. Go play it. It would be higher on the list if it had replay value…but it doesn’t…other than once every 10 years when you forget the details…I’m overdue.

8) Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego (1985): Please note the date, I don’t want this to be confused with the later dumb-downed versions. I played the original Carmen Sandiego on my Apple IIC+. It required you to have an almanac…and seriously, you could wear it out playing this game! Flags, capitals, currency, exports…I am fairly certain no other game will teach you this much about geography, and all that other info you find in an almanac. It was hardcore, but I loved it. Seriously…if you can make a young child love looking crap up in an almanac, you deserve a medal. And seriously, if I had the game and an almanac…I’d still play it.

7) Oregon Trail (Old….err…78? 80?): I don’t think this one requires explanation. It is Oregon Trail, for pete’s sake! I could probably credit my love of computer games to Oregon Trail…and Odell Lake. I have played updated versions of the game…and I’d gladly play the old school version. So…simple…but so addicting…and you use always named your party after your friends…and inevitably they’d get some kind of devastating injury…ah, good times.

6) Dungeon Keeper 2 (1999): I never actually played DK1, so I can’t include that here. This game is clever and highly entertaining. The narrator-type dude really makes the game. Who wouldn’t enjoy running their very own dungeon filled with monsters…and your objective is to slay heroes?

5) Sim Series: I’m not talking about “The Sims”, but the pre-cursors. In particular, SimCity, SimTown and SimTower- all incredibly fun and addiciting games. I haven’t played the original SimCity in ages…really the first and 2nd were the best, and they sort of went downhill after that.

4) RollerCoaster Tycoon (1999): RCT has to be one of the most finely crafted simulations ever. It was magnificent. The only downside is I can’t get it to work on my current machine.

3) ‘The Sims” series: Now, I am talking about my beloved The Sims games. I don’t think I need to go into more depth here- everyone knows I love the Sims.

2) Civilization series: This game series is epic. It is detailed, interesting, and incredibly addictive. It doesn’t get old…I keep returning to it. There are so many ways to play, so many different kinds of victories to obtain…the game is so complicated, yet easy to play.

1) Tropico Series: Every game in this series has been amazing…they just keep getting better. This game is not only fun and addictive, it is incredibly intelligent and witty. If you added up all the time I’ve ever spent gaming, I am sure Tropico would come out number one. Like Civilization, I keep coming back to it.

Currently, I am absorbed in DK2. When I get bored with this, I will have to refer back to this list and see which old game I want to dig up. My current leanings are towards SimCity.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    September 2, 2010 5:16 pm

    Oh, all the old sim games were the best! Sim Tower was one that I would pull out of the drawer every six months for most of my teenage years. Sim-Ant, Sim-Farm, Sim-Earth, Sim-Isle… they were all special.
    Did you hear that there will be a Civilization 5? As usual, it took several years after Civ 4 came out before I had a computer capable of running it well, so I assume I’ll try it in a couple years. Much as I enjoy the newer ones, Civ 2 was the best, if only because of the videos that went along with wonders of the world.

  2. opicana permalink
    September 3, 2010 12:11 pm

    All the Sim games were awesome. I really need to see if I still have some of them floating around. SimPark was also fun- if kind of kid-oriented….and SimCopter was great too. Sim Themepark was the only really bad one, imo, but that didn’t come out til late in the series (around the time of Rollercoaster Tycoon, I think).

    Yeah, the Civ games keep going, but I haven’t played 3 or 4 as much as I played 1 and 2. I liked some of the changes, but they took out so many nice features. I really loved getting to improve my Throne room…That is why Civ only came in at #2…if the Civs just kept getting better and better like the Tropico games…well, it probably would be detrimental to my spare time. :p

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