I’ll start by saying that I’m not a gamer. I’ve never owned a video game console. The first computer in our family was shared by all of our cousins, who took turns using it. I did obtain my own Gameboy Advance in a translucent pink color. There’s also a PSP.
I used to enjoy playing simulation games in which I had to design various structures. Looking back, I believe that was my minimalist approach to lego play. Legos are a tripping hazard, and the tiniest, most critical bits always go missing first. Worst of all, setup and cleanup take time away from the game. You may have a lot of fun with simulation games! All you have to do now is press the X button. Don’t forget to save, though! This is the most important lesson I learned from my elementary computer teacher.
Now these are the games that defined my childhood:
- Crash Bandicoot
This kept me entertained for weeks and weeks. I remember there was a version of a Mario Kart and adventure kind. I played this on a PS and a translucent pink Gameboy Advance. I really wished the wumpa fruit was real. Closest thing I got? Fuji apples. But not as neon as the thing on our screen.
I didn’t live early enough for the pinball machine at the arcade. The pinball game I was exposed to was the 3D Space Cadet Pinball on Windows. The sound effects blew my 10-year old mind away. While writing this, I found the sound effects uploaded on Youtube.
When the sound effects of pinball are too much, it’s time to take a breather and play a round of solitaire. I also find the card flicking sounds calming.
- Roller Coaster Tycoon
I would never ever take back the hundreds of hours I’ve spent on this game. I get to make my OWN six flags and customize every little thing about it?! It wasn’t about control, I was about building your own. You wanted a lime green t-shirt kiosk? You got it! Another funnel cake shop? No problem. How many helices do you want in your ride? Sky’s the limit! The funniest part was when I made those crazy rides and people got sick and threw up on the fancy floors.
- Sim Safari
Tarzan was big during the time I growing up. I really liked how all the animals had those lifelike movements and they all fit in the screen. For me it was a cross between Polly Pocket and Animal Planet.
- The Sims
Rich blue UI, the white comic sans…so iconic! I guess I migrated from doll houses that were heavy for a tiny kid like me to get from the shelves and I would get lazy from putting them back.
Looking back, I think I spent more hours on Build and Buy mode than let-the-damn-Sim-live-it’s-life mode.
Ugi ugi oo aga ugi ooh ooh, aka Sims 1 Radio Disco Channel Song #1 was the anthem of my childhood!
We got most of the expansion packs like Movie Star, Hot Date, Magic, University, Pets. I played on PC and fell off the wagon when they started on consoles and mobile versions. Good times!
- Sim Tower
My 16-bit tower nowhere looked like the one in the cover! But I still played it. Baby-me who lived in a quiet suburb thought it was amazing to have a tall and wide building complex full of hotel suites, offices, shops, movie theatres and restaurants. I found it funny when the hotel rooms got cockroach-y. Now I’m kinda grown and I go on work trips, fingers crossed I will never find one in my room!
- MS Paint
Well it’s not exactly a game. But it was a game for me anyway. I felt like a genius the first time I learned how to do a crescent moon! Felt like a Picasso when my first ever drawing was printed on a dot-matrix and stuck on the fridge, until the page turned yellow and the new dog ate it!
- Need for Speed
I am a car-free person and I don’t think it will change anytime soon. Never learned how to drive but in my head, I thought it took lessons because I spent hours on this thing! The soundtrack is amazing, don’t you think? Felt like a total badass listening to The Prodigy.