Games of my Youth

July 27, 2020

Categories: Life , Tags: Lists, Games, Arcade, Console, PC

As a kid, I played my fair share of video games - on arcade, console and PC. I thought it would be interesting to write down some of the games that I played a lot, along with where I played them, what system I played them on and what age I was at the time. Eventually I may turn this into a data table, or even just arrange it chronologically.

# Missile Command

I played this table top arcade at the Old Town Cafe on the Isles of Scilly when I was very young - maybe 6 or 7 years old.

# 720°

I played this game on my Commodore 64, which I was given for Christmas when I was maybe 10 years old. It was a hard game to play.

# Jet Set Willy

I played Jet Set Willy with my friend Ben on his ZX Spectrum, back when we were maybe 10 or 11 - it was fun working with Ben to try to solve the puzzles of what items had to be used where, and also get through the difficult platform parts.

# Rampage

I used to play the Rampage arcade at the Redruth cinema in Cornwall on summer holidays when I visited my grandparents, when I was between the ages of about 8 and 12.

# Shinobi

I was a captive audience for this game - an arcade machine on board the Scillonian III boat. I used to play it on my two and a half hour boat trip between home, on the Isles of Scilly, and mainland England. This was on the boat for a long time, so I probably played it between the ages of 10 and 16.

# Double Dragon

This was an arcade machine at the Scillonian Club, a private members' bar on the Isles of Scilly. We used to visit as a family, and I played this game when I was maybe 11 or 12.

# E.T.

I was given a hand-me-down Atari 2600 from my cousin Michael, with several cartrides and two joysticks, when I was about 10 years old. For some reason I became hooked on E.T. and played it for hours, despite how frustrating it was.

# Mine Storm

Mine Storm was the built in game on the Vectrex, and my cousin Michael had been given one of these consoles by his big sister's boyfriend. We played a fair bit of Mine Storm when I was about 10.

# Chuckie Egg

I played this game on one of the BBC Micros at my secondary school, when I was 14. We used to be allowed to spend time in the computer lag after school, which was a privilege we were lucky to have.

# Prehistoric Isle in 1930

There's something about the mechanics of the power-ups for the plane in this game that I love. I played this as an arcade game on a military base at Penhale, Cornwall when I was 14 or so and at the camp as part of my training for the Army Cadets.

# PacLand

I played this arcade game at Butlins in Weston Super Mare when my family went there on a family holiday when I was in my early teens.

# Splatterhouse

Another game I played during my time at Butlins was Splatterhouse.

# Another World

I'm not sure when exactly I played this game, or what system I played it on, but I remember it had an impact on me. The game had such a dark, quiet mood, it felt stunning.

# Flashback

In a similar vein to Another World, Flashback was another game that managed to portray a rich, realistic feeling environment.

# Prince of Persia

The original Prince of Persia was a tough and enjoyable challenge, and I played it on an early Amstrad PC.

# Golden Axe

I'm not sure where I played this game, but I played it a lot at the arcade and finished it a few times (with the help of random strangers, one of the joys of multi player arcade games).

# Rainbow Islands

I loved this game - the graphics are so vibrant. I played this at my cousin Michael's house, on his Commodore Amiga, when I was maybe about 12 or 13.

# Tetris

When I was 15 or 16 I used to babysit for my parents' friends. I took a Game Boy with me and played a lot of Tetris, eventually managing to beat level 9-5 (speed 9, with 10 partially filled rows of blocks on the screen), which gives you a nice ending of russian musicians followed by a space shuttle taking off.

# Galaxians

The Seven Stones pub on the island of St. Martin's, part of the Isles of Scilly where I grew up, had a table top Galaxians arcade that I played often enough that I was able to predict many of the ships' movements.

# Alex Kidd in Miracle World

When my brothers purchased a Sega Master System, back when I was 15, at first they didn't have any cartridges and so the only game available was the built-in game, Alex Kidd in Miracle World. I remember it being annoyingly difficult to play!

# Lemmings

I used to play Lemmings on Zoe's dad's PC when we went round to their house for parties, when I was 15 or 16.

# Sonic the Hedgehog

When I was 15 I used to head round to my friend Ben's house to play Sonic on his Mega Drive - the graphics were so much better than the Master System we had at home.

# Leisure Suit Larry

I played this rather racy game on Vicki's Dad's PC when I was 17 - there was lots of sexual innuendo, and it was all a bit childish.

# Ghosts 'n Goblins

This arcade machine was at Penzance airport, where I often found myself with half an hour to spare between the ages of 16 and 17 on the way home to the Isles of Scilly.

# Super Mario Bros.

My cousin was given a NES for Christmas when I was 17. I remember playing Super Mario Bros. on Christmas day, while I was extremely hung over.

# Super Pang

I played this arcade game at the Crowlas fish and chip shop, which I used to visit when I first met my then girlfriend, now wife, when I was 17.

# Gods

When I first arrived at Welbeck Military College, at the age of 16, there were PCs that had Gods already loaded and I could play to my heart's content - heaven!

# Wolfenstein 3D

During my time at college, the PCs had Wolfenstein installed so I spent a good deal of time playing when I was 17.

# Street Fighter 2

When I had my own Mega Drive at 17 I played a lot of Street Fighter 2, and learned most of the moves for each character.

# Magic Carpet

I played this early 3D game on my friend Chris' PC during our first year at university, when I was 19.

# Tekken 2

I played Tekken 2 on my brother's PlayStation, while he was at Bristol Children's Hospital for cancer. This was during my second year at University in Bristol, so I would have been 20 years old at the time.

# Bomberman

During my university days, from the age of 20 to 22, my housemates and I networked our PCs using Token Ring adapters. One of the games we played a lot of, over the network, was Bomberman.

# Virtua Fighter

I used to play this game at arcades during my time at university, and loved playing as the drunken fighter.

# Puzzle Bobble

During my time at university we used to play multiplayer Puzzle Bobble over our home network.

# Micro Machines

At university I used to play two player Micro Machines on a single PC against David. We both played on the same keyboard, and frequently punched each other in the arm whenever we lost a round.

# The Dig

I upset my housemate Simon at University by playing a copy of his pirated game The Dig and finishing it before he did. This was my first real experience of a point and click adventure.

# Goldeneye

While my brother Martin was at home being treated for cancer, my parents bought him a Nintendo 64 and I took some time off university to help look after him. After my brother died, the N64 returned to university with me. My friends and I would take regular breaks from studying from our finals, when I was 22, and we would play four player Goldeneye to de-stress.

# Time Crisis

I played Time Crisis at several service stations.

# Snake

Like many people, I played my fair share of Snake on my Nokia 3210, my first phone which I purchased when I was 25.

# Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2

When I had returned to the UK after living in Australia for a year, at the age of 27 I purchased an XBox and played Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 obsessively until I had 100% completed the entire game.