Over the course of a decade and a half, I’ve acquired a number of pieces of software from a variety of sources. In a lot of cases, I’ve bought games because I wanted to like video games. When I was in college and had abundant free time amid working 50 hours a week, going to school for 18 hours a week (and 10 hours, roughly, in travel time to college per week), extracurricular activities, and a social life (note that sleep does not appear much on this list), I bought a number of games and played them through to completion, including the SSI Gold Box D&D games and Mean Streets, the first Tex Murphy game.
So I bought a number of games in my twenties and thirties because I wanted to recapture a little of that. I’ve played the Civilization series (up until IV; when V came out and challenged my then-PC, I shelved it and haven’t installed it in the year I’ve had a more powerful PC). I installed a number of them, watched the demos, maybe noodled in it for a couple hours, but none of them captured my attention long enough to finish them.
I also tried to recapture my youth a bit by buying a pile of flight simulators. In 1986 or thereabouts, I got a copy of Microprose’s Gunship and played that for hours. Again, with that expendable time of youth. So I bought a bunch of games, installed them and forgot about them.
It became unseemly, really, that I carried this on even after I had children. I did stop from buying them for $20 or $30 at computer stores or Best Buy, but I did occasionally drop $9.99 on them. Mostly, though, I got them from book fairs and garage sales, and in a whole lot of cases, I put them on the shelf for a time in which I had more free time.
All right, that’s not happening, and already some of them are incompatible with the machines I have running. So out they go. Below is a picture and some notes about the games in my fashion. If you’re interested in a title, let me know and we can work something out.
The list includes:
- The Discovery Channel’s Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter
- Broderbund’s 3D Home Design Suit Deluxe 4.0
- Unreal Tournament 2003 Installed and played a couple times on the one player ladder thing. I also think I played a couple of games with my wife back in the day.
- Arcanum Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura Installed and run a couple of times. I created a character and got through to something to do with an airship, I think.
- SimCopter (x2) I liked the thought of the game so much, I must have bought two copies, one in the box and one that was just the CD.
- Vampire The Masquerade: Redemption
- Microsoft Money Deluxe 2005 I actually used this for a while until I switched computers and it was too old to upgrade. I should make a quip about playing like I had money, but that’s not funny.
- Microprose Return of the Phantom
- Any Time Organizer I installed this and used it as a bit of scheduling software when I started my own business. I didn’t like it 100%, though, as its to-do lists really didn’t add that much to paper lists.
- EverQuest: The Ruins of Kunark Never installed. I played Asheron’s Call back in the day, but never jumped to EQ.
- The Dig I read the book in 2004 and thought I’d like to try the game. Unfortunately, I never installed it even after I found it.
- Thanador: The Invasion
- Jane’s Combat Simulations: Longbow 2 Probably the closest I’d find to Gunship, but never installed.
- Lights Out A puzzle game I bought when I bought a bunch of them. I think my mother-in-law raved about Myst at the time, so I got a couple cheap knock-offs.
- Crazy Machines I am pretty sure I got this as a Christmas gift. It has never even been unsealed.
- Sid Meier’s Railroads (2006)
- Cherry Hill Horsekeeping and Training I bought this at a book fair in Southwest Missouri, but could not run it on my new computers.
- Novalogic F22 Raptor
- Pacific Fighters I bought this and a joystick at the time. I’ve already donated the joystick.
- Neverwinter Nights Platinum Remember when this was big? I was a little afraid to try it, figuring it and its online component would suck up the rest of my life. I dodged that bullet, all right.
- Heroes of Might and Magic Platinum Edition
- Baldur’s Gate II The Collection
- Thief: Deadly Shadows
- Niburu: Age of Secrets I installed it and played a couple of scenes, but once I started playing them, I realized I don’t like puzzle games that much.
- Runaway: A Road Adventure Another one I installed and played a few scenes of. I got out of the hospital, and that was it.
- Tomb Raider: The Lost Artifact
- Visual Home
- Dogs Playing Poker I bought this for ten bucks and played it a couple of times when I lived in Casinoport.
- Burpee 3D Garden Designer 3.0
- Clue: Murder at Boddy Mansion
- Mall Tycoon
- Write Smart Student Version A relatively recent acquisition, never installed. I should probably spend more time writing and less time preparing to write and planning to write and meaning to write.
- LandDesigner’s Garden Encyclopedia
- The Way Things Work 2.0
- Zone Alarm Pro 4 Installed a long time ago right when I first got broadband.
- Pitfall: The Mayan Adventures
- Helicopter Strike Force
- Zeus: Master of Olympus
- Sierra Arcade Pack
- Fighter Duel
- World Book 2000 Edition
- 303 Game Collection Bought about the same time as Dogs Playing Poker, I installed a number of the games and played them a bit. Too bad Popcap games came along and ate their lunch.
- Caesar II
- Cruise Ship Tycoon
- Home Depot Home Improvement 1-2-3 (x2) Another one that I thought was a good idea enough that I acquired two copies, although I never referred to them. I need print books to lay near a project if I’m going to do a project. Or eHow.
- Microsoft Flight Simulator
- Seven Kingdoms II: The Fryhtan Wars
- Silent Steel
- Oregon Trail II
- The Journeyman Project Turbo This was bundled with my Aunt Dale’s first computer. It looked cool. At some time, I acquired that computer and its bundles.
- Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon
- Guinness Brilliant Moments in Sports
- Guinness Multimedia Disc of World Records 1995
- Microsoft Encarta 1996
- Weekend Home Projects
- Tuneland starring Howie Mandel
- Mayo Clinic Family Health Book/Readers Digest Multimedia Crosswords/Jump Start Kindergarten Demo/The Kidstory Series The Pirate Who Wouldn’t Wash and Milly Fitzwilly’s Mouse Catcher
- Sports Illustrated Multimedia Almanac 1995 Edition
- Mindscape Complete Reference Library
- Borland JBuilder 4 Back in the old days, I was going to learn Java with it.
- 2000/2001 St. Louis Blues Interactive CD ROM and Screensaver A free giveaway at a Blues game in the era where I went a lot. I might have used the wallpaper on some machine.
So out they go unless someone calls for them quickly.
What didn’t I get rid of? Civ III-Civ V. Monopoly Tycoon, which I installed and played a bit and my wife enjoyed. Forty years of Spiderman comic books on CD. A Call of Cthulhu game. Jeopardy 2003. Cosmo by Apogee.
How about the 3.5″ floppies you’ve had since you downloaded the games at 300 baud on your Packard Bell 286 in 1994?” you ask. Whoa, there, let’s not get too drastic. Besides, those are in a drawer and not where I can see them and be disturbed by them.
So it’s another bit of a loss of an era. The day after pulling them from the shelf and sorting them, I feel a little better.
Oh, and I do want to note one thing: Many of the ones I bought at garage sales I did not install. Some of them I did not even open, just putting them on the shelf. Case in point: I opened the box for Aces the Complete Collection (as I did with all the games noted) to make sure all the discs were in them, and I discovered that it held a couple of demo disks, an installer for Prodigy, a Windows 3.11 license key, but no Aces games. The thing’s been on my shelf for years, and I only discovered it now. Which makes the case that it was time for them to go.