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I will be looking at the games that sapped hundreds of hours out of my childhood with each and every hour feeling like an adventure into another world!
Here is my top 5 list:
5. Sid Meier's: Colonization
“Colonization is much like a more developed version of Sid Meier's previous game Civilization (1991) in visual design and handling, but the two have marked differences in gameplay. Instead of forging a nation from nothing, the player manages the cross-Atlantic expansion of an established one in the service of the Crown. As the colonies become more self-sufficient their subservience shifts from boon towards bane, and to win the player must ultimately declare independence and defeat the Royal Expeditionary Force in battle.” — Wikipedia
Before I was even old enough to have my own PC, I remember my father playing this game on DOS. I would sit for hours watching him play and when I finally got my own computer the game went completely over my head. I had my father teach me how to play and I eventually got a good hand of it.
I, of course, had no idea of the real history this game emulates and my goal was to become friends with all the natives and destroy every other country from the new world. I would be king of the Indians.
In my opinion, this game has aged very well. I sometimes find myself going back to it for a few games for nostalgia. I always enjoy my time playing this game and believe I will revisit for many more years to come.
I feel this game fell into the shadow of Civilization and personally, I feel this tops even the more recent Civilization releases.
4. Arma Games
“ARMA is a series of first person tactical military shooters, originally released for Microsoft Windows. It features large elements of realism and simulation; a blend of large-scale military conflict spread across large areas alongside the more close quartered battles. The first game was released in 2006 and the most recent in 2013. Later games have been released on Microsoft Windows, Android and iOS.” — Wikipedia
Without a doubt my favourite FPS games. I spent countless hours creating maps, playing in various vehicles and as possibly every kind of soldier available. These games really set the standard for the FPS genre for me and nothing else quite lives up to it. There are very few FPS games I will actually play (other than the occasional Battlefront).
Arma gives you the tools to create an awesome, realistic battlefield to fight in. You can act as a member of a team or lead an entire platoon into battle. There really is no limit with these games, their most recent being Arma 3. Though the older games are really worth playing even now, for nostalgic reasons mostly but also to get a real feel for the evolution of the series.
I don’t recommend this for anyone who isn’t patient. You really have to take your time, think about battlefield strategy and overcome your enemy in many different ways. This is NOT a ‘run and gun’ type of game. You will be killed instantly.
For those who love to build maps or simply free play in vehicles then you can spend many hours having fun in this game without ever fighting at all.
3. Theme Hospital
“Theme Hospital is a business simulation game developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1997 for the PC in which players design and operate a privately owned hospital with the goal of curing patients of fictitious comical ailments. The game is the thematic successor to Theme Park, also produced by Bullfrog, and the second instalment in their Theme series, and part of their Designer Series. The game is noted for its humour, and contains numerous references to pop culture.” — Wikipedia
The first thing that comes to mind when I think of this game is patients walking into my hospital with huge inflated heads. Every now and then a loud popping sound can be heard as one of my doctors pops it with a pin, magically regrowing a normal head shortly after.
The game was certainly unique and how I would have expected future "tycoon" games to function but for some reason never did.
Building your hospital was fun, giving you full control of wall and furniture placement. The illnesses were well thought out to add a bit of humor to the game. Managing all aspects of the hospital was always fun from managing staff, rooms, money and patient happiness.
I am surprised another similar game hasn’t been made yet, who knows perhaps sometime in the future someone will build upon this idea. I sure would love to see someone top this tycoon game.
2. Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus / New 'n' Tasty
“The game centers on the titular Abe, a Mudokon slave at the RuptureFarms meat processing factory. When he discovers that he and his fellow Mudokons are to be slaughtered, he decides to escape and liberate as many enslaved Mudokons as he can. The player assumes the role of Abe as he attempts a perilous quest to emancipate his downtrodden people.” — Wikipedia
Abe was a wonderful character. Chanting to possess creatures or even his own flatulence. Every day was an adventure with Abe. This was one of the first games I remember playing back in the days of the original PlayStation Console. Years later I played it again on PC DOS.
I will always remember this game for its quirky humor and the brilliant imagination behind the story. Revisiting it as an adult brought an all new perspective on the humor, being able to understand the more subtle humor etched into the story and gameplay.
The games have since been recreated in a more modern engine and is available now on Steam titled as Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty which I would recommend for new players and old fans of the games.
“Nox is an action role-playing game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Electronic Arts in 2000 for Microsoft Windows. It details the story of Jack, a young man from Earth who is pulled into a high fantasy parallel universe and has to defeat the evil sorceress Hecubah and her army of Necromancers to return home. Depending on the player's choice of character class at the beginning of the game (warrior, conjurer, or wizard), the game follows three largely different linear storylines, each leading to its unique ending. In the multiplayer, players can compete against each other in various game modes such as deathmatch and capture the flag, while the freely downloadable expansion pack NoxQuest added a cooperative multiplayer mode. The game was generally well received by critics and the media.“ — Wikipedia
Nothing pleased me more than walking in from school and putting on the PC to boot this game up. I completed the game more times than I can count as each of the three classes. I just could not make up my mind which class I liked the most.
The Wizard could cast wonderful spells which captured my imagination and took me on magical adventures.
The Conjuror summoned mystical beasts to fight beside me and possessed one of my favourite weapons; the Bow and Arrow.
The Warrior wore wonderful armour which would make me feel like a gallant knight, serving justice and fighting with honor.
While the game is rather short and graphics very old, the story always captivated me. Playing through it over and over and loving it just as much each and every time! Sometimes the quests crossed paths with the different classes and other times maps specific to the class were available to explore.
I will always hold a place in my heart for this game and have wished many times for a sequel but deep down I don’t feel that it would ever serve this game any justice.