Hello dear readers and welcome to Shoot the Rookie! Today I’ve decided to take a look back at some of the games which were important to me during my childhood. It is going to be a real mix of genres and includes several games that I don’t see getting mentioned much anymore, so I hope you’ll join me for this eclectic nostalgia trip!
When I say nostalgia trip I guess that’s not really what I mean. I’m a very un-nostalgic person, so you won’t find any rose-tinted glasses here, but I still like the idea of telling you a bit about some of the games that were important to me as a child and how I feel about them today.
I should note before I start that there are a couple of titles notably missing from this article. Probably the two most important games from my childhood, Monkey Island and Civilization, are not included here because I’ve written about both of them on numerous occasions and didn’t want to repeat myself here. Similarly, Wolfenstein 3D would probably have made this list, but I have written about my interesting relationship with the game before. If you’re interested you can check out that post here!
But what did make the cut? Let’s jump in and find out!
Jill of the Jungle (1992)
Ever wanted to swing through a jungle wearing a swimsuit? Maybe turn in to a frog or phoenix? Have a devastating spiral blade that can be flung at enemies? Well if you said yes to any of those questions then the Jill of the Jungle trilogy might be for you! Focussing on the adventuring of our heroine Jill, we guide her through treacherous terrain to rescue the totally rubbish Prince whilst avoiding axe swinging suits of armour and solving environmental puzzles. Most things about the game are pretty simple, but Jill has a great sense of humour and the game knows not to take itself too seriously.
Puzzle platformers are not a type of game I went on to embrace, but I was glad to be able to finish the trilogy without too much trouble, and the series really sticks with me today as it really felt like MY thing, rather than something introduced to me by my parents or siblings.
Master of Orion (1993)
If there is one game in this list that I wish I could play today then it would be Master of Orion. Kinda like Civ-in-space, you develop colonies, build spaceships for defence and exploration and bide your time until you can reach the fabled Orion star system, where who knows what is waiting for you.
I liked Master of Orion at least as much as Civilization, possibly more because of its sci-fi trappings, and I would implore anyone who likes strategy games to check it out, as the original and its several sequels are available to play via Steam. I just wish I had something I could play them on.
Championship Manager (1992)
I am a massive football (soccer) fan, and for me the original Championship Manager series was the pinnacle of football management sims. Over the course of the series I managed teams in a bunch of different leagues, achieved great things (like winning what is now called the Champions League with my beloved Sunderland), and terrible things (getting relegated from the Premier League with a record low number of points with my over-achieving Colchester team) and generally whittled away hours, days and months of my life in the game.
From a time perspective I am glad I don’t play football management sims anymore, but I will never forget my glorious victories or the fun times spent playing multiplayer with my dad and his unexpectedly amazing Mansfield team.
Commander Keen (1990)
More platforming here, but this time in the form of a kid trying to save Earth from aliens using mostly a pogo-stick. I don’t think I ever completed any of the Commander Keen games (me sucking at platformers started early), and I was actually too scared to do much at all in the first installment because of the weird wolf enemies. Nonetheless I still have very fond memories of Billy and his home made spaceship and disregard for homework, and he was actually a bit of an idol for me when I was little.
Fun fact: I actually got a pogo stick as a result of playing this game… I was never brave enough to use it though!
I can’t remember exactly which Worms game it was I had (it might have been The Directors Cut) but I remember having a ridiculous amount of fun playing it with my sister to the point that it frequently had us both in hysterics.
I know you’re supposed to try to win at video games, but instead we had competitions to see who could die in the stupidest way, and we always named our Worms after characters from Star Trek, which added an extra level of silliness. For me Worms was exactly the right game at the right time, and although I probably wouldn’t enjoy it that much now, it will always have a special place in my heart because of the memories I have with it.
So there we are! That was a whirlwind overview of the games I grew up with and the experiences they gave me. Did you see anything in there that caught your eye? Maybe you played some of these games too? Let me know below in the comments and join me next time for more video game and anime chat!
Thanks for reading,