J’s Top 10 PC Games of the 90s – Part 1
I have a fetish for top ten lists. Today, I take a walk down memory lane and present my 10 favourite PC games of the 90s.
10: Jones in the Fast Lane
Jones in the Fast Lane taught me everything I needed to know about life (except for that icky, girlie relationship stuff, which obviously isn’t critical to self-actualization, because it’s not in the game). Jones in the Fast Lane is a life simulation game and was released by Sierra back in 1991.
At the beginning of the game, the players (up to 4) had to set goals to achieve with regard to career, wealth, education and happiness (which was achieved through the buying of material goods and goofing off). Players took turns (one in-game week) trying to reach their goals through job hunting, grocery shopping, investing on the stock market, surviving economic meltdowns, getting mugged, grocery shopping, buying a hot tub and getting your salary garnished for late rent payments.
And, best of all, the game is available to play online here.
9: X-COM: Terror from the Deep
Other X-COM fans out there are probably cringing at the very idea that somebody would rank the crude sequel rather than original UFO: Enemy Unknown on their top ten list, but it was through this game that I was introduced to creepy atmospheric isometric turn-based strategy series of complete and utter awesome.
In this game, you play the leader of an elite, multi-national military organization tasked with defending our planet from hostile extraterrestrials. In Terror from the Deep, the aliens are amphibious and launch their attacks from our oceans. It’s up to you to use our pitiful earth technology to defend the planet, capture alien technology, research it and turn it against the aliens and eventually take the fight to them.
Currently, there’s an open source project running, which is developing a clone of the original X-COM games using the Quake 2 engine. Check it out here.
8. Myth: The Fallen Lords
Myth changed how I thought of strategy games. Myth was completely different from the other strategy games of the time. There was no laborious resource collecting/base building; the 3D terrain and exploiting it well really mattered; weather mattered (rain put out fires, for example); the game used near-real physics (most visible with projectiles); and, best of all, the corpses of fallen units and the blood and gore of battle permanently stained the battlefield, making Myth one of the grittiest games I have ever played.
In the single player mode, you were given a set starting group of units used to battle vast, numerically superior undead and monstrous forces. With clever tactics, good use of terrain and knowledge of one’s units’ strengths and weaknesses, a player could defeat large hordes of foes with much smaller groups. Myth is the survival horror game of the strategy genre.
Earthworm Jim made me like David Perry. MDK caused a boy crush. In this third-person-shooter, you take on the role of Kurt Hectic as you try to save the earth from giant alien strip-mining mine crawlers. At the beginning of every mission (except the final one), you are required to re-enter earth’s atmosphere, dodge the anti-air fire to get onto the minecrawlers. This blew my tiny mind.
This game is amazing and my poor vocabulary is insufficient to get the feelings of this game across. And it’s only number 7 on my list.