I had a pretty modest collection of games for my C64 when I was in high-school; mostly due to the fact that my game trading “network” was pretty limited. I only knew of a few people in our small town that even had their own home PCs and, during those years, I didn't have a modem at my disposal.
However, when I went away to college, I was able to network with more fellow C64 owers and I did get myself a modem. My collection of games did begin to grow. I even has a bit of spare cash at this time to buy a few boxed games, as well.
I thought I'd list some of the games that got a lot of my attention, focusing more on the adventure/story type games, rather than the arcade shooter/platform type games.
The first game that comes to mind, in this regard, is Ghostbusters; Not only because I do recall spending a lot of time playing it, but it's also one the first store-bought games I had in my collection. I think it was a Christmas present from my parents, if I'm remembering correctly.
What appealed to me most about this game was the multiple stages the game had for you to play. It was sort of like the “mini-games” you see in many of today's games. There was the map stage, where you had to plot your course through the city. Then there was the driving stage, where you had to collect ghosts as you travelled your route to your destination. Then there was the ghost “busting” stage, and, finally, there was the end-battle with the Marshmallow Man.
I still have a page from my note-book that has all of my game codes and bank account balances of my past Ghostbuster franchises (aka game saves).
I played this game quite a bit during my first year at college. It was part of an early disk collection I got from my new network of disk sharing friends.
This game was more NASA simulator than anything. Not only did you have to keep your astronauts safe, getting them to and from low Earth orbit, but you also had to work with budgets.
I also liked how open ended the game was and how you could design your space station any way you wanted it. But the upkeep! My oh my, who would have ever thought there'd be so much space debris up there in orbit. It was a constant struggle to keep the area around the space station free of roving lumps of space-junk.
I really liked the movie Aliens when it came out; and I still think that Aliens The Computer Game has got to be one of the best movie-based games for the C64. The game play and atmosphere really stayed true to the movie, I thought. This was another store-buy for me and it was one of the rare games that I felt was well worth the money I spent on it.
All of my favorite parts of the movie were in game - and, again, the game play was very familiar to today's “mini-games”. It varied enough to keep things from getting too boring and repetitive. My favorite phase of the game has to be the battle with the Alien queen - that walking crane was an awesome piece of tech. :o)
When I saw Project Firestart in the store, I wasn't sure if I should spend the money to get it. But, the box art looked really good and the write-up sounded like it was right up my alley. So, I decided to buy it. I was not disappointed.
This game has got to be the first of it's kind. I certainly didn't see anything like it before. Today, the game elements that are in Project Firestart are pretty common and are taken for granted. But back in 1989, they were rare in a computer game. The games that came closest to the storyline and atmosphere found in Project Firestart would have to be the text adventure games.
But this game wasn't a text adventure, everything was happening right on the screen in front of me and it was quite creepy. It also had cut scenes, multiple endings, and a pretty good plot. It was fun and I played it a lot. It's a true classic and a milestone in video gaming.
The games I mentioned above are the ones that really stand out in my memory. But there were several other ones that filled a lot of my spare time and always bring back good memories when ever I play them. These include: Space Rogue, Impossible Mission, Wasteland, Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror, Elite, Star Trek The Kobayashi Alternative, and Gunship… just to name a few.