Oldies but Goodies – Infiltrator


Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  Commodore 64

Infiltrator was a game for the Commodore 64.  You played the role of a secret agent and helicopter pilot.  You flew missions and performed recon.  However, to be honest, I don’t remember a lot about the actual game of Infiltrator.  My cousin had a Commodore 64 and we would sometimes play this.  I’m not sure we were ever able to get beyond flying the helicopter and would usually crash.

What we did have a lot of fun doing was dressing up like helicopter pilots, using earmuffs and a straw to simulate a headset, and pretend to be successful spies.  We would sit in our “cockpit”, listen to and accept the mission, and do our best to complete the mission.  I doubt we ever did, because the additional gameplay screen shots don’t look familiar to me at all.

I do remember this being a fun game for what it was, and provided two young girls hours of imaginative entertainment.  I went back on an emulator and tried to play it, but it just wasn’t fun without my old friend sitting next to me.  Check it out, though, and maybe you’ll discover a cool game buried under my nostalgia.

Oldies but Goodies – Coaster!

Genre:  Simulation/Builder
Platform:  PC

I really like roller coaster building games.  I have played nearly all of them and I’m about to venture into one of the newer ones – Planet Coaster.  My love for the genre first started with a game called Coaster by Disney games.  This was one of the first coaster sim games.

This game was really ahead of its time.  It was released in 1993 and didn’t benefit from the internet for much endorsement.  I don’t think a lot of people know that it existed.  In this game, you could not only design a roller coaster and put it through computer simulations, you could ride it yourself!  It wasn’t the best graphically, but they get an A for effort.

Coaster 3

You could also have other people test it for you and they would rate it.  I tried so hard to find an image of the folks after they rode it, but didn’t.  Their faces would change based on the intensity of your coaster.  On your most insane (that didn’t kill them), they would have vomit on their faces.  It was pretty funny to my juvenile self.

I was able to find this game on gog.com.  It doesn’t run very well, however, as the speeds are just off.  I tried tinkering with emulation settings to no avail.  Try it for yourself, though, and enjoy the ride!

Oldies but Goodies – Sim Tower

Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  PC

The Sim games have been getting some love (and hate) on my site lately.  It’s usually love.  And Sim Tower is no exception.  I think I found this game by accident in Walmart one day and bought it.  I loved SimCity, so how could I go wrong with another Sim game, this time about a tower?  I couldn’t!

This game was a lot of fun and gave you a lot of different options to customize your tower.  You can still find this game online, by the way, so if you haven’t played it, try it out!  You started with an empty plot of land and you started by building your lobby.  Easy enough.  Next, you built your second floor.  And some stairs so people could get up to that floor.  Now you pick what kind of dwelling you want on your new floor.  Hotel rooms?  Office space?  Condos?  It’s up to you, but keep an eye on your cash flow!  (Hint, offices in the beginning).

As your tower grows up, the challenges get greater.  By far, the most constant challenge is elevator strategy.  You are only allowed a certain number of elevator shafts per tower and if you reach over 50 stories, things really start to get interesting.  You’ll be dreaming about pink and red people and elevator capacities and which floors to set the cars to while idle and WAAAAH!  I actually still think about this game every time I am waiting for an elevator and imagine myself turning pink.  Before you know it, your simple tower looks like this:


This is a great game and I strongly recommend you try it out.  It’s got a bit of humor in it as well and the replay-ability is quite high.


Stinkers – Sim City (2013)

Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  PC

As I stated in my last post, I am a fan of city builders and Sim City.  I liked Sim City original, Sim City 2000, Sim City 3000 and Sim City 4.  So, naturally, I was really excited for Sim City (2013) and even pre-ordered it, as did my husband.

We picked it up on launch day, installed it and…didn’t get to play it.  This game was an online-only game at the time, and Origin’s servers were overcrowded and down half the time.  This was an omen of things to come.  To their credit, about a year later, they did create an offline mode, so if your (or their) internet is down, you can still play.

Once we started playing, we were having fun.  The game does do a lot of things right.  I can’t say this is the worst game that I’ve played, but there were some things that killed it for me.  Let’s start with the good.  The graphics are great and you can zoom in to street level.  It helps you feel more a part of your city.  Your citizens also ask you for help from time to time and you get rewards for doing so.  You have a nice selection of each item to build – for example, there are several different types of parks to add, all with their own rewards.  You have another type of road to add, a multi-lane street (non-highway) which can be nice for traffic reasons.  There are a myriad of special buildings to build.  Overall, this still feels like SimCity, and that’s a good thing.


Now for the bad things.  First, you are severely limited in your plot size.  Their biggest size is way too small.  This was the killer for me.  I liked to make large, sprawling cities in the previous games.  There are so many things to build, but you just won’t have room for half of them.  Next, water is always a problem.  You can still build pumps and water towers, but now the water depletes at a level that I felt was unrealistic.  Yes, this is a problem that real cities face, but let me have some fun, too.  Before 200 years, one of my cities was bone dry.  Finally, pollution is also a constant problem.  I had to destroy a lot of my buildings to make room for more trash facilities (see the small map size issue).

If you don’t mind the small city sizes, then you might enjoy this.  It was just too crippling for my play style, so I can’t say that I would recommend this game to anyone.

Oldies but Goodies – Sim City

Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  PC

Sim City has been around for so long that I played this in 7th grade.  My school actually used this game to teach us about local government and city planning.  I was hooked immediately and spent a ton of time playing Sim City original, often referred to now as Sim City classic.  There have been many city builders since this one, but it was the original.

The graphics were basic, but the depth of the game was impressive.  We were introduced to the three most common zones – industrial, commercial and residential.  It was just those three, but the foundations were there.  Residential folks didn’t like living next to industrial, you didn’t want to overdo the commercial, etc.  Traffic was an issue, as it has been in every Sim City game to date, you needed to be careful with your fire station placement as it was critical and you NEVER removed funds from transportation or your advisor would get pretty angry.

The disasters actually made this one fun, too, as you didn’t have to have YEARS of recovery efforts to re-build.  I always enjoyed making a UFO attack or have a violent earthquake ravage my city.  It was so easy just to plop a new square down and watch it upgrade fairly quickly.

I still adore this game and play it from time to time.  Its relative simplicity compared to the games that followed is refreshing, but it’s still a satisfying game.  You can find this game online through free download or web-based pages.  If you’ve not played this one before or for a long time, go back and do so!

Oldies but Goodies -Little Computer People

Genre:  Simulation
Platform:  Commodore 64

Long before there were The Sims, in 1985, there was Little Computer People.  This was a game on the Commodore 64, but I also believe it was released for the Apple II and Amiga, too.  My cousin had a Commodore 64 and she had this on her computer.  We played it quite a bit.  The premise is this – there are actual little people living inside your computer and they want to interact with you.  Each copy of the game had a different person and all were unique.  My cousin and I named her little person Norbert.

We could give Norbert commands to do things like sleep, play the piano, cook, etc.  He would also do these things without us telling him to.  It was really a unique game for the time that I really enjoyed.  I haven’t played it since, but after a quick Google search, I see a download for it.  I might try it again as an adult and see how it stands up.  If you like sim games and want to see the foundation of that genre of games, check it out!

The video below is pretty funny, btw. This player gets pretty frustrated with his little person.



Max Morton 1

So last week I introduced you to Max Morton, my prisoner from hell in Prison Architect.  I want to give you an update on how he’s coming along.  He disappeared for a short while, which had me in a dead panic.  I expected the killing spree to start in my prison, but a few hours he was back in his solitary cell, sleeping.  Game glitch?  Perhaps.  Knowing Max, though, it was probably something much more sinister.

However, since then, he has been a model citizen.  I even tried moving him out of permanent solitary into general population, and he’s been great.  He even got a job.  It’s been weeks since his last incident and I can’t believe it.  Did he have a religious experience during his time away?  Abducted by aliens and replaced?  Probably.  That’s my guess, because this is not the same guy.

I have since moved on to another prison.  I do reload it from time to time just to check on my favorite psychopathic murderous inmate.

Genre:  Simulation/Builder
Platform:  PC, XBone

I have been playing Prison Architect on either the PC or XBone for a long time now.  I was an early adopter of the game and it’s been neat to see the changes as it neared its release.  The game has finally been officially released to both PC (Steam) and XBone.  I’ve played both versions and I’ll discuss the differences.  If this game has staying power, it may very well find its way on to my top 25.

In this game, you are the designer of a prison.  The game now has a few different modes.  I just finished story mode last night and it’s well worth the play through.  The game doesn’t hold punches on issues such as death row and the philosophies behind solitary confinement.  There were a couple of times that it actually stirred some emotion in me.  That’s good writing.

There is also Prison Warden mode, where you play pre-made prisons and clean them up.  I will be starting on this mode today, so I can’t comment on it much.  There’s World of Wardens, which allows you to download and play prisons made by other players.  I find most of these to be ridiculous and not fun.  I could do without this mode.  For me, the heart of the game is Prison Architect mode.

In this mode, you just design and build.  There are objectives you can meet if you choose to, and they give you the funding necessary to build bigger and better.  After you are satisfied with your prison, you can sell it and start a new one.  You get to keep the cash from your sale and go even bigger.

This game is not for kids, though.  The story mode is graphic and there’s quite a bit of blood and violence in the game.  The game has a surprising amount of depth, however.  You can schedule every hour of your prisoner’s day and there is a tech tree of sorts.  You hire your staff and decide how many and what types of prisoners come in each day.

Prison Architect 2

I preferred playing the game on PC.  The mouse makes it a lot easier than trying to play with a controller.  It’s also hard to read some things on my TV versus my monitor.  The PC version has a workshop on Steam, where other players made modifications to the game and you can easily download them.  I found some good ones there such as a garden.  I would recommend playing on both, however.  In fact, if you like building games, you are probably going to love this game.