Oldies but Goodies – Infiltrator

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.

Tower Defense Games and Me

I absolutely suck at tower defense games.  If you are not aware of this genre, it’s where you have a stationary map (usually) and you are provided places to set defenders to keep your tower from being destroyed.  Then, waves of mobs come at you and may destroy your defenders, or get stronger so you need to continue to upgrade your units.

One of the pictures listed above is from a game that I thoroughly enjoy – until I get to the tower defense section.  This game is Brutal Legend and is a blast up until that point.  I have never passed that spot and have rage quit on multiple occasions.

The next picture is from a game that I’m trying to beat right now – Royal Tower Defense, the Invisible Threat.  There are over 200 levels in the game, but I can’t get past level 1.  That is how badly I suck at these games.  Why do I still try?  I assume there’s a vital piece of these games that I’m just missing and it will “click” one of these days.

There has been one tower defense game that I’ve beaten, however – Plants vs. Zombies.  I really liked it, too, and go back and play it regularly.  Go figure!

Tower Defense 2

Oldies but Goodies – Acrophobia

Genre:  Word
Platform:  PC

Back in the early days of the internet, we didn’t have a lot of options for online gaming.  There were chat rooms with various solitaire games, online pool was popular for a while, and there were word games.  The games had to be small and efficiently programmed to allow the required communication over *gasp* dial-up modems.

One such game was Acrophobia.  This was a fun game in which you were presented with an anagram, such as ACRO.  Every player had a short amount of time to come up with what this anagram stood for.  For example, ACRO could be Anyone’s Capable Roman Orangutan (I didn’t say I was good at it).  All players would then anonymously vote on the one that they thought was best.  Players got points and eventually, someone won!

Here’s the voting round:

Acrophobia 2

Both my mom and I spent a lot of time playing this one.  It came out in 1995 and lasted for a few years.  I think it pops up every now and then online still to this day.  It was a fun game and certainly was an oldie but goodie!

Oldies but Goodies – Slugfest

While at the Houston Arcade Expo, I discovered a game that I sunk a lot of allowance into when I was a kid.  This table was at our local Shopko (department store), of all places.  It’s Slugfest by Williams, a baseball “pinball” table.  As you scored runs, it would spit out baseball cards.  I was a big collector of baseball cards, so this game was an instant hit with me.

It isn’t pinball in its truest sense, however.  Your goal is to score runs.  You do this by selecting the pitch you want (fast ball, change up or curve) and then you use the flipper bat to hit the ball.  There are different players at the back of the field, and you hit the ball into one of them.  Whichever LED is lit at that time is the action you get.  For example, if double is lit, you get a double.

I have played the crap out of this table this weekend and I occupy the top six spots on the leader board now (see picture above for proof).  The sad part about this table is that rarely anyone else is playing it.  It is truly an underrated game.  If you are a baseball fan, see if you can track this one down.

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!

Fun with Card Battles – Animation Throwdown

Genre:  Card
Platform:  PC and Mobile

I discovered a game a few days ago that has suddenly consumed the majority of my time.  I have played almost 24 hours since.  This game is Animation Throwdown, available on Steam or as a mobile game.

This game combines things I really enjoy – a good card battle game, adult swim (or Fox’s Animation Domination) cartoons and comedy.  The game contains card sets from the following cartoons – Futurama, Family Guy, American Dad, Bob’s Burgers and King of the Hill.  I am very familiar with all but Futurama, but I have seen it and at least know the basic characters.  I am regularly chuckling while playing this gem.

You play with your typical card-battle rules.  Each card has a damage and health number.  Each one of these numbers can be enhanced by combo cards, but you will have to research the majority of the combos.  This can take anywhere from 1 to 24 hours, depending on the grade of card you are researching.  The higher-level combos are well worth it.

There are several different game modes as well.  There’s a guild rumble, quest line (adventure mode), arena and challenges.  There is enough content to keep you busy for a while.  You can also upgrade your cards as you play and recycle cards that you don’t want to keep.  As of right now, you can only have three decks at a time.

The game is free to play, but it tries hard to get you to pay to advance quicker.  I’d be a liar if I said I wasn’t suckered in once.  If you like any of these cartoons, even if you have never played a card battle game, please check this out!  You will likely have a fun time.

Oldies but Goodies -Bart vs the Space Mutants

Genre:  Platformer
Platform:  NES

The Simpsons have been around for a long, long time.  Along their long history have come some pretty good video games.  One that I played as a kid was Bart vs. the Space Mutants on the NES.  This was actually the first licensed Simpsons video game.

In this game, you are playing as Bart and you’re wandering around Springfield.  You’re just trying to go about your daily business of vandalizing the city when you notice that something is off – aliens have invaded the city!  You are armed with your spray can and x-ray glasses.  Using these, you can identify and deal with those pesky aliens.

Many of the show’s gags make this game, such as Bart’s catch phrases (“eat my shorts!”) and his phone gags to Moe:

bart-1

I don’t remember much else about the game, but I think it was fairly difficult as I never finished it.  I do own this one and will likely pop it in my NES some time.