The National Game Registry just released its profile on the Commodore 64 which gives me an opportunity to talk a bit about my personal experiences with this machine. See, the C64 is actually the computer I grew up with and it was also my gaming system until I was about 10 or 11. Even though I had fun with the games we had, I spent most of my time begging for an NES. The C64 didn’t really market its games at kids or in the same places that Nintendo, Atari, or SEGA advertised so I never really knew what the hot C64 games were. Our collection was completely dependent on what my dad saw fit to bring home. As for my dad, he was actually a member of some nerdy Commodore 64 computer club that I would sometimes visit. But I was like 7 and young so I was mostly bored. My dad actually used the computer for to work from home and he even had a modem that he used to somehow communicate with a server at the office. Pretty impressive since we’re talking about like 1987 or so.
Some of the games we had that made the biggest impression on me:
Q*bert – one of the few big-name games we had. It was a cartridge game and played very well.
Frogger – another name brand game. A good port (from what I remember).
Ghostbusters – this infamous game was originally released for the C64 and then ported over to everything from Atari 2600 to NES. Depending on who you ask, this game is either brilliant or awful. I wasn’t very particular as a kid and I loved the Ghostbusters so I loved this game. This is also the game that taught me about the concept of franchising a business (in the game you start a Ghostbusters franchise – I had to ask my dad, ‘What’s a franchise?’)
Cave of the Word Wizard – in this game you wander around some cave jumping over creepy animals. Every once in awhile this prick appears and, using digitized speech, orders you to spell some word.
The Hobbit – ever since I saw the Rankin-Bass ‘The Hobbit’ animated TV movie I thought Da Hobbit was pretty cool. My dad brought this game home one day but it was way over my head. It was a text adventure that (thankfully) had graphics to represent your surroundings. You moved around and explored by typing commands like ‘look west’ and then the game would say ‘you see a window’. Then you type ‘examine window’ and it says ‘there is a crack in the grass’. Those are not real examples but that’s the idea. I didn’t get very far but I remember it well.
unknown – We had a game in which your job was to brush and floss teeth. It was not the slightly famous Activision game, Plaque Attack, but I don’t remember the name.
unknown – another game I played a lot involved shooting down flying saucers that are attempting to attack the White House.