We’ve come a long way
Recently I was reading an article on Gizmodo that reminisced about old software and the game he mentioned was one that I had played many times. That got me thinking about all the computer stuff I played with as a child that is now way out of date. We had an LC around the house, and I think maybe a 128K with two floppy drives: one to startup the system, the other to store regular data.
As a simple time capsule, here is a short list of old software that I remember using back in the day.
As action-packed as games could be with a black and white screen, Stuntcopter was about flying a helicopter above a hay truck and dropping the tiny stunt guy inside. The more you connected, the faster the wagon would travel, and the harder it would get. Of course, in my search for the best way to beat the system, I would just barely fly above the wagon and connect nearly every time. The graphics were cutting edge, the gameplay was interesting and it kept me busy for hours.
MacPaint brought a paint studio inside your computer for the first time. Use a brush, add shapes and make pictures pop, and if you screw up, the Undo button brings it all back. It was cutting edge in its time, and set up the Apple platform as the creative professional’s choice.
This was my favourite game of all. Shufflepuck was a simple game that involved 2 paddles and a saucer flying down a bowling-alley-like lane. I would often cheat by making my paddle enormous, and leaving the computer with a tiny controller. You could smash the saucer against the side of the alley and it would zig-zag down and smash the glass once the computer missed it. It was always fun to play because the challenge became seeing how fast the saucer could be fired down the alley.
No game collection would be complete without a slightly educational interactive experience. Math Shop let you tour around a neighbourhood where you could complete a number of mathematic challenges to improve your arithmetic. I only really remember the egg counter game, where you would need to count out the correct number of dozens and add them to the shopping bags. There were also other challenges that encouraged you to improve your multiplication and division skills, as well as simply counting the correct number of items. It was interactive, it was educational, and it made learning fun.
The classic beat-the-bricks-with-a-ball game, Brickles was fun and challenging at the same time. Under specific conditions, you would get stuck with a ball that could not move from corner to paddle without losing a life. Frustrating if you were on your last ball, it was a fun game to pass the time. The graphics were crude, but it laid the groundwork for the many similar games that grace numerous gaming systems today.
Games and software advance at a very fast rate, and since Mac System 6, the Mac platform has seen them improve greatly. Here’s hoping the Mac platform continues to encourage intuitive, interesting and efficient applications.
[tags]gaming, Mac, Apple, computers[/tags]