A GoG.com Appreciation Post & Wishlist
Before I get into the meat of this post, I want to take a moment to gush about how amazing GoG.com is for us nostalgic gamers of a certain age. Games I never thought I’d play again, like Shivers, Phantasmagoria, and Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom are all available on GoG.com, are DRM free, and most importantly, they just WORK.
My GoG library doesn’t even come close to my Steam library, but I love what they do, and I always check there first when older games make their digital debut.
While I certainly have no shortage of things to play, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about games I played in my teens and twenties that I wish I could spend an evening or two with again.
I’ll start with the ones that you’ve probably heard of – all of these games were either very popular in their day, or have a cult following or both.
Black & White was overly ambitious, and clunky, and is still the best god game I’ve ever played. I certainly never even came close to finishing it, but I spent way too many hours teaching my tiger how to be NICE to people, and not do awful things when I have my back turned – like eating the peasants.
The original Zoo Tycoon was everything a dedicated micro-manager could want in a game. Unlike many people, I didn’t release the lions on my unsuspecting zoo guests – I was too busy trying to figure out exactly how many trees I needed to put into each critter’s habitat to make them blissfully happy. I even took notes. Lots of notes.
The Sims – the original game – was like nothing we’d ever seen before. I mean, sure, it also was one of the first games to suffer from the now all-too-common expac bloat, but at least it pre-dated stuff packs, and I would love to buy it and load it up one more time.
Silent Hill 2 was creepy and terrifying and I just kept playing it because the story wouldn’t let me stop. Now, to be clear, I’d love to play the whole series on PC (despite never having played any of the others to completion), but if I had to pick, it’d be SH2 every time.
American McGee’s Alice maybe should be in the “games you’ve heard of” category instead of the “games you never knew about” one, but I’m continually surprised how many people don’t know that there was a game before Madness Returns, which last I checked, was also pretty hard to get nowadays. I’d love to play both of these back to back – by the time I picked up the sequel, my discs for the original were nowhere to be found.
I never got into Myst, and similar games, but the maddeningly difficult puzzles in Jewels of the Oracle were right up my alley. Sure, some weren’t that hard, but the ones that were? There was no better feeling than finally figuring it out, and collecting that shiny gem for your trouble. While I would be thrilled just to get the original game working on a modern system, I also wouldn’t complain about a graphical remaster, provided they left the puzzles alone.
Virtual Resort: Spring Break – otherwise known as Beach Life – was a fantastic little tycoon game with a rather twisted sense of humor. Changing the type of beer you served led to completely different effects in your patrons, and more than once, success hinged on not letting too many tourists get eaten by sharks.
Finally, I’d love to be able to play Survival: The Ultimate Challenge again. I suspect that it wasn’t a terribly good game, but I really liked the idea of helping a group of … well, idiots for the most part … survive after a shipwreck. This game pops up in my memory every now and then, but I was recently reminded of it while playing Seeds of Resilience, and I’d love to get the chance to see how closely the two really play.
Sometimes, I just browse through GoG.com’s Community Wishlist to see what games others are remember fondly, and I’d love to hear about the games you’d love to see make their digital debut.