Question of the Day

When I was 10 years old, I got my first computer. It was a Mac Plus, and I used it mostly to play video games. There are some that I fell in love with and would love to play again. Alas, none of them are available to me in a usable form.

The Ancient Art of War (1984) by Brøderbund. This, and its sequel, The Ancient Art of War at Sea, were my introduction to strategy games. Troops consisted of armored knights, unarmored barbarians, and archers. There were forts where soldiers could get a defensive advantage and villages where they could get resupplied. Best of all, you could design your own scenarios in great detail.

Enchanted Scepters (1984) by Silicon Beach. This was a simple point-and-click adventure game about Saber, a hero who must retrieve four mystical scepters from distant lands in order to protect the kingdom from an invasion. Through great effort, I was able to get three of the scepters, but never the fourth.

Dark Castle (1986) by Silicon Beach and its sequel, Beyond Dark Castle, were arcade-style games about Duncan, a prince who must rescue his kingdom from the Black Knight. He enters the trap-filled castle of the Black Knight, defeats his minions, overcomes physical obstacles, and finally encounters the powerful game boss himself. I loved the challenge this game posed to my motor coordination skills.

Hidden Agenda (1988) by Springboard. You play the leader of an imaginary Central American nation called Chimerica in the 1980s. The country has just experienced a revolution and overthrown its US-friendly, but totalitarian government. Various factions are vying for power, and you're in the crossfire as El Presidente. Your goal is to stay in power for three years. This is exceptionally hard, as you face coups from within your government, right-wing and left-wing forces, and American and Soviet-backed agents. The key, I discovered, is to take as centrist a position as possible. The priest, for example, has big plans for the nation's agriculture. Make him Defense Minister. The ex-guerilla likewise has plans for the nation's military. Make him Agriculture Minister. Try to keep both the Americans and the Soviets happy -- or at least not furious at you.

Which old, lost games would you love to play again?

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I remember playing a game on the apple 2 GS called The Tunnels of Armageddon. It was like a predecessor to Dissent but with psychedelic walls.
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@Paul -- it's often true that a lot is still available on the Internet. I've tried to get versions of The Ancient Art of War and Hidden Agenda to work on my home computer, but wasn't successful.
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