Gaming Goes Retro: Apple ][

It’s not often I feel the desire to sit down and play computer games any longer. After 10 years of gaming and development I got very tired of seeing the same crap regurgitated from developers, with fancy new packaging and a heftier price tag than the previous year. Development even left a more sour taste in my mouth because gamers are really a thankless bunch, demanding everything and expecting everything, when they paid nothing. But I won’t go down that road, no reason to rehash the past when we can go back to the beginning, when gaming was golden and the adventures were exciting.

It seems just like yesterday I wrote, Textual Healing, here on T6F, which discusses the true roots of computer games, the text based adventures. In reality it was over 2 years ago when games like Zork, Wishbringer and Planetfall resurfaced in my world. With games such as these in mind I move to the early 1980s (late 1979) and the advent of the first graphic based adventures (I played), Mystery House from On-Line Systems (Sierra).

These games took the text based adventure to a new level. Gone were the images the mind created when you were deeply involved in a game like Zork and now could see and “experience” places visually in games. Mystery House was a very simple game, in adventure terms, but was still a solid base from which other adventures were built.

While I don’t spend much time around gaming related web sites any longer, a childhood friend of mine who I was reacquainted with via Facebook brought the Apple ][ emulators to my attention. Why? Because at the time we both owned these and lived just a few doors away from each other and spent countless hours playing these early computer games. The PC had really not taken hold as a gaming platform and Apple was the dominate computer early on. Yet a game like Mystery House ended up retailing for about $24.95, after the first versions were freeware with a $5 donation.

While I still fancy some of the great text based adventures I have been memorized by the likes of Mystery House, Wizard and the Princess, Cranston Manor and the other titles in the ‘Hi-Res Adventure series‘. Graphically, they don’t impress but they were the next best thing after text based adventures. It gets me back to my roots of computer gaming, which has spanned some 29 years! Mind boggling if I actually think about it.

Currently I am searching through archived games found at and going back to a time gone by, when games were simple, enjoyable and left a lasting impression. Unlike many of the games today that are old news a few weeks later. This is a great way to waste some downtime at work or, if you are like me to kill many hours at home. For those who never owned an Apple ][ I don’t think you will get the same joy and excitement, but I still recommend you give it shot.?

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Back to the 80’s

I knew it would strike me again. That urge. The urge to download new, well old music in my case from the  1980’s. I made the mistake of targeting a popular software repository and happened upon some great albums from the 1980’s by INXS. I do believe they were one of the more distinctive and progressive bands  during the 80’s that helped define what that era of music was about. Don’t believe me, just take a listen to the song Listen Like Thieves, which I posted in October.

So I have been downloading at record pace here, albums from INXS, Madness,  Genesis, hair bands that were one hit wonders and collections of songs that simply have been forgotten. Yeah, I know many want to forget the  music of the 80’s, but I am not one of them. Others claim the 60’s and the 70’s, well I claim the 80’s for probably many of the same reasons other choose their decade.

From 1982-1987, INXS rose to stardom with the albums Shabooh Shoobah, The Swing, Listen Like Thieves and their blockbuster album Kick,  which spawned four top ten hits. Hutchence was at his best during this  time and INXS was one of the best progressive bands that came to the US during this time. Kick would invariably become of the best albums during  the 1980’s.

So my downloads continue currently I am working on all of the albums from the band, Madness, which spawned the mega-hit Our House. If you are interested in ska, take a listen to San Diego local band, Skanic.?

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Listen Like Thieves

I’ve recently had the desire to seek out  and obtain some of the older INXS albums. I not talking about anything after KICK, which debuted in 1987. INXS really only had one more more  hit in them, Suicidal Blonde before Michael Hutchence allegedly committed suicide.

I was working in my garage the other day and the song  Listen Like Thieves came on and brought back many fond memories. I then  went back and checked out that entire album, which was released in 1985  and it’s a great 80s album! The song list includes What You Need, the aforementioned Listen Like Thieves, Shine Like It Does, This Time and Same Direction.

Being  the cheap bastard I am, I don’t want to shell out the $9 for the album.  So I will continue to search out one of the best 80’s albums around.  Also on my INXS want list, The Swing and Shabooh Shoobah, first album  released in the US. Hmm, that reminds me maybe I should also look for  some early English Beat.?

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Star Wars

Since the birth of our son in 2005 I have  spent more time at Toys-R-Us than I would like to admit. I guess that  is to be expected though. While wandering through the toy giant  yesterday I was surprised at the amount of Star Wars toys being marketed  to kids. It was quite amazing.

Star Wars was released to theaters in 1977, since that time there have been five other Star Wars movies in the series along with the animated flick The Clone Wars. The film still stands as a staple in science fiction some 30 years later!

I  remember the original figures by Kenner released in 1977, probably paid  $4-$5 for a single figure, compared to the $9 today. The original figures were no where as detailed as the figures today, but the fact is kids are still crazy about Star Wars.

Going back to 1977 I cannot remember a sci-fi movie or any movie for that matter that spanned a few generations and was still popular when I was 8 or 9 years old. Nowadays even crappy movies are marketed towards kids, with very few standing  the test of time like Star Wars has.

Like me, back in 1977, I am  sure it will only be a matter of time before my son finds the thrill, excitement and amazement that is the Star Wars Galaxy. Unfortunately I  no longer have any of my original Star Wars toys, but the fact that the toys are still being made is rather amazing. At least I still have my baseball cards.?

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Her Name is Rio

Yes, the 1980s were a great decade. I know the same thing can be said of any previous decade, the 60s and 70s. The 90s…bah. Spellbinder always brings be back to my youth and the  radio show I used to run on the Internet called Just Push Play. It was  everything to do with the 1980s from music and movies to toys and events  from the decade of decadence. While I never did video on JPP, the 80s also introduced us to music videos on MTV. Of course that was WHEN they played videos, and not that shit they have on there now. So in honor of Spellbinder and all those supports of JPP or anyone who still lives in  the 80s I present Duran Duran and RIO.

While I doubt I will ever have time to produce another Just Push Play show, many sites still have some of those classic 1980s music videos. Thanks Spell for bringing this music video to us. Who knows what will happen in the future, but JPP was great fun!

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