Written by TonyTGD
Anyone who has played video games for any extended period of time has had a game make an impact on them. Whether this impact is little more than a childhood memory of playing with your family or actually crying when a character dies, it is something that you carry with you through your life. Now, after playing games for over thirty five years the amount of video games that have impacted me is too numerous to count, but I am going to try to present five that had the biggest impact on me from my childhood. Just to be clear, when I say childhood I am talking about the ages of 3, which is when I started playing video games, until the age 12, the year before you become a teenager. Should this article get well received I may add another list of games from my childhood or move on to video games from my teenage or adulthood years. That said, let's get to the list!
5: Lady Bug on Colecovision
Lady Bug is a game very similar to Pac-Man, where you traverse a maze eating, in this case flowers, avoiding enemies, other bugs in this game, and collecting bonus items, vegetables, hearts, and letters. The thing that separates Lady Bug from other maze games is the lack of a "power-up" to allow you to kill enemies, a swing gate system that allows you to reshape the maze and avoid enemies, and skull icons that can kill either you or the enemy bugs depending on who eats it. Lady Bug is nothing special, did pretty "meh" at the arcades, and very few people would probably remember that it even existed. Reading that description might make you wonder how and why this game had an impact on my childhood, well the answer is very simple, it is the only game my mother would play. Being a kid in the 80's it wasn't such a common thing for parents, let alone mothers, to play video games with their children and for the most part my mother fell right into the stereotype. However, she would play Lady Bug with my brother, father, and I for hours. So, while this game might be barely remembered by the masses, I will always have a special place in my heart for it.
4: Pro Wrestling on NES
The third wrestling game for NES, it was the first and only one I owned. In the game you can unleash standard wrestling attacks and grapples as well as unique moves developed just for the game. Each wrestler was unique, outlandish, and represented a classic wrestling archetype. My personal favorite character was rule breaking monster The Amazon. This wasn't the first, nor the last, game my brother, father, and I spent hours competing against each other but it's the only one that made my father sneak into our room and practice for hours while my brother and I were sleeping. To this day he still maintains his claim that he faced and beat the boss of the game the Great Puma. Others might remember this one for the gameplay or the good times gathered around an old TV set with friends but I will always remember it for being the one game my father still thinks he is better at than I am.
3: Jackal on an Arcade CabinetJackal is an overhead run and gun shooter that was released in 1986 but did not make it into the local corner store near my house until some time in 1988. My brother would walk to the corner store and pump quarters into the Jackal arcade cabinet for hours whenever we had saved up any money. My brother and I didn't always get along, and to this day still don't, but for a few hours a month we would be best friends taking on hordes of enemy soldiers. As a kid brother who wanted to hang around with his big bro, there was only one thing I wanted to do with him more than play Jackal...
2: Double Dragon on an Arcade CabinetDouble Dragon, a classic side scrolling beat-em up, was the other game sitting in my local corner store and the only thing I wanted to play with my big brother more than Jackal. We would play this game for hours as local kids gathered around the machine waiting for a turn. Day after day we would feed quarters into the arcade cabinet trying to rescue the captured Marion. After what must have been months of trying we did it, we defeated the final boss and that's when it happened...the game didn't end. No, we were forced to fight one another as only 1 Lee brother could emerge as the hero. What started as a journey of two brothers fighting side by side to complete a goal, both in the game and out, ended with two brothers facing off in a one on one fight to capture all the glory! In case there was any doubt, I emerged victorious...and then my brother slugged me in the arm.
1: Sim City on SNESThe idea of a game where you design and build a city isn't something you would think would appeal to a 10 year old boy, yet this game was all the rage among my friends. We would sit around for hours discussing strategies and tricks to get the most out of our city. This was the first strategy game I've ever played and it kicked off my love for the genre. If it wasn't for Sim City I doubt I would ever have tried games like Civilization, Age of Empires, or even Starcraft. One day I will go back to this classic game and finally create that Megaopolis.
As always. feel free to comment, like, share, tweet, or whatever other thing you kids do on your social media these days. If you want to drop your list of childhood games I'd love to see what memories my fans got in their heads.
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