I remember my parents gave my siblings and I Oregon Trail 3, which was super high-tech and included actual video clips of the "people" you could bring on your wagon train. It also was such a big program that it came on multiple discs. I remember our home computer frequently crashing as we tried to make our way to Oregon.
I remember that this lady was an actress. I usually picked her to travel with my wagon train because she had a lot of money.
Every once in a while there would be a rattle snake on the hunting expedition. If you shot it and missed, the body would disappear and the snake head would suddenly pop up in the front of your computer screen, mouth gaping, fangs bared. The next thing you know, the screen would change and, you guessed it. You've been bitten by a snake. Better apply a tourniquet!
... or else...
We had about three pages of paper, stapled together, containing all the codes of the different levels. I don't remember how far we got, but I seem to remember it was pretty far. I thought there was something like 300 levels, but according to the internet there are only 149. Playing through the simulator makes me wonder if I'm playing the exact same version as I had growing up... There are some elements that I don't remember. (It might be the Linux version in the simulator.) At least it still says "Bummer" when you accidentally die.
Chip's Challenge has a fairly straight-forward approach - don't step in fire without fire boots, you can't swim without flippers, and you need moon boots to walk on the force fields. Keys are color coded and the spy tiles will steal your items. Different monsters had different movement patterns - some even followed you - so you had to pay attention. Both my siblings and I, as well as our parents spent time solving the puzzles of this really fun game.
The Logical Journey of the Zoombinis
I remember my grandparents had this computer game first and we played it at their house one summer. Later, we got our own copy for our home computer. Like Chip's Challenge, everyone in my family got into playing this game and we often had to set the kitchen timer to regulate everyone's "computer time." (at least for us kids) so that it was "fair."
The other awesome aspect of this game was the "hidden clicks." At certain spots in the game there where "resting" places where your Zoombinis could gather and you could save your progress. (Marked by the campfires on the map above.) I remember that there were just dozens of different animations around the campsite that would do funny little things if you clicked on them.
This is the second campsite... I remember if you clicked the three steps to the tree house one would ring like a doorbell, one would cough and one would open and shut like a drawer. If you clicked the log by the fire it would sit up and then inch away. If you clicked the space again, it would come back. The tree trunk in the back of the picture would wash and scrub itself like it was taking a bath, or cough up leaves and acorns and eat them back up, or roar away a woodpecker... There were other Easter eggs, but that's all I feel like listing.
There are a lot of play-throughs available on YouTube, and some claim to allow you to download the game, but I haven't really explored those too closely. Also, I don't know if you would need to run a Windows 98 simulator or not.
This is really only a brief touch on of some of the computer games of my childhood. Some of my other favorites include:
- Treasure Mountain
- Age of Empires
- Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers
- The Rise of the Incredible Machine
- Klondike Trail
Happy Star Wars Day!