Number Munchers (1990)
If you were an ’80s kid with access to an Apple II, you may be quick to point out that these games were available before the ’90s. However, for those who didn’t have an Apple II, the games weren’t available on DOS (and the newer Macintosh OS) until they were re-released in the ’90s. Number and Word Munchers are simple, with players moving the Muncher around the grid, eating words or numbers that match the prompt up top. What do Troggles have to do with math or English? Nothing, that’s what makes them so scary.
Pac-Man is a Japanese video game franchise created by Toru Iwatani, the father of Pac-Man, but published, developed, and owned by Bandai Namco Entertainment (formerly Namco). Entries have been developed by a wide array of other video game companies, including Midway Games, Atari, and Mass Media, Inc. The eponymous first entry was released in arcades in 1980 by Namco, and published by Midway Games in North America. Most Pac-Man game is a maze chase games, however, it has also delved into other genres, such as platformers, racing, and sports. Several games in the series have been released for a multitude of home consoles and are included in many Namco video game compilations.
Most people remember Dune II, a foundational strategy game that would form the basis of the RTS genre in the early-to-late ’90s. But more people have forgotten that in the very same year, Virgin Games turned the iconic franchise into an excellent point-and-click adventure for its time. The characterization was excellent and memorable, with an art design that was on point and a wonderful echo of the Dune universe. I’d love to see someone have another narrative-focused crack at the Dune franchise, especially with the recent success of the board game and the interest around the upcoming movie.
Wild Science Arcade (1993)
You don’t really see games like Wild Science Arcade anymore, even though the idea behind them still works so well. Binary Zoo’s 1993 game had a pretty straightforward hook. You were stuck in a physics institute helping out Professor Blueman’s latest creation, which was basically a small screen with a ball on it. It was effectively a puzzle platformer where you had to navigate the ball either through certain doors or interact with various objects without reaching some kind of a fail state. Some levels, for instance, restricted you to glass balls, so you had to be gentle to make sure you didn’t shatter the ball by going too fast or falling off ledges. You were also limited in how many balls you had, and you had to manage this while also controlling the power, friction and how much gravity the ball could have (if allowed).
It was basically a more modern, science-forward take on Marble Madness. But what was great about it was its cartoon, kid-friendly aesthetic, an easy-to-understand approach to scientific terms and principles, and a very clear, appealing aesthetic for a game in 1993.
Granny’s Garden (1983)
Granny’s Garden originally appeared on the BBC Micro in 1983 but received several different remasters and adaptations for other home PCs so you may remember it looking vastly different. In the game, players were required to rescue the six children of a King and Queen from various fantasy creatures. In one memorable challenge, players had to determine their favorite foods and baby dragons, and feed them each in the right order to free one of the children. If you failed your task, you were greeted by the cackling (and terrifying) face of an evil witch.
Scooter’s Magic Castle (1993)
The amount of education that was in these edutainment games varies, and Scooter’s Magic Castle wasn’t as challenging for kids as games like Math Blasters! or Word Munchers. Scooter’s Magic Castle focused more on simple puzzles and mini-games for younger kids to practice basic concepts like memory and pattern recognition.
These ideas are by Aman So, gaming guest post writer at TCMGuide, mainly focusing upon PC Games that are of Adventure. Action and Strategy category.