All of my favorite games are ones available as free demos on PCs from the early to mid 90s. Like, if my parents truly loved me and bought me a version of Dinosaur Tycoon circa 1993 – the game available at the computer lab in my grammar school – that would probably reign supreme as most favorite game, but they didn’t. (to be fair [TBF] my dad did buy me a copy of Mortal Kombat 3 for the PC, which I was obsessed with but never totally got a solid grasp on the combat codes for the keyboard which means I could just kind of wander around the screen as Sonya Blade – who I still have a crush on. Like…a big crush on).
Hold on – I found an image of the aforementioned dinosaur game, which I guess was actually called DinoPark Tycoon and now my childhood memories are in a tailspin because 1. I never got the name right, which means that I NEVER spelled it right when requesting it on my Christmas lists and 2. I really wanna play this jawn now.
Okay, back to my main point, I really love/d demo games for the PC. I dominated the demo games. I attribute that domination to months of boredom and a lack of shame for not realizing that to land safely in the first frame of Prince of Persia you had to dangle from the fucking lip of the pit to get onto the concrete below instead of just hurtling oneself down time and time and time again until accidentally your little prince dangles and you drop safely.
You don’t even want to KNOW how long figuring out the spike situation took me.
I actually know nothing about the rest of that ^ game, because my family never advanced beyond free demos during the early days of computers. And because of that I always thought that computer games ended in a black screen with me winning because you could no longer advance.
Like…I thought Prince of Persia was done once you defeated the very first boss, and to get to that boss it took me well over a year.
There were other iterations of demo games in the early to mids: frogger, and…something else, I don’t remember.
But time goes on, and eventually my family came to embrace the PC games of the day: Myst, Where in the World (or USA) is Carmen San Diego?, the aforementioned Mortal Kombat 3. And then demo games just ended up living fondly in my memory.
Until I got an Acer laptop circa 2009, and bless that sweet marvelous. It came with hella demo games.
There was an Agatha Christie-like mystery game
And numerous puzzle games
A first person shooter game
Something having to do with making cakes
A cornucopia of games. I felt like Don Draper getting to choose from my pick of honeys.
JK. I never feel like Don Draper, I’m just watching Mad Men while I write this.
But the shitty thing about these demos is that once you finished the demo’ed version once, you could never play it again unless you purchase said game. And since this computer is ancient by modern computer standards, these games are essentially just dust in the machine.
What. The. Horsey. Sauce.
It’s been years since I scrolled through the archives of the Acer demo games, only to find one, recently, that I never played.
So I started to play it. Only to discover (pretty quickly) that maybe this game was a little less magical than one would hope for in a diversion. As it had such exciting options as:
* seeing your crop turn to ash during a brutal winter
* bargaining with your neighbor for scant food supplies
* trying to barter with a town market to take the yield from your crops and having to settle for less than what they’re worth
* and such real life excitement, as:
So just as quickly, I stopped playing this game because the above co-pay is even more expensive than my actual one.
I’ll tell you what, Health Care Depression (or whatever this game is called) is way less fun than trying to jump over spikes for six months only to find some dude with a sword waiting for you once you finally figure it out. Particularly, when I have to ask myself eerie questions, like: “do I have enough money to satisfy this medical appointment?” (I didn’t).
So, I downloaded this ol’ jawner today instead of continuing with the evil demo reflection of, these, our miserable modern times.
Especially, when I can finally re-play a game where certain blocks of cement open up cage partitions instead.
Fuck a spike death.