Oh man, nostalgia, eh? Strong old emotion, that. Really gets into the blood, properly squeezes this intestine, hits the heart, clicks the finger on the mouse. Yeah, it’s the internet, everyone, and I’m about to start talking about something from the past, and you buddy are going to LOVE IT.
You remember the first time you had a PC and played one of the preloaded games for a bit, right? Got a quick boost on Solitaire? A quick float with Minesweeper? What fun they were, these games – what a great way to spend some free time.
OR NOT. Or absolutely not, or red face, bulging neck, slitting blood vessels, screaming (just absolutely yelling) not. These simple games, designed to be fun (as well as to teach us how to use computers), were decidedly on the other end of the scale of fury. The bad ending.
“But it was just a stupid 2D card game!” you boo. Apparently yes, but it took you as long as any other Director of Champions quest would have so many years later. So let’s show them some respect, eh, and take a closer look, while also ranking them based on their propensity to dislodge an eyeball, mid-cry.
At least to the most stressful, here they are:
I never understood Hearts, but I found out early on that if you quickly clicked the offer button over and over again, you … just won? I never… lost? I would play it anyway – see how fast I could click until it’s all over. I think I was… winning it? Still, it’s good to win, isn’t it, and I was, so it was the most enjoyable of all games.
10. Free cell
Obviously, at the start, when it came to cards, I was a Solitary man – why shouldn’t I be? Everyone was. But hey, you, let me tell you this: once you have discovered the true wonders of Free cell, you never lived. This is actually another version of Solitary, didn’t you know, only in this case almost all combinations are winnable. And who doesn’t like to win? Everyone! Everyone loves to win! (see above)
If there is a problem with Free cellis that there is no gain. If you win you just have a stupid pixelated king sitting in a corner assaulting you – no fun card stunts, no exciting messages, just a poxy “Would you like to replay?” Sure you do, but at least. give me a damn cascade of cards before I ask.
It was a relatively easy game in the grand scheme of things – match the cute tiles, clicky-clicky, winny-winny. It’s a fun observation game, and you can take as long as you want, there is no pressure. Until, of course, you hit the last tiles and you realize: I can’t win this, I can’t complete this game – I’ve done myself a disservice and have to repent of one way or another. Like, maybe just throb one temple until your eye is bloodshot or something. Yes, very, very frustrating, but not the end of the world. Just top up and enjoy matchy-matchy, clicky-clicky, hopefully winny-winny.
This game is literally about mines, which isn’t exactly calming or “fun” as a subject or notion, but once you get the hang of the definitely not dangerous game featuring imaginary mines it has the ability to be a profitable investment of your time.
In the beginning, when you didn’t know the rules and you as a little kid strongly believed that everything is based on luck, thus preventing you from winning in almost any circumstance, then it invited stress to speed up. higher. The bloody, cheeky wit the creators possessed to make a game that couldn’t be completed lest you be the luckiest man in history, well, that warrants a screaming table flip.
But then you get older, and you actually search for the rules through two waterfalls of glass tears, and then you realize: oh, this is a real game, with skills involved. Oh. Oh, I can play it and it’s actually pretty fun, pretty calming, fun to play. Yeah, that’s it. Until, of course, you hit a mine and the laptop went down the chimney.
Pinball machine in real life is horrible and shit and every pinball machine should be put in one of those machines that smashes cars into cubes, so that I can send them to a landfill, where they will continue to pollute the earth, just by a much less directly personal way for me. They are bad because you have to pay money for them, there is no endgame and they are difficult because normally when you play them you have had “a few” drinks.
However, on a computer the stakes are much lower – it’s free, you aren’t normally rat-arsed, and the whole thing requires less physical effort overall; you sweat less, basically. Plus, bullets are unlimited on Windows – you can just keep playing and playing, forever and ever, until you’re a missing person. It’s good!
6. Chip’s challenge
Consider this piece of music:
Cool, funny, happy and upbeat stuff, right? Nice little song to go with a fun puzzle-solving game, right? Yes it is. That is, until, as the game progresses and gets harder and harder, that beautiful ditzy melody starts to squeak, gnaw away at the inside of your skull, to BANG BANG BANG on your forehead, to NEVER STOP, to push, to mock, to mock.
This is the worst piece of music ever written, and I hate it with a power that cannot be seen on the surface of this earth – it is inexplicable by science how much I hate this cursed collection of notes that exist. only to push myself into the world’s first spontaneous explosion of the head.
Then, if you lose the game, you hear this:
And there you have it: the medical community is stunned in silence. They found him in front of his family computer. A boy who heard “BUMMER” and his brain swelled to such a size and in such a short time that his skull exploded.
At funerals, only:
5. Rodent’s Revenge
Revenge is an extremely uplifting emotion – putting an end to those who have wronged you is unmatched in terms of satisfaction. As such, playing the role of a rodent and getting revenge on the cats should bring an immense sense of gratification. The thing is, when is revenge hard, it’s not that attractive.
The goal of Rodent’s Revenge was to trap cats by blocking them behind walls, where they turned into cheese, which could then be eaten. It’s fine for the first two levels but then it all gets extremely difficult and hard and frustrating and there are more cats and you can’t trap them and they don’t turn into cheese and there are mousetraps and this rodent does not revenge itself.
This of course means that this game is absolutely not conducive to keeping your left eye in its orbit. I don’t like this game and also believe it gave children the false impression that cats turn into cheese when trapped. Absurdity.
4. Pipe Dream
Any kind of game with a time limit is crap. It sucks all the fun out of what could be a very relaxing and enjoyable puzzle game. Stick a clock in the mix and what was once a fun waste of time is now an incredibly urgent and terrifying battle for survival that I want nothing to do with. It’s anxiety in a digitally rendered box.
Because look, this game could be fun – it’s a simple puzzle that shouldn’t take too long in your day, or use too many brain cells, but then THEN the green goo is released and your ability to think of your feet being whipped out of your skull and catapulted into the desert – you’re suddenly an incompetent jerk and hey guess what, this is what a heart attack looks like.
Jezzball also has a time limit, so it’s bad. But whatever, even without one, that would be bad. Here’s why:
1. You have to separate the balls
2. You cannot separate the balls
Really hard, that is Jezzball – especially since it gives you a comfortable and definitely false sense of security. The first level is so easy! It’s pipsqueak!
But then look how horrible it is:
This is horrible, and this is only level SEVEN! I couldn’t even watch it all, let alone play it. I hate this game so much. It gave me complete body bleeding. A soul hemorrhage. This is – I think – what Hell is like.
I love SkiFree because it is very easy. It’s just rolling down a mountain doing tricks – just a barrel of laughs through and through. So why is he so high on this list? Because, my homies, once you hit 2000m vertical drop, a terrifying breathtaking monster starts chasing you, and guess what? It is impossible to get away from it. This will eat you.
What a way to undo all your hard work – all you had fun slaloming in there, it’s over now, because the monster ate you, and you’re dead. Also, I can never play it again now, because all the time you know there is some hellish monster about to assassinate you. It’s no longer fun, the anticipation is too strong, and it just becomes an existential and inevitable descent into your inevitable and violent death. Not quite what you expect from a video game, really.
Of them Solitary-based anecdotes for you here:
1. I once played it when I was a kid, and my mom called me from downstairs to tell me dinner was ready, but I hadn’t finished a game yet this session and I didn’t. So couldn’t get off until I did. As such, I desperately tried to finish one, but as I rushed forward I couldn’t and started to cry. My dinner has turned cold. I got into trouble. The stupid game made me cry.
2. In my first job, I played Solitary on the office computer at lunchtime. I once took a Thursday off, and just as I would have played the game that day, the ceiling collapsed and the sewer pipe sprayed urine and feces all over it. the desk, the computer and the chair where I would have been sitting. I have now inevitably created a long-standing association between this game and real human poop. 1/10.
Regardless, this game has remained an obsession and the aftereffects are still there – I still regularly have dreams that are just Solitaire games, for example. It’s a dangerous game, it made me cry, and while it’s physically impossible for a digital game to carry a stink with it, this one absolutely does. I hate that.
I love it and can’t wait to play it until I cry when I get home, I mean.
(Images: Microsoft / Getty)