Today's post is about two of my all-time favorite PC games - Old Time Baseball and SimCity 3000.
The three of us went to Cooperstown for my 11th birthday in 1991 and she saw firsthand how much I loved the history of baseball. Old Time Baseball was the perfect gift for me - though I didn't have a PC to play it on until 1997. That meant I had to play it at Aunt Cynthia's office computer. (I also played it at my sister's house once in a while.)
|I still have this manual in my closet somewhere|
This game had features I'd never seen on any sports game - PC or console. I sat at her desk for hours playing with the 'Time Machine' feature:
In Old Time Baseball you could pick any major league team from 1871-1994 and play against any other team from any other year - in any era. You could have Ty Cobb and the 1909 Tigers battle Jackie Robinson and the 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers. Or - and this is the best part - you could have them play on the same team in a fantasy draft!
The fantasy draft feature allowed you to draft from a pool of every single player from 1871-1994 - including Negro League players! I learned a lot about Hilton Smith in particular because he was a steal in the middle rounds.
The gameplay itself was secondary. It's an MS-DOS game from 1995, so the graphics look primitive by today's standards. The ballparks look small, but the backgrounds were fairly detailed. In fact, my most memorable moment of Old Time Baseball was when I had Babe Ruth on my team and he smacked a home run to deep center at Old Yankee Stadium. When I watched the replay I discovered that the ball had disappeared into the flag!
The play-by-play sounds mechanical, and it's often well behind the action. Still, it's a nice bonus to hear the voice of Mel Allen or Curt Gowdy. I found a full game on YouTube and I recommend watching at least the first 2-3 minutes of it to get a feel for the game.
Another favorite gift from my favorite aunt was Sim City 3000 (Unlimited).
|This manual is 224 pages thick!|
Since I didn't have a PC until 1997 the only Sim City game I had ever played was the Super Nintendo edition. I can't say I didn't have fun playing it, but it was sooo basic!
The only way (that we knew of) to pass enough time for a city to grow was to leave the game on all night. But! If we did that, there would inevitably be a small fire or tornado in some corner of the city that would go unchecked because we were sleeping and we'd wake up to burned-out squares of "R", "C", and "I" with few (if any) remaining Sim citizens.
When my aunt gave me Sim City 3000 Unlimited for Christmas I was thrilled. This version was everything I had hoped for in the franchise. I popped it in my disc drive and began building my first city immediately.
The ticker along the bottom always had fun bits of information - some were relevant, some were random - and I enjoyed connecting my city to (computer-generated) neighboring cities.
I also enjoyed the music. Something about that jazzy soundtrack has stayed with me for 20 years. I've bookmarked a couple tracks and they always bring back great memories of building cities and spending time with my aunt.
I'm still hopeful that I'll be able to play this game again, if I can figure out how to make it compatible with the current Windows OS.
Do you have a favorite PC game?