Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

(This is an expanded version of a comment I posted on Rhett's blog.)

10. Space Invaders

Yes, this really is me, aged 10.
Down nine places to number 10, it's the original Atari classic Space Invaders. Despite my childhood addiction, a freeware version for Windows has killed-off my love for this, which might be for the best, as when I was a kid I fed my addiction with far too many 10p pieces. Only on holiday, mind. No amusement arcade in my town.

9. Bamboozle!

Wrong, back, etc.
The Methuselah of teletext TV in the UK. I used to play this game whilst doing my overnight radio show in 1993, and it was retro even then! Still going strong even today! (on page 390) Quizmaster Bamber Boozler asks 12 (usually) general knowledge questions, unless he's away, when it’s presented by another of his family, or Santa, or anyone really – it can get a bit surreal. That's not even Bamber in the screengrab above (from 4th June 2005) – that's Turner the Worm from the comic strip page!

8. Gran Turismo

Yes, that really is me behind that windscreen
Awesome graphics, inspired music. So much detail that it almost stops being fun. The only thing that puts me off GT is that whoever gets ahead first usually wins.

7. Tetris

Things were actually going really well...
Nothing gets me closer to my death than Tetris. I first lost a lot of sleep to the falling coloured blocks when I was 23, on a visit to Ethiopia in 1986. I know what you're thinking – my age in 1986 doesn't tally with my age in the sidebar. Like I said, it put years on me. Fortunately I had just shed 7 or 8 years, so I was actually about 16 again. Weird month.

6. Uno

In New Zealand I would play this over the internet on MSN. The system kept crashing, and offered quite restricted options, for example you could only play 4-handers. Best moment would be when all four of us were on Uno, and it was my turn to go. It was what I call Unogeddon. And yes, I won!

5. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy

Getting to the end is not impossible.  Just very, very improbable.
Groundbreaking text-game released in 1984. Over 20 years later, it's still groundbreaking! The game even sends you back in time to become a character you met earlier. (an antidote to computer game violence if ever there was one) It's now available to play for free – with pictures! - on the BBC's website, which is where I finally had a crack at it. Have a go yourself here. Just don't blame me if you can't even get out of Arthur's bedroom at the start. (I couldn't) Clue: turn light on.

4. The Simpsons – Road Rage

Goble, doing all the work, as usual.
It's Crazy Taxi only in Springfield. You play a character from The Simpsons, and pick up other characters from the show to drive them wherever they want to go. It's got a few irritating bugs (eg. Rev. Lovejoy picking-up people who want to go to his own house to meet him) but what really makes the games are the characters' soundbites. When picking-up Dr. Nick, he announces "Hi, everybody!" and you can't help but join in. Really needs a replay option though, so that you can review your adventure, especially if it's been a two-player battle.

Herschel enjoys playing himself, or, if he's feeling particularly bizarre, playing someone else and picking himself up.

3. Super Monkey Ball Deluxe

Let's GO!
Ball games – snooker, bowling etc. - but with a live monkey inside each ball. Sometimes they open their spheres to use them as wings. Watch the little fellas drown again and again and again. Ha ha ha. Took all the fun out of the real-life versions for me.

2. SSX / SSX Tricky

I didn't know backs could bend that way!
The original of this snowboarding game has never been bettered. The incredible level of off-course detail is amazing. After 6 years, Herschel and I are still finding heaps of new areas and shortcuts on familiar tracks. This and the characters' soundbites – particularly DJ Ross L's commentary – make this a game a ton of fun, with courses that continue to challenge. Later releases SSX3, SSX On Tour etc., gradually sucked all the fun out, muting the hilarious characters and disabling the 2-player replay option in favour of smoother graphics. Computer games are supposed to fun, guys.

But my number one computer game would have to be...

1. Jammy.

The unchallenged apex of the computer-game industry
This was a PC game I made in the 1990s on my 486 using a package called Klik & Play. Earth was being invaded by double-decker buses, which you had to destroy using a bouncing ball. I obviously wasn't just using the pre-programmed icons that came free with the package, honestly. I used to play that game for hours. Hey – someone had to.

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