Last month, we took a delightful romp down memory lane to revisit some classic phrases from gaming’s past. It was noted by some that the list was decidedly console-centric, and this raised the ire of PC fans who felt besmirched. Fearing we would be Control + Alt + Deleted, we have assembled a follow-up for those who prefer to set the joysticks aside, smashing their keyboard with fervor.
What follows is an adventure more epic than Castle of the Winds, more informative than Encarta, and worth all of Leonard Maltin’s stars on Cinemania. And written entirely on a Macbook, just to make it that little bit more irreverent.
You may be familiar with games like Prince of Persia and Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, but the actual originator of these titles has been largely lost in the annals of time. It was all thanks to the humble Brøderbund, a company started by a pair of siblings back in 1980. Nowadays, it’s merely the edutainment branch of a larger parent company, but there was a significant period of time where Brøderbund was a premier PC software developer in America.
By today’s standards, the games are archaic, even grating, but back in the early 90s? It was the answer to every child’s impulse to randomly click every single thing they could find. The Playroom was like a David Lynch spinoff, with one-eyed aliens, perverse mice peering through the window, and an enormous tapestry on the wall that shrieked ‘yes’ and ‘no’ at you with the slightest provocation. It was followed up by a host of similar click-frenzies, including the Treehouse, a game that taught us the importance of picking MORE money.
One of their greatest successes came in 1985 when they first posited the question, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Hours were spent scouring every corner of the planet in order to finally apprehend the titular villain, and our lives were most certainly richer for it. One can only wonder how the ACME Detective Agency was able to afford the seemingly endless number of flights from country to country, there was likely something shady going on there.