15 Games that have influenced me

jumpingjackimage: Jumping Jack

A few days ago some game designers started posting 15 games that have influenced them, and not one to let a bandwagon pass me by, I’ve done the same! These are more-or-less in chronological order. Of course I could have added many more but the aim was to make the list quickly without thinking too much.

1) Jumping Jack on Spectrum 48K. This was the first computer game I ever saw! Not long after I got my first computer and the rest is history.

2) Horace Goes Skiing on Spectrum 48K. This game came with my first computer and it opened my eyes to what was possible. It wasn’t particularly great but it made me want to play more games and make games too! The Spectrum had tons of great games, and early on I played things like Manic Miner, which I’ll remember forever.

3) Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins on C64. This was such a well produced (and hard!) game with excellent music. There were so many fantastic C64 games I could put here like Cybernoid, Ikari Warriors, Bounder, Commando, Paradroid, World Class Leaderboard, Tetris, Arkanoid, Bubble Bobble, Wizball, Way of the Exploding Fist…you get the idea.

4) Gauntlet arcade cabinet. Need I say more?

5) Laser Squad on C64. This was my first introduction to tactical squad-based combat, and it was amazing. Later on Xcom, created by the same designer really hooked me.

6) Turrican on Amiga (and C64). This game simply blew my head off, and so did the sequel. Amazing use of the technology and a great varied platformer shooter.

7) R-Type on C64 and Amiga. Loved this game, although it was bitchin’ hard. Nearly put Flying Shark or 1942 or Battle Squadron or Slapfight here instead.

8 ) Dungeon Master on Amiga. As soon as I heard the first footsteps and moans of mummies in the distance, my love affair with RPGs began. There are a zillion amazing Amiga games I could list but I’ll stick with just a couple for now.

9) Golden Axe arcade cabinet. When I first saw and heard this, I could hardly believe how good arcade machines had got. It’s still classic today.

10) Doom (I’m not even going to link to this one, because if you haven’t heard of it, what are you doing reading this blog!?) When I saw Doom, I build my first PC (a 486 DX4 100MHz with 4Mb RAM) to run it. Then I played pretty much every decent FPS since, so I’m not going to list any more of those. Although an honourable mention must go to Hexen which I feel really expanded upon Doom in a good way.

11) Screamer on PC. I never really liked racing games before this (with the exception of Buggy Boy on C64 ad some top down racers), but Screamer got me into them. Later on I played things like Gran Turismo 3 which lead directly to me buying a Subaru Impreza Turbo 2000, which was an awesome car.

12) Tie Fighter on PC. Played with an analogue joystick, this space shooter was similar amazing. I’ve never played anything in that genre as good since although there have been some notable efforts such as Rebel Strike on Gamecube.

13) Tomb Raider on Playstation. I just really dug the 3D exploring aspect that hadn’t really been done as well before.

14) Ultima VII Part Two: Serpent Isle on PC. This is probably one of the best RPGs ever and the others in the series rock too. Other notable RPGs are Baldur’s Gate II and Planescape Torment, and more recently the Avernum series.

15) Bejeweled on PC. When I played this back in 2005 I really liked it and thought “I can make a game like this” and so I did. It was called Xmas Bonus and it was my first commercial game! It didn’t do great, but it did sell and make some money, and it taught me a lot. The rest is history.

Wow, making that list took a while and was really hard. Most of those games are pretty old, but maybe that’s because in those days when something new came along, it really was new and influenced a lot of people! There are some amazing games around now of course, and I could probably list tons but I’ve ran out of list numbers, bah!

Also, I feel sad not to have included some classic older games like: Dizzy, Double Dragon, Rolling Thunder, Space Harrier, Streets of Rage, Xenon 2, Rainbow Islands, Populous, Archon, Sim City, Sonic, Monkey Island (and all those point and click adventures), Alien Breed, Stunt Car Racer, Speedball 2, Gods, Flashback, Worms, IK+, Earthworm Jim, Ecco the Dolphin, Desert Strike, Crash Bandicoot, System Shock 2, Silent Hill 2, Zelda Wind Waker, Metroid Prime, Mario Galaxy, Tekken Tag, Wipeout, Resident Evil, Jak and Daxter, Rachet and Clank, Ico, Devil May Cry, Metal Gear Solid, God of War, Ridge Racer, Burnout, Beyond Good & Evil, Final Fantasy VII/X, Super Monkey Ball, Viewtiful Joe, Paper Mario, Prince of Persia, Elite Beat Agents, Hotel Dusk, Advance Wars, Half Life, Portal, Call of Duty and last but not least Farmville (OK not old or classic, and not great, but certainly influential).

OMG I could easily keep going to 100 games no probs, so I’d better sign off for now.

What 15 games have influenced you?
Post links to your lists!

6 Responses to “15 Games that have influenced me”

  1. dawey Says:

    (First time I’m commenting here, sorry if the HTML tags screw up my response…)

    First of all, great compilation 🙂
    Personally, I never had a C64 (and I regret it to this day), but I would definitely include Test Drive on my list.
    And Grand Prix Circuit from Accolade, one of the first games I remember playing as a kid. Then let’s see…
    Number 3 goes to the single greatest game ever created, Civilization.
    4. would be Mortal Kombat, I guess no more introduction is needed
    As the fifth game I should mention Gobliiins, the first adventure I played and that hooked me on the classics (Day of the Tentacle, Monkey Island 2-3, Simon the Sorcerer, Full Throttle… god, I loved them all)
    6. Prince of Persia 2. I haven’t played much with the first episode, which really is a shame 🙁
    7. Fifa 94, I killed several joysticks playing this game. The more realistic the Fifa games became, the more they sucked IMHO
    8. Screamer. It sure kicked Need For Speed’s ass 🙂
    9. Tomb Raider, but on I used to play it on the PC. I played it just before the second title was released, and still I loved it much more then the sequel
    10. Ooops, I almost forgot Doom
    11. Red Alert. I still listen to the intro music every once in a while. I also used to play this with my friend on Westwood Online, long after the world went crazy for Starcraft.
    Which is also on my list as no. 12 🙂
    13. Diablo. “It’s hot down here”
    14. Baldur’s Gate, which is the best RPG I have ever played
    15. New Super Mario Bros for the Nintendo DS. My first ever console, the first Mario game I owned and completed

  2. Laurent Courtines Says:

    Awesome post! I love it. Would you mind if we posted it on The blog?
    I’m not much of a gamer now, but I at least know all these games! You forgot one for C64. Jumpman! Had hundreds of levels, lots of settings and was hard as hell!

  3. Merkredy Says:

    Hi everyone,
    Here is my TOP15 list.
    I am from Ukraine(ex-USSR), so according to IT spread on my side in early 90-?, list may be somehow different that others 🙂

    Nu Pogodi – USSR clone of Nintendo Game&Watch game
    Super Mario
    Battle Toads and Double Dragon
    Wolfenstein 3D
    Duke Nukem(believe or not – I’ve saw that game before Doom :))
    Warcraft II
    F-15:Strike Eagle
    Jazz Jackrabbit
    Commander Keen
    Mortal Combat
    Heroes of Might and Magic/Kings Bounty – really could not separate them 🙂

  4. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Ha, great lists, thanks for posting!

    @Laurent: sure post it on Thanks for asking. Wish I’d played Jumpman, I never did. Will have to emulate it.

  5. Bram Stolk Says:

    Great post. Here is my list:

    It started in 1981 when I played my first pacman clone on a Philips Videopac.

    When my father bought me a ZX Spectrum, the first game I saw was ‘through the wall’, which came with the system:

    First game I bought (for a lot of money (48 guilders), as British pound exchange rate was sky-high): Bugaboo the flea

    I also bought the very first 3D game ever to exist: 3D Ant Attack.

    Then I got captivated by the amazing stuff that Ultima-Play-The-Game could do on the spectrum, and that started with JetPac.

    And Ultima’s first 3d game, Knight Lore

    In the arcades, I was also captivated by Golden Axe.

    I spent many, many hours, fighting the soviets in their MIGs, and with their SAMs in F19 Stealth Fighter. I got extremely good at it: the game awarded me with some high praise text blurbs like “In a rare display of dogfighting skill, Col Stolk shot down 34 migs” after a particularly good sortie 🙂 Man, that was an ego boost.

    Real addiction, and skipping sleep came when playing Dune II.
    Good thing you lose interest after finishing, because an addiction like that can’t last too long.

    In the pre-web internet era, I was captivated by text-based multi user adventures called MUDs. I played the LPMUD Genesis.

    Every game that had a profound impact was from 80s or 90s.
    After that, I don’t care for playing games, because writing games is so much more fun than playing them.


  6. Grey Alien Games Says:

    Holy Crap I remember Thro The Wall. It came with my Spectrum that my dad bought me. I modifed the code (it was made in basic) and made the bat super wide, stuff like that.