I haven’t added to the blog in awhile.  Usually that means I’m in a creative void (it happens), but sometimes it means I’m distracted by cool computer games.

I’ve been playing games since I first got a computer in 1994.  Lord only knows how many hours I’ve spent on them, but it’s probably millions.  Here are some of my favorites.  NOTE: I’m a sucker for a good strategy/sim/tycoon game.  And you’ll notice many of these are from the 90’s.



Futuristic version of the Warcraft games.  While I sunk a ton of time into Warcraft 2, Starcraft is one of the best real-time strategy (RTS) games I’ve ever played, with three different races and lots of cool units and upgrades.


Fairy Godmother Tycoon

I know, sounds like a kid’s game.  But it’s a very fun tycoon sim where you sell potions to town inhabitants with various weird ailments.  Funny fairytale references throughout.


Simcity 2000

Great city-building sim.  I learned a lot about city planning from this game.  No real objective, just build a metropolis — and you can send aliens to destroy your creation.


Tropico 3 & 4

Basically a city-building sim, but with a twist: you’re the dictator of a banana republic island.  Tropico 4 has slightly better graphics than 3, but they’re both great.  Grow and export food and products, get mines and logging industry going, quell rebel attacks, keep your inhabitants happy, and win elections to continue being El Presidente.  You can also issue insane megalomaniac edicts just for the hell of it.


All My Gods

Simple resource-gathering city-building game.  Clear land, explore ruins, grow food, and build structures to keep all the gods happy.


Chocolatier: Decadence by Design

Pretty basic graphics and gameplay, but a challenging and unique game.  Your goal is to take charge of an international chocolate company, and you traverse the globe to buy ingredients and manufacture chocolate bars, coffee, and other delicacies.  I like the arcade-style way you set your factory production.


Dungeon Keeper 2

A groovy variation of the resource-gathering/building game: you’re an evil master of a dungeon and control your minions.  Dig for gold and build rooms to attract monsters to protect your underground lair from the intruding good guys.


Master of Magic

A turn-based 4x game (expand, explore, exploit, exterminate) that’s very fun and relies heavily on building up magic spell-casting points.  Simple graphics, great gameplay.


Heroes of Might and Magic 3

I just recently discovered this and hoo-boy, is it a blast.  Turn-based strategy with a fantasy setting.  Build up fantastical troops and take over everything.  Fun fact: while I avoid using cheat codes, all cheat codes in this game are lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.


Grand Theft Auto III/GTA Vice City

This franchise is a money-making machine.  I haven’t played the newer ones, but these are great to play when you’re drunk and want to take out aggression by jacking and wrecking cars and running over people.


Duke Nukem 3D

I’m not really into first-person shooters, but I did enjoy Doom, and this game takes it a step further by cranking up the humor element.  How can you not love Duke looking in the mirror and saying, “Damn, I’m lookin’ good”?


Rollercoaster Tycoon 3

Easily one of my favorite tycoon games.   Build the perfect amusement part complete with thrill/kiddie/gentle rides, food and souvenir stands, and of course rollercoasters.   Hire entertainers and mechanics, and janitors to clean up the puke.  The coolest parts are designing your own coasters and getting to ride the rides.


Master of Orion 2

Another 4x game, set in space, where you take over the universe.  I’ve also played the original MOO and MOO3, but this is my favorite.


Command & Conquer, C&C Red Alert

Along with Warcraft, C&C revolutionized the RTS genre.   Play as either the good guys or the bad guys, with cool storylines throughout.  Build armies and go kick ass.  Online play chat spawned the old meme: “Im in ur base, killin ur doodz.”


Sid Meier’s Pirates!

This was originally on the NES way back when, but got updated for the PC about 10 years ago.  It’s hard to describe, and there’s kind of an objective, but mainly you sail around a map of the Caribbean and sink and plunder ships and towns.  There’s swashbuckling action, but you also have to excel at dancing if the town’s mayor’s daughter asks you to the ball.


Civilization IV

I haven’t played Civ V, but this is simply a fantastic turn-based 4x game with lots of cool features.  I’ve sunk a load of time into this.



A very old resource–gathering economic game.  A friend in college had this, and I must’ve driven him nuts with all my requests to play.


Plants vs. Zombies

I enjoy the occasional tower defense game, and this one not only has great gameplay, but also a great sense of humor.  You plop down aggressive plants to defend your house as the increasingly-tough zombies shamble into your yard uttering, “braaains.”



Old horse-racing sim.   You get to bet on races as well as claim and buy horses.  Pretty basic graphics, but a very fun game.


Total Annihilation

Another blow-em-up RTS game.  This is one of the best as far as sheer mayhem, explosions, and body count (or, in this case, robot count).


Theme Park

Came out way before Rollercoaster Tycoon 3, but still a fun amusement-park sim.  Followed by Theme Hospital, which isn’t nearly as fun.



One of the best hack n’ slash dungeon role-playing games.  Gather resources and artifacts, fight monsters, level up.  A recent incarnation is Torchlight, another addictive game.


X-Com: UFO Defense

God, what a frustratingly awesome game.  It came out in 1994, and I had to buy the strategy guide to get through it – and I think I beat it once.  The premise:  aliens are invading earth, and you’re in charge of eliminating/controlling them.  The turn-based battles can get depressing when 70% of your soldiers get whacked.  You win by building a ship that can travel to Mars, where you fight the big boss on his own turf.   But once you land on Mars, half your guys go berserk and start randomly shooting while still inside the ship, leaving you with just a few guys to do the big battle.  Still, a very complex game for the time, and always on web lists of “greatest PC games of all time.”