While mulling over potential blog ideas and exploring the depths of Wikipedia I eventually happened upon a title from my distant past. I'm almost encouraged to make Friday a tribute to classic games from the past and call it Flashback Friday but I guess we'll see how it goes.




If I asked the crowd what the oldest video game they remember playing (not the best, not their favorite, but the oldest) of course there are going to be those who say...


(Queue the old man voice)


Back when I was kid, we played Pong on a black and white TV while walking to school uphill in the snow both ways...



For some of us, that might be true...the Pong part, anyways. I do remember playing Pong on a black and white TV. I have no recollection of the name of the system, I just remember it was this nasty barf brown color and the joysticks had a single lever and a small red button. It wasn’t the Channel F system, but to be honest...I've searched Google trying to find it but was unsuccessful. Doesn't really matter...the topic of this blog is about old games from the past.



Thankfully, when thinking about the first or one of the first games I ever played, the game that comes to mind for me is one that I came to love and still tell stories about today. My brother got a Commodore 64 (apparently brown or shades of brown was a popular color back in those days) for some special occasion. Birthday? Christmas? I can't remember...heck, that was too many years ago. I don't even remember where he got the game from because finding games in the stores back in those days was often a difficult task.



So, the game I am thinking about is called...




Welcome to Telengard, brave adventurer! Many before you have descended into the harsh dungeons, never to be heard from again. A few have returned from the cruel labyrinth, telling tales of horror and despair - and also of great treasure and magic.


Telengard is a computerized fantasy role-playing game. This means that by using your computer you control a character whose role YOU will assume. Your character will get the opportunity to descend into the depths of Telengard, and there you will be given the chance to battle fierce monsters and find gold and magically-enchanted items.


Avalon Hill's Telengard was designed in 1982 by Daniel Lawrence and was an early example of the "dungeon crawl" video game genre.


It featured a 50-level/2-million room algorithmically created permanent dungeon, twenty different types of monsters to battle, and thirty-six spells that the player can cast. Players select randomly generated attributes for the single character of the game prior to the start of play such as strength, wisdom, and constitution.


The interface was simple, allowing movements north, south, east and west through a walled dungeon, while progressing through character levels by amassing experience. Experience was gained by finding treasure (gold, jewels, opening combination safes), and by defeating monsters with spells or armed combat. Movement from the surface level (the only level that contains Inns which allow the player to regenerate Hit Points and Spell Units to their maximum levels) to lower levels of the dungeon was done by falling in pits, using stairs, and a Level 5 teleport spell. The graphics were extremely basic, and gameplay relied on text and keyboard interaction. Among other things, there are fountains from which to drink with varying results, a jeweled throne upon which to sit, an altar upon which to donate gold, and a misty teleport cube. Magic weapons, armor, rings, boots, scrolls, potions, and treasure chests are available to players who can find them.


The game had its moments. The random encounter generator would often result in some of the most unusual circumstances, like a dragon "making a quick move" and stealing your magic Elven boots right off your feet. Now that, I would like to see.


You could also venture to the lower levels (the further down you went the higher and more difficult the monsters became) with your teleport spell (to get you the heck out of Dodge when something big comes your way) with the hopes of scoring some major loot. If you encountered a high level but rather feeble monster, you could often fight them earn enough treasure and experience to gain many levels at a time.


It was the "World of Warcraft" of the early 1980s...I am still amazed when I think about how we came from this:


To this:



So, how about it…what’s the oldest game you can remember playing…? (Good or bad)