5 Things We Miss From Old PC Games - GeekShizzle | GeekShizzle

5 Things We Miss From Old PC Games

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We’ve been playing PC and Video games from the late 80′s until now, and it is refreshing and depressing to see how far the gaming industry has come. From the modern Virtual Gaming headsets that are now available, back to the old 8-bit games that we fell in love with, such as Alley Cat and Digger.

Make no mistake games have improved massively in regards to graphics and capabilities, that is not even worth comparing, but we believe something got lost over the last two decades. Something that our beloved old games had that is now missing in all these modern games.

Here’s our list of 5 Things We Miss From Old PC Games:

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1. No saves (and finite lives)

kings Quest III - Remember how many times you fell off the cliff here?

kings Quest III – Remember how many times you fell off the cliff here?

Think back to how you played your first couple of quest games, or even shooters. Saving and loading consisted of pressing F6-F6-F6-F7-F7-F7-F6-F7-F6. That’s pretty much how people were playing games a few years ago, until autosave checkpoints became the new thing. Kill an enemy, quicksave.

You could judge a gamer’s skill by which button he’d hit more, quicksave or quickload. I used to check the wear on people’s F7 keys and give them the nod of respect when the print was still clean. Now of course the games essentially do that for you; every time you clear a couple of areas of enemies, a handy “game saved” notification will appear. You’re free to bullrush a collection of enemy troops as many times as you like, and the eleventh time you recklessly fling three grenades while spraying your assault rifle wildly, it actually works. So you pat yourself on the back for a job well done, and move on.

How cool would Call of Duty be if you died three times and you were done? Nice try soldier, kindly report back to level 1 and get your shit together. I’ll never forget that feeling of enormous pride (and relief) when I completed Contra for the first time. You actually cared about dying, you actually cared about finishing a game.


2. Insults

Sure we have in-game insults in some games Today, but back in the day it was priceless! I guess game developers are too afraid to get sued by poor gamers feeling the game is condescending. Back then you could only stare in amazement at the multiple ways your screen could spew out ways to make you regret your last action.

kings_quest_1 space quest 1 space-quest-death



 3. High Scores


Some games still kind of have this, but they’re mostly casual/mobile games. Blizzard and so many others took it to the next level with in-depth ladder systems and leagues, but the simple fact of seeing your current high-score has gone missing. Do you think Flappy Bird was successful because of the gameplay? The graphics? It’s hard as hell and gives you a score at the end. That’s it. There is nothing more compelling to me than a game that lets me compare yourself to other people. I was a die-hard DotA 2 fan until I discovered League of Legends had a ranking system.

Can you imagine how good Call of Duty or Battlefield would be if you had a little badge next to your name with your exact ranking on that particular server/region? Come on, I know you want that.



4. Patience

There is a general sense I get that every game these days need to be completed in a rush, or you only have a set amount of time to deactivate the bomb, or catch the terrorist, or complete the stage. Modern games all give us a type of campaign mode that normally takes no longer than a day or two to complete. And the developers trying to keep us gamers interest through replay-ability with the release of additional maps, multi-player abilities, or additional levels.

What happened to no time limit? Yes I can run around in a open-world MOBA but what I want is a campaign mode that literally takes me months to complete. I’m not referring to strategy games or city-building games like Civilization. Remember the quest games like Police Quest, Space Quest and Kings Quest? Boy those games took ages to complete. There was a sense of patience felt when playing these game, nothing is rushing me to complete this game in two days. I can sit and play this game, take my time and not worry about the game narrator prompting me to a rush with messages such as  ”hurry to the HQ” or “take this urgent message to the captain”.



5. Difficulty

Tips and Tricks magazine

Games are way too easy these days. I’m not only talking about “boss levels” or generic enemy strength, I’m talking about completing a quest and the steps needed to advance to either the next stage, or complete the game. These days all we get is an increased level which gives you the same boring quest that an 8-year-old can play with only bosses that are harder to kill as the difficulty level increase.

Remember how long it took to make that potion in Kings Quest? Remember how long you searched for the last key to open the door to the portal in Prince of Persia? You needed time, patience, wit and some creativity to complete games back then. These days it is straight forward open door, blast enemies, advance, repeat x 100.

If you needed assistance with an event or stage your options where asking a friend, buying a “Tips & Tricks” magazine or Google it.


We  love modern video games, we just wish that developers would take some cues from the good old games that came before and bring them into new games. The next generation of gamers is missing much of the thrill and challenge that we got to experience as we were coming up and learning the ropes of being a gamer.

What do you miss about old school video games? Let us know in the comments!

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Author: TheFran

Geek, Gamer, Metal-Head, Movie-Buff, Series-Whore, Early-Adopter and Gadget-Lover. GeekShizzle is the digital representation of my mental self.

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  • Bill

    Play indie games. The end.

    • http://Geekshizzle.com/ TheFran

      We need to get more into the indie market… do you have any great recommendations?

      • Bill

        Monaco – top down heist kinda game, Rogue Legacy – Castle Crashing one life to live kinda game (a roguelike)… heck, if you have steam, just look at the top rated ones and go to town.

  • jon

    The insults from the original Quake are pretty good too – “Player does a back flip into lava,” “Player becomes bored with life.”

  • Alan Parker

    Yeah I remember the days when games were actually a challenge and you broke 3 controllers out of sheer frustration but I still kept trying because they were actually worth completing…
    But now people just go on the Internet and know 90% of the 2 hour game before they even play it instead of relying on the opinion of your mates like in my day.

  • thefinalword

    I enjoyed Sierra’s Quest for Glory 3 somewhat more than their King’s Quest games. I also enjoyed spiderweb software’s Exile 3: Ruined World. Those games are terribly dated now, but if you can manage to sit down with them and get involved in the story, you might like them.

    I’m currently at the final battle with Dracula in Order of Ecclesia. It’s the best metroidvania I’ve played since symphony of the night. The hidden levels unlocked from Dracula’s Castle training hall and large cavern are pretty challenging. I’m gonna have to pay attention and work to figure out my way though them.

    I definitely enjoyed the way old pc games were brutal in difficulty. It’s hard to find a game that is the right mix of artistic, adventurous, challenging, and rewarding these days, not to mention willing to make fun of you or your played character as well.

    By the way, you seem to like Sierra games. I’m pretty sure there has been a few kickstarters for similar new games by sierra and other companies. Here’s a few examples to set you in a direction to look for them if you want.





  • mph23

    I miss turn based RPG combat. Newer RPG’s pretty much play like FPS’s, but with some RPG elements…I’d also (and it’s totally possible, with any system made after 2005) like a choice between top-down/isometric-style play, and over-the-shoulder or first person play.

    And I am SICK of ‘achievements’. Seeing on the screen “you STARTED up the game! There’s an ACHIEVEMENT!” is beyond lame.

  • Regor Arness

    Dude, you have to play X-COM: Enemy Within… Get it on classic iron-man or if you’re in for a challenge, try it on Impossible Iron-man. You have to deal with “permadeath”, no saving except when you exit the game… The only thing you will miss is the score system.

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