Twenty years ago yesterday, Wolfenstein 3D appeared and almost immediately became a classic. It helped lay the groundwork for today’s ubiquitous first-person shooter games. In celebration, Bethesda Software is even letting people play the game for free online.
However, for some of us old-timers, Wolfenstein 3D seemed too good. I remember when it came out, how much I wish I still had my Apple //e so that I could go play the 2D awesomeness of the original Castle Wolfenstein, which came out in 1981:
Or better yet, Beyond Castle Wolfenstein:
Ah, the memories. The hypnotic tikky tikky tikky tikky tikky tikky tikky tikky of the marching soldiers punctuated by your character’s running footsteps. The robotic guards calling “Halt! Komen zie! Ausweis! Heil!” as you flashed your little white pass at them. The droning monotony of the escape once you planted your bomb by Hitler’s bunker and tried to get out before it went off in 999 seconds.
Now that’s gaming.
I admit it, I never quite got out of the 16-bit gaming world. Most of the games on my iPod touch are either redos of the Apple and arcade games of my day, or variations thereof. I like my games cartoonish, flat, and unreal. (“Like your science fiction!” I hear the wags saying.)
Oh, and a couple other favorites of mine from the Apple //e days:
Bolo, from 1982:
Crossfire, from 1981:
And Choplifter, also from 1982:
Happy gaming memories! May you dream in 16-bit 2D, like me.