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Episodes

01

Aug

2BGC Ep. 17 – Commander Keen (1990)

The fifteen game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be Commander Keen (1993) for MS Dos.

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When Ideas from the Deep’s SMB3 prototype was rebuffed by Nintendo, their Mario stand in needed a makeover and Billy Blaze is the hero who emerged from the change room. Enter Commander Keen, springing forth upon pogo stick brandishing his laser gun.

Released in 1990, Commander Keen is a platforming adventure where the titular hero battles alien invaders while collecting keys, special abilities, and power ups. Though light on plot this game is heavy on theme delivering on themes of wish fulfillment for kids who want to explore and be the hero. While this game shares DNA with the Mario brothers, it blazes its own trail by having larger maze like levels that facilitate exploration.

To find a copy of Commander Keen try your friendly retro game store. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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30

Jun

2BGC Ep. 15 – Myst (1993)

The fourteenth game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be Myst (1993) for Mac computers.

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In 1993 there were plenty of people willing to bet against Myst. Activision declined Cyan’s approach to have them produce the game, their eventual producer Sunsoft didn’t believe in the CD-Rom as a format for games and wanted Myst to be a console game. What was released ended up being the best selling Mac and PC game until 2001 when Will Wright’s The Sims over took Myst and claimed the honour.

Myst is a point and click mystery game whose story starts off with the player being dumped on an island with no explanation. There’s no one on the island to explain where you are or how you got there, and the inquiry starts from there. The game is equally famous for being subtle and rich, or obtuse depending on your perspective. Either way the game has delivered endless sequels, ports, spin offs, and board games and remains a pillar of the age of early CD-Rom gaming.

 

To find a copy of Myst try your friendly retro game store. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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31

May

2BGC Ep. 14 – Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988)

The fourteenth game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be Super Mario Bros. 3 (1988) for the Nintendo Entertainment System.

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In 1988 the Super Mario Bros. series reunited to see the era of the NES out. Widely recognized as one of the best game of its time, and best platformers of all time, SMB still has a dear place in the hearts of gamers being a favourite game for speed runners. SMB3 is colourful, full of variety and novelty, recognizable  as a Mario game but still full of fresh ideas. As successful a follow up title as there might ever be Super Mario Bros. 3 remains a joy to play.

 

To find a copy of Sim City try your friendly retro game store. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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08

May

2BGC Ep. 13 – SimCity (1989)

The thirteenth game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be SimCity (1989) for the Commodore 64 and then rereleased for pretty much everything.

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This is the original City Simulator, and the beginning of designer Will Wright’s franchise of franchises, the Sim games. The Sims, SimAnt, SimCopter, SimFarm etc. all owe their beginnings to SimCity, not to mention the slew of games in a genre going strong 30 years later, the simulation game. In SimCity you build a thriving city by balancing the needs and dreams of its simulated citizens by insuring their needs are met. By managing your city’s zoning, adjusting budgets, and providing essential services like electricity and hospital access you can provide a meaningful urban life for your growing metropolis. That or have everyone killed my lightning and godzilla.

 

The reach and impact of SimCity cannot be understated as this game managed to penetrate layers of society, reaching audiences not yet touched by video games. With it’s sandbox style play, productive and civically minded goals, (mostly) nonviolent content, and wonderful balance between logic and creativity, SimCity made it’s way into endless classrooms in an era where school were just beginning to experiment with integrating computers into the classroom.

Why not play right now?

 

To find a copy of Sim City try your friendly retro game store. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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18

Apr

2BGC Ep. 12 – King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown (1987)

The twelfth game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown (1987) for the Apple II computer.

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King’s Quest is the age old tale of a prince’s quest to become king. In this Prince’s Quest Prince Graham most prove to the king that he is ready and able to take the mantel of the king hat and rule from the king chair. By pointing and clicking your way through the Apple II computer, you’ll solve puzzles, meet colourful characters, and hopefully claim your destiny.

Designed and written by Roberta Williams at Sierra On-Line, King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown is but the first game in a series of 9 games under the King’s Quest banner, not including 3 different attempts to develop King’s Quest IX, none of which have come to fruition.

 

To find a copy of King’s Quest: Quest for the Crown try your friendly retro game store. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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12

Mar

2BGC Ep. 11 – The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998)

The eleventh game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (1998) for the N64.

Zelda was a big kid on the block long before there was 3D gaming, with four hit games for the NES, SNES, and DMG, the series was already a heavy hitter in the games industry, but in 1998 Miyamoto and Aonuma released what would be Nintendo’s heavy weight champion.

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Zelda wasn’t the first Nintendo series to bridge the gap from 2D to 3D, but it did so with universal acclaim. The game stands with an invincible 99% on Metacritic, having received perfect score from IGN, Gamespot, and became the first game to receive 40/40 from Famitsu.

If you haven’t played this game you’re missing out on a cornerstone of gaming history. Even if you don’t enjoy 3D action adventure games with compasses and dungeon maps The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time is worth playing for the historical value alone.

To find a copy ofThe Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time try your friendly retro game store. Versions of the game are available for N64, Gamecube, 3DS, and virtual console. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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04

Jan

2BGC Ep. 10 – Final Fantasy (1987)

The tenth game for the 2-Bit Game Club will be Final Fantasy (1987) for the NES.

Final Fantasy (FFI) is just the first of many games in a landmark series that has dominated the JRPG genre. With beautiful opening art, the enchanting prelude by Nobuo Uematsu, and a no nonsense tittle crawl that puts you right at the heart of a world of magic from word go, Final Fantasy is a game that invites you to get lost.

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Isn’t that pretty?

Fans who are familiar with the series and JRPG genre will recognize in this early entry all of the things that people still love and hate about JRPGs today. Dense and often obtuse menu driven combat, big open worlds that are empty and lifeless, and larger than life story telling with unrelatable and bizarre characters. Like it or lump it, Final Fantasy delivers hard on its promises and refuses to make any explanation for its self.

The original box contents, thanks Cody!

The original box contents, thanks Cody!

To find a copy of Final Fantasy try your friendly retro game store or use other means. Consider picking up the NES Classic, playing on Android, or iOS. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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03

Dec

2BGC Ep. 9 – Doom (1993)

The ninth 2-Bit Game Club game will be Doom (1993) for the PC.

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Have you ever wanted to travel to Mars and take a portal to hell so you could kill the damned with a shot gun? If so Doom has your number. Made by id Software, doom is the seminal first person shooter. There were earlier shooters that made an impact, such as Wolfenstein 3D (1992), and there were shooters that advanced the genre more dramatically, such as Hovertank 3D (1991), but Doom was the game to excitingly deliver all the elements that would come to define the FPS genre in the coming decades. It had tight controls, a dramatic setting, tense game play, and legitimate scares and horror. Bathed in gore and ultra violence the game has left a cultural legacy of concern over the impact that games have on their players, but for all the political posturing around the game here might be no better demonstration of the western relationship between the player and the gun.

Doom is a creation of id Software who were a giant in the early FPS genre delivering many hits with their game engine. Woldenstien 3D, Doom and its many sequels, were just a few of the titles that delivered on their early formula, though id Software would continue to lead innovation in the FPS space with their Quake games.  The games huge success lead to it spinning off onto all of the popular platforms of the day, and into today with fan mods, illegal rips, and plain old nonsense. Here’s Doom running on a MacBook Pro touch bar.

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To find a copy of Doom try your friendly retro game store or use other means. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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You can find past podcast episodes here. For more info about the 2-Bit Game Club head over here.

01

Nov

2BGC Ep. 8 – M.U.L.E.

The Eighth 2-Bit Game Club game will be M.U.L.E. for the Atari 800 and NES (1983).

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You and your three friends (read: enemies) must battle cooperate to make the colony on Irata as profitable as possible for the good of all interstellar peoples (who are you). Combing the elements of shared screen play, a blend of co-op and competition, and giving classic board game style play with action packed auctions, M.U.L.E. is a timeless game. With rules that are immediately understandable to the player, using numbers small enough for players to crunch in their head, and by emphasizing player interaction over stylish presentation, M.U.L.E. has all the makings of a great game like chess or go.

Developed by Ozark Softworks, M.U.L.E. is a significant game in the history of the medium. It puts a play experience forward that is free from violence, engages up to four people in cooperative play, teaches players meaningful lessons about economic systems and negotiation, and so managed to be a commercial success despite being released amidst the 1983 Video Game Collapse.

To find a copy of M.U.L.E. try your friendly retro game store or use other means. Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

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You can find past podcast episodes here. For more info about the 2-Bit Game Club head over here.

05

Oct

2BGC Ep. 7 – Pokémon Red & Blue

The seventh 2-Bit Game Club game will be Pokémon Red & Blue (1996) for the Gameboy.

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Since its debut in 1993 Pokémon has become one of the world’s strongest brands with an endless flow of spin off games, toys, card and board games, feature films, television shows and so forth, but back in the early 90s Pokémon was not Pokémon yet. So how did Pokémon become what it is today, and how much of that is actually to be found in the premier titles, Pokémon Red & Blue?

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If you don’t know, Pokémon is the JRPG where you catch and train wild monsters who learn new moves as they grow stronger. You play as a kid on a journey to become the greatest Pokémon master by beating the gym leaders in the Pokémon league.

Join in the discussion about this piece of video game history and share your thoughts with us. You can find the 2-Bit Game Club around the web at the following:

Facebook – Twitter – YouTube – Soundcloud – iTunes

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You can find past podcast episodes here. For more info about the 2-Bit Game Club head over here.