Tell Us Dammit: Games You Can't Quite Remember

I've been thinking about this a lot recently. There are games we remember playing as children — like Mario and Zelda — and then there are the more obscure games that somehow made it into our collections as children, games we can't quite remember playing, but just sit there at the back of our minds. I want to talk about them.

I have the vaguest memories of a game called The Wild Bunch. Basically a Cowboy simulator that ran on text input. There was a poker mini-game that was super fun, and a gunfight mini-game that I could never, ever work out. I always lost.

The interesting thing about this game is that no-one ever talks about it. I don't know anyone else who actually played it. Therefore my memories haven't been allowed to form around discussions, or endless remakes or re-releases. This game exists only in my memory really. And that's kinda cool.

Does anyone else here have a game like that?


    I have vague memories of a turn based strategy on PC during the 90s. It came with a huge foldout map and for some reason, the middle units were always frozen solid in my game. The only other thing I can remember about it, is that it was a hex grid north vs south game - any ideas?

    edit: Found it! It was Dark Legions - guess I got the hex grid part wrong :S

    Last edited 24/04/14 11:19 am

      Sounds like Battle Isle.

        Nah - should have also put that it was in a dark fantasy setting.

    There's all these NES games that I absolutely love and have specific memories of but couldn't tell you their names at all.

    I remember playing a really rather odd original Playstation isometric shooter thing where you had to shoot tonnes and tonnes of aliens. I can only remember the second level when you were on some science facility sliding down the side of a hill and firing weird but powerful guns.

      Sounds like Project Overkill. Really fun game at the time :)

    Yeah plenty on Commodore 64 - had a boxful of games that came with it and I must have played them all. When I try and think back on particular ones I loved I just remember bits and pieces, bits of music, cover art for the text adventures, frozen loading screens...

    edit: Actually I remember becoming obsessed with finding an old text adventure based on just cover art, spent days looking and actually found it! Now I can't track down a copy :(
    This is the game if any good samaritan wants to help me get onto it somehow...

    Last edited 24/04/14 11:25 am

        !! And an Ed Edd and Eddy reference to boot! Danke ^^

      Can't remember any games from the C64, I just remember the cassettes and the frustration of a failed read after god knows how long.

      Amiga on the other hand, I've tracked down most of the ones I remember playing regularly,
      Action Fighter, Arkanoid - Revenge of Doh, Blasteroids, The Chaos Engine, Flood, Galaga (Various versions), Fire & Ice - The Daring Adventures of Cool Coyote, Firepower, First Class Boulderdash, James Pond 2 - Robocod, Leander, Magic Pockets, Navy Seals, Nitro, Pang, Parasol Stars - Rainbow Islands 2, Pinball Dreams+Fantasies+Illusions, Plotting, Rollerpede, Sherman M4, Super Cars 1+2, Thundercats, Wings and Zool.

    The Wild Bunch was my dad's favourite game on our old C64! IIRC the trick to the gunfight mini-game was to shoot right as the other guy was reaching for his gun... Too early and it was considered a murder, too late and well, you died.

      Whoaaaa I just youtubed it, I remember that! I dont think I ever got very far in it though >_>

    There was that game, with the guy...who did the....stuff. With the platforms, and enemies....damn it. It was, colourfull and shit.

      Oh yeah! I remember that one, with all the things and bobs.

      Impossible Mission

      Hahaha, nah, could be anything :P

        that synthesized fall audio used to freak me out _every_ time

    I have fond memories of Karateka. I never understood the princess who refuses to take a man who walks up though.

    Is my memory correct when I think that if the bird successfully hit you in the groin, you instantly die?

    I played this game, and it was 2d, and about time travel, i think and you needed this special decoder paper thing to login to the game...

      Sounds like Maniac Mansion. The sequel, that is.

      I was going to suggest Journeyman Project but that wasn't 2D.

      Mario's Time Machine for SNES?
      Or where in time is Carmen Sandiego?

      Future Wars?

    The only thing I can think of that would qualify are edutainment titles. I know I used to have a learning game on the Atari ST that was somehow set in a circus, and you'd do various learning things with each game based on something circusy.

    And then another, not on the ST though I think this was early x86 days, where it was a math game - I remember that much - but it was set with something in ancient Greek mythology. I think it was called Mathology or something along those lines.

    Oh and the loose sequels to The Oregon Trail, "The Yukon Trail" and "The Amazon Trail" - I remember having played them, can't remember a thing about them apart from them being trail-y. (Early 90s American schools got lots of educational titles to go with all those shiny Apple IIe computers they were leasing)

      I think the first one you are referring to is the original Math Circus

        Mmmmmmmm... might have been. Screenshots aren't looking quite right from my memory but there's too many results for the recent versions to filter through. Also can't find anything specifically saying it was released for Atari ST.

    I do remember this PS1 sidescroller... you played a boy and there were these small dark monsters chasing you from the left side...cannot remember the name of it at all.

    There was a game I played as a kid one Christmas day at my uncles house. When school went back the next year, I told my friends about it. I explained how it was "a cartoon where I put characters and things on the screen and they would instantly start doing stuff without my control."
    They all called me a liar, one of them was particularly mean about it. This was the first time I had the urge to really hurt someone... so wish I broke his little fucking nose (I reckon I'll do it if I ever meet him again). Anyway, a good decade (and some odd years) later, I stumbled onto that game on the internet...

    The Incredible Toon Machine

    I was not a liar, you fucking pricks.

      I remember this!! Thanks for the nostalgia trip man.

        Wait; you remember this as in "the game" or "my story"? Because if its the latter I want your name, now. =P

    I remember a point and click adventure game from the mid 90s that was very dark and Gothic. I vaguely remember the start of the game and I think you're entering the city for the first time. It might have had "nekro" somewhere in the title.

      Sounds like Noctropolis to me, but I could be wrong.

    Ok in all seriousness you got me thinking and I just remembered the faintest scraps of this game, and now my mind is blown. Thank you Mark.

      I was about to make a post about Ufouria!

      It took me ages to remember the name when I was suddenly reminded of it about a year ago. No one else I knew had any idea what I was talking about, and the fact it was never released in the US on the NES made it even harder. I thought I was going crazy for a while there.

      Glad to see someone else played it!

      YES! This game was awesome!

      For some reason, whenever I wanted to search for it on the net, "Faxanadu" came to mind so I was way off.

      I played, adored and finished this game. And like most here, seems I thought I was one of the only ones.

      I was also thinking of Ufouria this whole time. Doesn't really apply since I remember it pretty well, but what a fantastic game it was!

    When I was a kid we had an atari computer (not a console) and got a couple games for it. The main one was back to the future 2, which was pretty cool, but i could never get past the first level (hover boarding through the streets).

    We also had some other games like a flight sim/arcade shooter that's name had something to do with Flak...? I think.

    Another was a kung fu type game where you fight one opponent per screen (moving right) all with varying backgrounds, until you got to the last screen. Then you jumped up through a hole in the ceiling to continue fighting while moving left. Each 'level' had less screens (think of it like a pyramid) and the enemies got harder. You continued fighting upwards until you got to the top... then you had to go back down again through all new enemies. I remember working that out and feeling a bit cheated that there wasn't an actual 'end' to the game, but i kept playing anyway.

    I have no idea what it was called, i'll update if i find it.

      Oh man I remember this. I remember running along the empty screens and doing flips, then jumping through the roof.

      I played it on my friend's C64 from memory.

    I have a weird memory for games (and movies). I don't think I've ever forgotten one. I remember the names of the games and how they played. It's actually kind of annoying when I want to go back and re-visit adventure games that I played almost 20 years ago.

    I have occasionally pretended not to remember details so that I don't come across as being completely obsessed, though.

    I remember a game I borrowed as a small child that consisted of a kid being kidnapped into a nightmare world and being forced to play basketball against various types of monsters to escape, I'm pretty certain I played it on the master system

      Basketball Nightmare? I think that's what it was called.

        YES... Basketball Nightmare. I probably hired that game a dozen times, even though I'd beaten it the very first week I had it.

        That's it. Played it obsessively against my older brother.

    I remember a platformer on the NES where you were a knight of some kind and you could do double, maybe triple jumps. I've been trying to find it for years. Those were the days when you'd rent a game for the weekend and return it clocked. So I only played it that one weekend but what a wonderful time it was *swoon*

      Wasn't Wizards & Warriors was it? I played that game a lot in the shop display at Grace Bros in Wagga

        I do remember this one too! But it wasn't this. It was more of a Ninja Gaiden style of platforming.

      Sounds like Ghosts n' Goblins;'n_Goblins

        It wasn't quite as polished as ghosts n' goblins. Although I did spend a lot of time on that one in the arcade!

    A C64 game called Dragonriders of Pern. Wasn't until later I found out it was based on literature but it seemed to complicated to me at the time. It had an economy and politics and all sorts of stuff I think. The actions bits were cool.

    One that I remember but also always forget is "Saint Dragon". This is game that was more for the Arcade, rather then a home experience.

    There was a local "milk bar" that had this game and I lost hundreds of 20c coins to this game. I was never really any good at it, but the powerups, the fact your ship had a tail that was a shield and the overall futuristic look of the game was just amazing.

    At home, had plenty of games on the C64 that I can remember basic premise, but nothing much else. One game that did stick with me was Wizball, my brother and I would co-op the shit out of that game and would certainly wouldn't mind having an updated version for today.

    I remember an old 286 game (monochrome), You had an upgradable spaceship that you had to buy parts for, and I remember shooting lots of alien ships. Been thinking about it for years and I cannot remember the name for the life of me!

      First person 3D? [maybe Elite?]

        first person 3d on a 286? heh.

        It was a top down space invader style setup. (just not space invades obviously, aliens came in from the top of the screen, there was also environment to dodge and explore)

    For years I couldn't remember possibly my earliest PC game that my parents bought me about fixing screwed up nursery rhymes.
    One day, just stumbling along doing internetty things, I found it.
    Mixed-Up Mother Goose.

    Ah, those days where the solution was as simple as bringing three fiddlers to the King to get a bowl of broth to Mother Hubbard who would give you a Candlestick to make Nimble Jack happy.

    ...screw you adventure games for stuffing around with my head for years.

    Dear Kotaku: Just because you're a little slow (don't worry, we still love you) doesn't automatically make me "too fast" in posting comments.

      I suspect that message you are getting is due to the current bug where it says you're not logged in when you are.

      OMG, I totally remember playing that as a kid. I loved it and finished it so many times over. Good ol' Humpty Dumpty got cracked so many times and Little Miss Muffet never went without her curds and whey.

      Thanks for bringing back such fond memories :)

      I remember playing this on a reeeeeally old laptop, I think possibly even one of the first laptops.... it had an orange and black screen.
      Jack catching his pants on fire on the candlestick was non-stop gold.

      Hey mate, Big props for the hand last week with Corruption. I just finished it yesterday. what a cracker, it was damn tough to complete though. Cheers to Mark for this thread as well, I hope it becomes semi regular. Maybe we could do an old games review with links to downloads and install instructions particularly if it's abandonware.

      My retro game for this week is going to be Pandora on the A500 never finished that sucker. Also hoping some day soon we may see a remake of technocop.

    There was this really weird gambling game based on Greyhounds on the C64. When you first played the game, the dogs were based on company names like Telecom and Australia Post so I'm guessing it was Australian. Sometimes you were even offered the chance to buy and race a dog, which also meant you could rename it.

    If anyone has any ideas on what this one is called, or can remember more, please fill me in.

      It's a long shot but is it called Hounded? There's 2 games I believe. And another simply called Greyhounds.

      Spent many hours, days, weeks playing and collecting dogs, recording their codes in an old exercise book. Race tournaments against friends etc. One of the great C64 games

    I have a strange game i cannot remember. I'll set the scene, going back a few years i had a two cd game pack called 1001 Games for Windows from Eureka Software, it had all freeware and shareware windows and DOS games.

    It think it was a point and click adventure game where it starts you off at night in an alley way in front of a either a bar or strip club then i can't remember what happened next and then you were in front of a tunnel or a large storm drain and thats it. It sucks because i want to play it again.

    There were a couple more games from those discs, a game in the same vein as those old Hugo games but it was set in colonial american times and a side scroller where in the main menu screen there is a porn star in leather.


    The side scroller is called Vinyl Goddess from Mars.

    Last edited 24/04/14 12:10 pm

      That reminds me of the old 'adult' text adventure game, Leather Goddess Of Phobos lol

      Reminds me a liiiiiiiiittle bit of "Deja Vu" but I think that started in a bathroom stall at a bar, not an alleyway.

        Just looked at Deja Vu on Moby Games and thats not it. :(

        It may have started at a tunnel and made your way into town but i don't know it has been many years since i have last played it.

          Hey.. this is an old post so you might not see this, but I think what you are talking about is "Dare to Dream" , I played this again recently and couldn't remember how to finish it lol.. got right to the end and got stuck. There's 3 parts to it, I must go back again and try I still haven't seen parts 2 and 3 haha.

            @jdrive Holy shit, that's it. thank you this game has been bugging me for years. I looked it up on Moby Games and that's the game. It's a bit different than i remembered it.

            Must see if i can download it, surely it's freeware by now.

            Last edited 05/05/14 4:17 pm

    I had plenty of games on my Intellivision and Atari 2600 that I can't quite remember anymore.

    BTW Off topic, that weird bug where it tells me I'm not logged in but I am because I can post is back...

    I had a lot of bad fighting games on the N64 (my favourite arcade games were fighter at the time and in the pre Smash Bros days N64 only had two good fighters: Fighters Destiny and Mace) I remember a few like Bio Freaks but the other day someone mentioned War Gods and I remembered I owned that hideous game as well, also there was another game like War Gods that for the life if me I cannot remember other than it playing a lot better than it looked

    Also another long forgotten N64 game which I barely remember other than I think I enjoyed it: Forsaken, I think it was a spaceship FPS where you could go upside-down a lot of the time.

    Last edited 24/04/14 12:10 pm

      Forsaken was a futuristic flying motorbike deathmatch arena game. For me it was not overly enjoyable (though I did manage to complete it).
      The other fighting game, was it Clayfighter 63 1/3? It probably wasn't but I just thought I would bring it up because of how awesome it was :P

        No, Forsaken was a 6DOF first-person game, similar to Descent.
        I remembering it being much less confusing than Descent, partly because you'd roll back upright after a little while - made getting your bearings much easier.

        Yeah Mr Trick is right, next I think you're thinking of Extreme G, I had the GameCube version of that one!

        Wasn't Clayfighter (though I remember people hating that as opposed to its SNES forebearer

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