Donkey Kong (1981)
I’m not destined to be a great Donkey Kong player. In fact I’m probably a bit of a disgrace to the name of Donkey Kong. My first bad high score came when I was playing through Donkey Kong 64 and it became apparent that in order to beat the game, I’d have to beat an arcade perfect Donkey Kong conversion. Not only that, but I’d actually have to beat it twice, with one life each time, and it was harder the second time round. This is where I recorded my second bad high score, and my third, all the way through to my seven hundred and fifth, after which I burst into tears of failure. And I honestly can’t remember any other game ever making me do that.
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Dragon’s Lair (1992)
It’s a terrible truth that applies to us all: everything in life is disappointing. Everything. It’s typical cynicism from me, I know, but you’ve got to be aware, and you’ve got to be prepared. I bet you’ve been disappointed by friends and family countless times. Your exam results probably fell way short of your expectations. Or if they didn’t, you picked a heartbreaking thing to do with them, like law or medicine or lion-taming. It’ll lash rain on your wedding day. And your children will be disappointments too, even down to their gender and unashamedly ginger hair.
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Marble Madness (1989)
I’m not exactly sure when those stubborn little roundy things called marbles were at the height of their popularity, but as ever, the Wikipedia page on the subject throws up a huge amount of information. Did you know that over 12 million of the little fellas are produced daily? Call me cynical, but I’m sure that even with an automated process, we could put that manpower and raw material into some other, far more worthy venture. Like perhaps the materials involved in making marbles could be used to put a big roof on those sly Icelandic volcanoes. Or maybe they could be used in creating power suits for when those same robots follow Skynet’s example and turn bad – they’re tough enough little objects, after all. Another repository of marble info and goodness, landofmarbles.com, tells us of various “fun” marble games that deprived children can play. The site, well worth checking out for its wonderful GeoCities throwback design, shows us via crude 1980s schoolbook diagrams how to play Puggy, Skelly, Bunhole, and my personal favourite based on its name, Boss-Out.
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