Despite playing outside regularly as a kid, there was nothing I enjoyed more than playing some computer games at home after school. Personally, I played a bunch of different games when I was young. From online games to PC-disk games, such as Freddy Fish and Pyjama Sam (anyone else remembers these?) to The Sims and Zoo Tycoon. In this blogpost I am going over all the nostalgic games we, or at least I, played as a kid.
Online games and spele.nl
The Dutchies among us probably remember www.spele.nl. This was, and maybe still is, the most popular website to play simple online games. Despite the lay-out having changed over the years, a lot of popular games still can be played! Earlier popular games were Gold Miner, Bomber Man and Bubble Shooter (feeling old yet?). Nowadays you can online games that used to be an app for us, such as Pou. Even older games can be played such as Tetris and Pacman. Other games that I used to play were: Building your own Island and Swords and Sandals.
The Sims might be one of the most well-known games out there and lots of people have played it at least once in their live time. The game came out around the year 2000 and has not left us ever since. Whether you enjoy building houses, creating new families or actually playing a sim there were just so many options! I would spend hours building a house for a specific sim family, only to be bored after playing the family for about 15 minutes. I don’t quite know why, but people, including myself, enjoyed getting their sims into not so nice situations. Perhaps this explains the popularity of the game, as it had a “nice” and a “dark” side to it. You could remove the stairs from the swimming pool and make sure your sim could not escape or, in later versions, turn them into werewolves and vampires. On the other hand, you could make them successful in life and fulfil all their wishes. The sims just had so many possibilities.
Zoo and Rollercoaster Tycoon
Other popular 2000s computer games were for sure Zoo and Rollercoaster Tycoon. The games, that had multiple versions, gave you the possibility to build your own theme park or zoo from the ground up. The games had many possibilities, however not as many as The Sims. Whether you wanted to build an awesome rollercoaster, only for everyone to be too scared to actually go in, or to build a Zoo with as many different types of animals, only to let them escape at the end of the game (let’s face it, we all have been there). For these games its popularity is probably due to the same reason as The Sims: players have a lot of freedom whilst playing the game. Not only from attractions and type of animals, but also the possibility to flourish or wreck your work.
The Sims, Zoo Tycoon and Rollercoaster Tycoon are still successful, despite their launch about 20 years ago and despite being no gamer myself, I have always enjoyed these games. Some versions of the games are still available via Steam, however you can also just get that nostalgic feeling back through YouTube videos. Have you or are you still playing any of these games?
Deze 12 games maakten Spele.nl vroeger zo geweldig (vroegert.nl)
The Sims, the world’s most popular life simulator, turned 20 years old. Here’s how it stays relevant. – The Washington Post
The Adorable, Against-All-Odds Charm of ‘Zoo Tycoon’ | WIRED
i loved and in a way still love these games! i remember playing sims with my friend who had all the expansions for the sims 2 and 3. what i really love about the sims now is the community input with the assets store. i downloaded so many nice clothes and accessories just to make the game more aesthetically pleasing. i also remember playing some of the first zoo tycoon games. i also had the opportunity to try the more new incarnation of it for the xbox and i was so stunned by how many more features they added! overall, very nice post, it brought some nice nostalgia 🙂
I completely understand and relate to your nostalgia 🙂 I remember playing Freddy Fish together with my dad on our super old PC, it was an illegal copy of the game he had gotten from one of his colleagues (the things we did back in the days to get our hands on games…). But also Zootycoon and The Sims were played for hours by my sister and I until our parents would force us to go to bed. It’s actually kind of funny that I just wrote an article on The Sims and how simulation games enable you to create an idealised self, and right after uploading my article I came across yours (trying to get that last comment in so I can submit my portfolio 😉 )! Really fun post that I can definitely relate to!
I can relate to this topic. I also had many of these games and sometimes still play them. A couple of years ago i bougth rollercoaster tycoon 1 and 2 for my sister for christmas. And since then she has been playing them on and of again. It is just nostaligia. At the same time you see a lot of companies are making remakes or just updating the older games for this nostalgic reason (i may have bought some of them). Even now i look at my little game stand with my games i have still on cd-roms. I sometimes even play them now and again if they run on these newer windows versions.
I still play the sims 2 on occasion, but I definitely relate. Sometimes I get this wave of nostalgia and I will go back on Spele.nl to play some of the old games I used to play, like dress up games or puzzle games. On top of that, definitely a lot of youtubers and videos can bring up a lot of nostalgia. For me, I watch Plumbella on YouTube and she does a lot of Sims 2 videos if anyone is interested and also some deep dives on the Sims lore!
What memories you have brought back! I think that having specific games like that that cause nostalgia is a really interesting element of what creates a generation. All of us were at the beginning of child access to games and computers, and it’s super interesting in terms of being able to relate to people of the same generation, even if countries are apart. Another game that I played when I was young that had a huge global presence was Webkinz, which is really a throwback to me. If I can remember my accounts to these old games, I’ll definitely go back and play some of them, thanks!!