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First Video Game You Ever Played

Think back to your gaming roots

A.J. Maciejewski

Written by for Round Tables on

Trying to remember the first video game you ever played can be tricky but it's fun to realise how far games have come since then. I asked all the chums and a few friends of the site what the first video game they ever played was and here's what they had to say.

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Photo of a NES console with Adventures of Lolo and an Atari 2600 with Warlords
Some of us have been gaming for a very long time

Pitfall! and Food Fight RC

This has been something I've been debating in my mind lately; what exactly was the first game I actually played? However, a clear answer hasn't come to me. I do remember that the first gaming session at home was on my dad's Atari 2600 and I distinctly remember 2 games. The first is Pitfall! This is a wonderful game where you play as a little man in green pants known as Harry. You spend your time jumping over scorpions, using vines to swing over logs, and trying to avoid being eaten by crocodiles. I remember that I had no clear idea of where to go and what exactly I was supposed to do but I had so much fun just jumping over critters that I didn't care. v1d30chumz 34-239-154-240

The other game is Food Fight. You play as a boy who's being pursued by crazy chefs. You dodge the chefs and throw spinach and pies at them to try and make it to the goal. Of course, the goal is a huge ice cream cone that the boy seemingly has to unlock his jaw to eat! I remember my dad and I passing the controller back and forth taking turns on each level and laughing hysterically at the boy eating the ice cream cone. Both of these games seem to be my earliest experiences of gaming and I'm happy that they hold that spot because they really created fond memories for my family and I.

RC's YouTube channel →

Pac-Land Mary

The first game I remember playing is Pac-Land for Commodore 64. I even played it before I played Pac-Man! We got a Commodore 64 from a car boot sale along with a bunch of games. I used to play Pac-Land up to round 6 and at that point, I needed my dad's help to get over the long stretch of water. I would wait for him to be available then get him to tap furiously on the keyboard to make that huge jump. I must have perfected Pac-Land up to that level from playing it over and over again, trying to complete that jump myself but failing every time. Years later, I got Namco Museum Vol. 4 and played the arcade version for the first time. It brought back a lot of memories!

Mary's profile Namco Museum Vol. 4 Review (includes Pac-Land)
Pac-Land screenshot
I didn't know Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde knew how to drive!

Utopia A.J.

When I was about 5 years old, my family got a NES but before that, we only had an Intellivision. I played a lot of Snafu, Atlantis, and Tron: Deadly Discs but the game I remember playing first was the world-building real-time strategy simulation game Utopia. Keep in mind, I must have been about 4 years old yet the freedom that the game offered really captured my imagination. I distinctly remember gradually piecing together how the game works to the point where it made sense to me then developing strategies to actually master it. Anyway, if you have Intellivision Lives! for PlayStation 2, Xbox, or GameCube then you can play this long-lost gem for yourself.

A.J.'s profile

Warlords Charlie

The first game I remember playing is Warlords for Atari 2600 and I played the absolute heck out of it! Playing against my family and the bots was terrific and it had endless replayability for the time. Bouncing that little square ball around and knocking everyone else out or getting ganged up on then watching everyone else battle it out was way more fun than it ever should have been.

It's a lot like Breakout as each player has a layered wall to protect. Players control a little paddle that could catch the ball but with everything so close together, the bounce speed became ridiculous! The goal is to hit the little thingy (whatever the heck it is) in the center of the other players' walls, knocking them out of the game. I'm kind of amazed that we haven't had a game like it since although indies like Skorecery come somewhat close. I just need AI to play against in a free-for-all, dangit!

Charlie's profile Atari Flashback Classics Vol. 1 Review (includes Warlords)
Warlords screenshot
It may look simple but get a few friends together and Warlords can be a blast

Rugby 2005 Olly

Many remember having "EA Sports. It's in the game!" yelled at them from over a decade ago but what about mandatory control tutorials every time you load the game and crude mid-2000s prog rock blaring in menus? This awaited you if you've ever played Rugby 2005.

Player 1: All Blacks, 91 Rating. Computer: Spain, 40 Rating. Difficulty: easy, of course. How high will the scoreboard go? I kick off. First ruck; the ridged animations highlight the weak team being overwhelmed, quickly reverting to a defensive line as the best team in the world flood onto the ball. I quickly pass the ball out, two skip passes out to the winger. I hold the stick straight down and turn 90 degrees once I pass the Spaniard marking me. I skip past him with ease along the touch-line. Now behind the defensive line, all I must do is get past the fullback. One more pass to the supporting AI that has been mindlessly traipsing behind me then try, rinse, and repeat. Anyone who played sports games when they were young will be used to this easy setup. To think of it now, it's similar to contemporary "podcast games" like Destiny, Diablo, etc. No challenge, just a ritualistic gameplay loop to make the numbers keep going up.

Olly's blog →

Adventures of Lolo Tyler

The first game I remember playing is Adventures of Lolo on NES. It's a fantastic and challenging puzzle game series starring a blue blob named Lolo who sets out to save his girlfriend Lala. What makes it memorable for me is that even though I held the controller, my whole family played the game together. I would always play in the living room and my mom, dad, and brother would watch me and throw out their own hints and suggestions on how to beat each puzzle room. Because it's a slow-paced puzzler with simple mechanics, everyone was able to look at the screen and try to solve the puzzles themselves. Many of the most challenging levels turned into family projects as we tried to figure out the solution. It was a blast to play as a kid and the whole family still thinks fondly back upon Lolo.

Tyler's profile Adventures of Lolo Review
Adventures of Lolo screenshot
I have a feeling that poor little Lolo is stuck...

Logic Quest 3D Alex

Logic Quest 3D was a very cool edutainment puzzle game where you solve mazes in a medieval village. There are 2 challenges: the village and the castle. Each has 6 levels but the castle is harder. Lots of the mazes involve bringing keys to the right places. Other than that, I can't remember the details of how to play. You solve these puzzles because you're working for a scientist who wants to test her state-of-the-art mechanical bats, I guess... I wonder what happens if the bats get you. I hope you don't die; that would be too harsh for a kid's game! I enjoyed the puzzles a lot and there was also a cool editor that I made a lot of weird levels with. There was no boundary so you could just fly your character out to infinity instead of making levels like you're supposed to. It was also one of the few 3D games back in 1996. Although I probably wouldn't enjoy it as much today, it still has a special place in my heart because of its creativity.

Alex's profile

Mario Bros. Jason

The first game I have any definite memory of playing is the Apple IIe port of Mario Bros. at the local elementary school. It was fun to play alone or with someone else while using a combination of a keyboard and one available joystick. I even played it with my teacher on a few occasions during recess. It lets players choose their starting stage up to a point but I mostly jumped in from the first stage for easy bonus points and didn't typically make it further than stage 24 or 25. It was a noisy, bright, vibrant take on Mario and the NES and arcade versions came as a slight disappointment to me when I played them later although I still enjoyed them. I've played a lot of other games since those elementary days but Mario Bros. is the one that got my love for games up and running and even nowadays, no one would have to work terribly hard to talk me into a quick multiplayer round or two.

Jason's blog → Arcade Archives: Mario Bros. Review
Mario Bros. screenshot
This arcade version is certainly different to what Jason played on the Apple IIe

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For now, what is the first game you ever remember playing? Let us know in the comments below!

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Gameplay video playlist for First Video Game You Ever Played
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