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Coming to you LIVE (via tape delay) from just beyond this sign in a nondescript area of South-Western North America, it's the first in a long line of The Milestone Awards, celebrating the best, the worst, and the indifferent of the latest batch of video games from the list of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die.
Every Milestone Awards event will see a number of pointless and literally non-existent awards get presented in passing to a select few titles. Eligible entries for this first set of awards range from The Oregon Trail to Chuckie Egg and the winners were mostly hand picked by our selection panel of industry experts along with myself (none of whom could attend).
Without further ado, may I present to you, the 51/1001 Milestone Awards.
In a list of 51 games, there are bound to be a few that just don't get you going. Whether they're not your thing or they just don't work is irrelevant, for the first awards go to The Indifferent 5 - five games that, for whatever reason, I was pretty 'meh' about. Some, frankly, I forgot all about. They aren't bad, but right now, without any visual aides or crib notes, I couldn't tell you why they're good...
In no particular order, the first ever Indifferent 5 video games from this list are:
Warlords, Atari, Inc.
Phoenix, Amstar Electronics
Sokoban, Hiroyuki Imabayashi
Time Pilot, Konami
May they forever be remembered as... games.
Not all games should have the distinction of being on this mighty list however, and so the What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For? award highlights the one low point of the list, the one title that just shouldn't be sharing shelf space with the rest of them. Again, it isn't to say it's not worth playing, but still...
What Was Gorf Even Put On The List For?
I just don't get it.
Were we to play God with the list of 1001 and pick and choose which games to play, we might just do that. However, it would turn a list of collective human knowledge and passion for gaming that leads you to try new and unknown delights into just a list of games in your backlog. Instead, seeing as we're not God, all that can be done is suggest some alternatives.
The You Forgot What?! award is the result of an incredibly quick skim through relevant(ish) Wikipedia pages for ideas on what games should have made the list. The award is insanely subjective, which makes for many arguments. Consider it the 'You might also like' section.
You might also like your first You Forgot What?! winner, Space Shuttle: A Journey into Space. Why are we farting about with space shooters when we have a goddamn Space Shuttle simulator? An actual simulation of an actual piece of machinery that actually went into space. None of this imaginary bollocks, this is real life. Go play it.
Finally though, is the list you've been skip reading to - the Top 10 games of the 51/1001 Milestone Awards. Carefully selected over the course of a few minutes, heavily biased by childhood memories and adult forgetfulness, these are the ten titles I'd happily be left on a desert island with. Some have wowed me with flashy graphics, others with their gameplay. The rest just pad out the list. They are...
10: I, Robot, Atari, Inc.
I was not expecting what I was given.
9: Tempest, Atari, Inc.
The more I played, the more I liked it.
8: Joust, Williams Electronics
Ostriches and buzzards, c'mon!
7: Asteroids, Atari, Inc.
Might as well have been where it all started for me.
6: Q*bert, Gottlieb
I suck at it but I'm not raging.
5: Choplifter, Dan Gorlin
I'd need to find the version that feels most comfortable to control though.
4: Qix, Taito
A puzzler that came out of nowhere.
3: Donkey Kong, Nintendo
Nintendo off to a good start as my childhood memories give them a spot in the top three.
2: Rogue, Michael Toy, Glenn Wichman, Ken Arnold
I've played my share of D&D, and this is reminding me of those adventures.
And the out-of-this-world game for this evening is... very much based firmly in this world, it's your number 1: The Oregon Trail, MECC. I can't find the words right now, it's just a great game. One part teaching tool, one part experiment and one milestone in video gaming.
Which of these games will stand the test of time and make it through to the Topper Than That 10 list at the 101/1001 Milestone Awards? Find out next time, whenever that is. After I've got round to playing Skool Daze, if I've counted right.
Thus ends the Milestone Awards. The judge has given himself the bribe money and will now celebrate by spending it in the GOG sale / at the Steam store / on the Humble Bundle (other digital gaming outlets are available).