Do you remember the first computer game you ever bought?

I’m talking PC or other computers here, not console.

It was 1993. I finally screwed up my courage and strode into Team Electronics, my credit card at the ready. For $2699 (I still have both the computer and the receipt) I bought my first computer: A 486/33 with 4 MB ram and the awesome Turbo button. It also came with the revolutionary first–gen CD ROM caddy-type drive, and a 170 MB hard drive.

It came with a bunch of full games in a bundle (Monkey Island, Loom, Secret Weapons Of The Luftwaffe, etc.), but I wasn’t interested in any of those games (yet, anyway. SWotL later took over my life once I figured out what it actually was).

So I went to KMart in search of my first self-chosen full boxed game.
I walked out with two of them: “Alone In The Dark” and “Discoveries Of The Deep”.
Both were on multiple 3.5" disks, and both were $44.99. And yes, I still have them both.

“Discoveries Of The Deep” (literally the only video of this game I could find on YouTube) was a huge disappointment. Reading the back of the box, I was prepared for an open-world underwater adventure. What I got instead was fake open-world, with the same canned sequences and locations repeated with new location tags.

“Alone In The Dark” though. Oh man, that was the shit. It took a bit of getting used to, but I loved the keyboard controls, and controlling Edward Carnby during the initial fight scenes brought me to tears with laughter and pure joy. I thought it was a phenomenal game, but never finished it.

I never finished it because I had no idea what the “Save Game” thing meant, so every time I played the game, I started completely over. The concept of a save game feature completely eluded me, coming from only arcade games before, and my trusty 2600.

What was the first computer game you ever bought? Not the pack-in stuff, but the first game you went out and bought special, with your own hard-earned money?

This is tough because I pirated so much stuff as a kid. I guess once I had a job in Boulder, Colorado I started buying PC games, but really hard to say which ones, exactly…

I definitely remember buying Doom.

That’s tough, it’s easy to talk about the first computer games I played, but my parents bought them for me. I also pirated a lot starting in my mid-teens, when the internet was available. The first game I actually paid for, with my own money… I would say probably The Bard’s Tale 3. The first game I can remember playing was Ultima 4, on the Apple ][e.

I remember my first computer and first games, but not actually which was the first.

My first computer was an Atari 400 complete with membrane “keyboard”. I forget how much RAM is had - it might have been as much as 16k.

My first purchased games were through APX (Atari Program Exchange), a distribution center for user-created software (although some of the early titles were from eventual pros like Chris Crawford and Bruce Artwick).
Anyhoo, the first games I remember buying are Crawford’s East Front, Scram (nuclear meltdown simulator) and Epyx’ Temple of Apshai

Eventually I acquired the must-have Star Raiders

First Computer was a used Apple II IIRC. First IBM clone was a Leading Edge. I believe first computer game was Wizardry. Boy it is hard to remember this stuff.

Lode Runner or Telengard for my C128.

I think Atom Invaders for the Acorn Atom.

Pretty sure the first game I purchased with my own money was Ultima 3 for the C64 the year it came out.

Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck’s Revenge for the Amiga. I still remember that glorious first scene where you walk across the bridge laden with treasure, only to be shook down by Largo Le Grande.

That’s how it is for me. We got an IBM PC Jr when I was in jr. high and I think King’s Quest was the first game I played on it.

With my own cash? Probably Dungeons of Daggorath on floppy disk for the TRS-80 Color Computer v1 in about 1982.

I upgraded to a Leading Edge PC XT clone in 1986, but by then I was in college and had no time for games.

I’d bought a 386 and then a 486 clone by the early 90s and was just in time for the first golden age of PC games. So many good games. I couldn’t STOP buying them in that era. Civilization, Railroad Tycoon, etc etc!


Yeah, this is a tough one. As a kid my dad bought the games for me for my Amstrad during the 80s. And then in the 90s, my brothers bought the games I played, or fellow classmates who bought games and installed them on the dorm computers. Games like Star Control 2.

I guess the first time I had a job after college and bought games independent of my brothers was in 1998. It was either Thief, The Dark Project, or Rollercoaster Tycoon, or maybe Wing Commander Prophecy. I know Wing Commander Prophecy is older than those other games, and my brother already bought it, but when I moved to Alabama and lived with my other brother, I think I bought a copy of my own. So my best guess is either Thief The Dark Project or Wing Commander Prophecy.

I’m pretty sure Baldur’s Gate came out after that, during the same time period. That was the first game I bought that I paid more than $50 for, and the first game I bought where I felt like I’d wasted my hard earned money.

This is an awesome question, but probably impossible for me to remember. My dad and I went to a couple of computer fairs in New Jersey every year. Every few years, we’d buy all the parts at one and build a new PC. Otherwise, we cruised around, checking out new tech, sometimes going to vendor shows. And picking up a lot of software; a lot of it was ziplock bag shareware stuff, since online distribution wasn’t exactly a big deal.

Man … good times. I remember seeing Dr SBAITSO at one and being blown away. Our first Sound Blaster was picked up not too long later.

The first one I remember as being brand new, bought with chore money, and anticipated because of ownership of the prior games (purchased for me by my parents) is King’s Quest IV. I’d played through the other KQs across an Apple IIc and then our PC. IV dropped and it was all “Holy crap, it’s new!” There followed more Sierra games, probably acquired through birthdays and holidays. I don’t explicitly the next one I bought for myself, and KQIV was definitely not the first (like I said - shareware, and probably pirate copies purchased at the fairs), but it does stick out for me.

I bought a PC at a gigantic PC flea-market-style sale in 1989 and I decided I wanted a space game. But there was no Brian Rubin in those days to check with ahead of time, so I ended up with a point and click adventure. .

Well, I probably don’t. I think I do, but I may be wrong. First computer game I am absolutely certain I bought for myself was Ultima V on C64. I remember saving up for that because it came with cool stuff like the cloth map, the coin, all that.

But my first actual computer was a Texas Instruments TI-99/4A. I got it for Christmas from my grandmother, around the time they were discontinued I think. And the first game I had for it was called Parsec, I remember it being a really tough side scrolling shooter, like Scramble. But I may not have actually bought that myself. But I loved that computer, I learned BASIC on that thing. I was so sad the day it died with a “BZAP” sound and a smell of burning circuitry.

Are you sure that was 93? Seems a bit late for you not have grasped that concept :)

Mine was Orbiter, an 8 bit Defender clone, which although terrible (that sound) I loved.

I didn’t get a PC until about 1993 so up until then I was a console gamer. I go back to Pong with that stuff.

I didn’t game at first because I couldn’t fathom playing without a gamepad. I remember trying some freeware beat 'em ups and using keyboard was painful. I’m sure I had some old arcade style games, Commander Keen I remember. Didn’t purchase any of these, though. I think they were shareware that came on a CD.

My first real game was Master of Orion. That game made me fall in love with PC gaming and abandon consoles. It wasn’t long after that I got X-COM. Really a couple of great first games.

@BrianRubin, that reminds me, I probably purchased Star League Baseball on cassette for the C64 first.


I bought a floppy drive for my Apple II - so no cassette games for me.