The Random (S)NES Game… Game

Tonight a group of friends and I came up with a fun activity:

  1. Have one person load up NESbox or SNESbox.

  2. Someone else calls out a random page number, like so, along with a random column number (1–4) and row number (1–5), e.g. ‘page 54, column 2, row 2’.

  3. The person at the computer then plays that game, which in the example above is the Star Trek 25th Anniversary game.

Go around the room with people calling out different combinations of page, column, and row numbers. The ultimate goal is to have fun with retro games from your childhood—if you’re that age anyways. But you can define additional goals as well. For example, we naturally shifted into a competition of trying to randomly select the worst game, either in terms of how much of a challenge it presents to the player (e.g. Ninja Gaiden), or simply in terms of poor game design (e.g. Seikima II: Akuma no Gyakushuu).

With a group of friends this turns out to be a very fun way to pass the time. More time than you anticipate, really, so trying paying attention to a clock if you have anything that actually needs getting done. Especially when you end up playing an NES game where your character is a penguin whose girlfriend dumps him because he is too fat, so you have to run through platformer levels avoiding food that enemies throw at you while collecting health drinks to lose weight by a certain time limit. And yes, that is an actual game: ‘Yume Penguin Monogatari’.



One thought on “The Random (S)NES Game… Game

  1. Amanda and I agree that that was one of the most entertaining ‘unplanned’ evenings we’ve ever had with you guys, for totally different reasons. I enjoyed it because it was a stroll through both childhood and the familiar weirdness of gaming culture, even if the things we stumbled across weren’t games I recognized. Amanda, being without a childhood gaming background, saw it as a window into the remembered joys of gaming for a group of guys who grew up entrenched in the medium. Good times all around.

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