Before there was Halo… There was Wumpus…

wumpusEvery once in a while we get into a video game nostalgia at my house.  My boys have grown up in an age of the Nintendo Wii. So when I trot out something like an Atari emulator and hook it up to our TV it is like Back to the Future at our house.  This week we were talking about Super Mario Brothers… It started with a playdate one of their friends had been talking about his Dad’s really old game console that had controllers that “hurt your hands”.  Yup he was talking about the original Nintendo Entertainment System… you know that thing that left us with bloody knuckles as we had to  walk to school in the snow… both ways…

Yup this torture device from the mid-80s that we had to suffer through to get to our current ergonomic fun-loving game systems has been a point of fascination for my boys.  Somehow we got past the point of how we could even stand to hold those rectangular medieval controllers and started to talk about the games we played, like Duck Hunt, Contra, Mike Tyson’s Punch Out, and of course Super Mario Bros.  My wife has some great anecdotal stories about her family and the Brothers Mario that gave the boys some giggles.  When I told them that I actually went to the drug store and put coins in a machine for a chance to play the game I think their brains were on the verge of implosion.

This is one of my favorite things about being a Dad… Explaining (alright… sometimes embellishing) how things were when I was a kid.  At some point recently I must have brought up the fact that at their age the only games I had to play were the ones on my TI-99.  I had apparently described one of the two games that I had spent most of my time on, a game called “Hunt the Wumpus”.  I may have described it a little too vaguely because it sounded scary.  Afterall in the game you were a guy with one arrow left and you were lost in a cave filled with pits.  The only way you knew you were getting close to the Wumpus was by entering a cave room that was blood-stained.  If you thought you knew where he was you had to fire your arrow into the room you had guessed and if you missed… the next thing you saw was the Wumpus mouth chomping down on you…  Now that I say that it sounds a little like a horror movie… well here is the walk through… you decide:

So there you go… If you’d like to see the play through of a couple of my other favs from that bygone era here you go…  FYI… I’d probably spend hours playing these games again if I could…

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