Video games played a prominent role in shaping a lot of people’s childhoods, especially those born in the 1980s and 90s. However, there are a few games that stand out, forever ingrained into their minds, either playing them at home, a friend’s house, or the local cyber center in Egypt.
So we got some of the games that take a special place in anyone from the 90s’ heart and will instantly make them nostalgic for the era.
The Game Boy and the Game Boy Color were massive in the 1990s, with many kids playing on these handheld consoles in the Middle East, leading to the popularity of several Nintendo games; one such game was Pokémon and its variant.
The first two to release were Red and Blue in 1996, while Nintendo released Yellow and Green two years later. Each of them had a certain Pokémon on the box representing the color; Charizard was on Red, Blastoise was on Blue, Pikachu was on Yellow, and Venusaur was on Green.
The game was a Japanese Role Playing Game (JRPG) and followed a child protagonist who, after getting their first Pokémon, ventured out to collect others and create a roster with whom they’d battle other Pokémon trainers and earn patches to become the best in the world.
It was a simple game, with players moving around the environment, adventuring around Japan, and completing quests along the way. One of the fun things about the game during that era was that Game Boy owners used to show off their roster and battle each other using a Link Cable, leading to more gaming communities.
The grand-daddy of first-person shooters, “Wolf 3D,” as many called it, was a significant turning point in the gaming industry internationally and created a genre of gaming that many people all over the Middle East loved and appreciated.
In the game, you play as an American soldier going through fictional events set in WWII as he escapes from his prison cell and works his way through different levels fighting Nazis to reach the German Fürher himself in a mechanized suit.
Computer users played the game back in 1992 and discussed how they were able to complete more challenging levels, becoming a great conversation starter for gamers at the time. The game had a straight-to-the-point premise, while the gameplay didn’t have a difficult learning curve, leading to many picking it up easily. You move your character into the room, point your gun towards the enemies, shoot them, and look for keys to open new areas while looking for the elevator to get to the next level.
Created by ID Software, the game was such a success that over the years, it got several reboots and remakes with better graphics and an updated story.
ID Softwares followup to “Wolfenstein 3D,” “DOOM” was about taking the experience to another level. ID improved the game extensively in every way; the graphics were enhanced (for the time), it had an addictive metal soundtrack, and the setting was very immersive.
Gamers played as “DOOM Guy,” a space marine sent on a mission to Mars when Earth got a distress signal that demons had overrun the planet and killed the scientists and colonizers there, leading the character to fight his way to fund the source of the demon outbreak.
“DOOM” was intense for the time, much more fast-paced compared to “Wolfenstein 3D,” and more immersive, you knew you were cool if you owned the game and your friends didn’t because they’d be calling you to ask for the game for a few days.
Unfortunately, the game came with controversy as parents thought that the game was too violent due to some gory visuals and demonic themes. Nevertheless, the game persevered, recently got a very successful reboot, and has a massive fanbase today.
Medal Of Honor Allied Assault
Three games conquered cyber centers in Egypt, and this one was a must-have, not just for its central single-player campaign but for its multiplayer too.
The first-person shooter storyline followed a soldier fighting his way through several campaigns during WWII, including the fight at Normandy, recreating the first scene from “Saving Private Ryan” flawlessly. However, it was multiplayer that saw the most players.
In the cyber center, the computers were connected to the same network, making it easy to play together, and creating the perfect competitive environment for everyone to test their skills. Players chose either to play as the allies or axis, fighting in a selection of maps to see who was the best at it, leading to intense moments and a lot of screaming.
The multiplayer rounds were quick and had crazy memorable moments while players in the center battled to be at the top of the rankings sheet at the end of each round. Unfortunately, with time entries in the game died out and eventually disappeared from the scene.
The second game in the must-play trio, “Counter-Strike,” was a multiplayer-only game where players either played as terrorists or counter-terrorism units (CT).
The first-person shooter was simple and to the point. It didn’t have too much fluff to go through as players chose one of the two factions to play as, then entered a small-sized map using the funds the game gives them to select their weapons and fight it out.
There was a multitude of popular maps like “Assault” and game modes, such as “Team Deathmatch,” “Hostage Rescue,” and “Demolition.”
“Team Deathmatch” had players fighting to the last player standing, “Hostage Rescue” had CT players rescue the hostages from the defending terrorists, and lastly, there’s “Demolition,” which had CT players trying o protect certain areas from the attacking terrorists who want to plant a bomb there.
The game created a bond between players due to the teamwork and communication required to carry out the missions in the game, making it easy for newcomers to meet new people and friends.
Command & Conquer: Generals
The last in the cyber center trio, “Command & Conquer: Generals,” was a real-time strategy game that pitted players against each other and the clock, using the military of several countries to find out who would reign supreme.
“Generals,” as people liked to call it at the time, had a single-player campaign where players took control of a country’s base, a small number of troops, and a builder to expand into nearby areas, get resources, and accomplish an assigned mission.
On the other hand, the multiplayer players get the same three things and put on opposing sides on a map. Players needed to move fast, gather as many resources as they could to build an army, and attack the other players to become the battlefield’s champion.
The game didn’t come without controversy, as one of the playable factions, the Global Liberation Army (GLA), depicted Middle Easterners as terrorists using mobs and suicide bombers to complete their objectives. It was still fun, though.
FIFA & Winning Eleven
Our last entry was for the sports fans, as two rivals were fighting over the “Best Football Game” title, “FIFA” and “Winning Eleven.”
Created by the American company Electronic Arts (EA), “FIFA” started simple; it focused on the fun factor but would later shift that focus to realism, striving to become the best football simulation.
“FIFA” had all the big clubs, making the selection process easier for players everywhere. The game is still very popular today as there are a lot of people who consider it the more superior football game due to its realism, even though there are still several funny bugs that destroy that realism.
“Winning Eleven” was the exact opposite of “FIFA,” Japanese company Konami developed the game, which had a laid-back feel to it, focusing more on the gameplay and the fun aspect than graphics, making it a preferred football game by many.
The game would later get a title change, becoming what is now known as “Pro Evolution Soccer” (PES), with more and more players putting their all on the virtual pitch on consoles.
Fans still debate which is the better game today! But with how the “FIFA” brand is now stripped from Electronic Arts and “PES” went “free to play,” we’ll have to wait and see how the football gaming world evolves. Who knows, maybe another game will take their place.
We Said This: Don’t Forget… 9 Epic Middle Eastern Characters In Video Games.