Retro Sci-Fi Games: Simon

Posted by Guest Author on Mar 15, 2008 in Videogames |

Retro Sci-Fi Games: Simon

It seems almost impossible to fall over in a game store without knocking over a few dozen sci-fi themed games, so we wanted to take a look at the ten best examples of the genre. Our twist? Retro! So here’s one glimpse of the future from the past:


Sure, it would be easy to wonder why this simple little kid’s game of follow-the-leader should make it onto this list. To you, all I have to say is Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Simon is obviously a pan-dimensional communications device sent to test the evolutionary progress of civilizations across the universe. To the casual observer it may seem like a simple match game. While most people think that “winning” is simply hitting every candy-colored note at the right time, most fail to realize that the way we lose is just as important. Our behavior is very closely monitored during this “play,” while all of our vital statistics and higher brain functions are sent out at light speed every time our fingers touch the pads.

The language of the game is simple: four colored pads emit four harmonic notes and it’s your job to repeat the ever lengthening series back to the machine. The possible combinations of the four base notes are enough to stock the musical library of even the most avid music collectors across time and space. While to the player it seems as though there are only four colors, they in fact combine as the light waves travel through the vast expanse between our globular clusters. Passing through several amplifiers, by the time they reach their destination our simple children’s game radiates out over their world, showering them with lights and sounds we cannot possibly imagine.

Zac Bentz is a regular contributor to the Japanese culture blog Japanator, runs his own Japanese music review blog ZB’s A-Z of J-Music and plays crazy electro-rock in The Surfactants. He lives in Duluth, MN with his wife, pets and a closet full of adventure.

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