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What have you actually PLAYED tracker for 2017 (Season 10)

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tl;dr: Play games (from 20th-century systems) and post your times!

Once more we've reached a new year, and with that it's time to move from the old thread to the new. Astonishingly, we're now in the tenth season of our gameplay tracker, and still going strong -- but new members are always welcome: the more the merrier, quite literally.

So what is this?

The basic idea is to post what games you played during each week, and for how long. You don't have to time it down to the minute (though some of us do), and estimates are acceptable. Then, at the end of the week, the statskeeper (that's me) totals everything up and we find out which games and platforms are seeing the most action.

Each week, we have top 10 lists for consoles/computers and for individual games. We also have a separate top 10 list for games released on platforms that predate the US release of the NES (i.e. roughly the tail end of 1985). That way, arcade-style vintage gaming doesn't get totally lost in the shuffle of RPGs, collectathons, and other games that take 10+ hours to complete.

However, in 2016 the #1 game was Kaboom, the quintessential old-school VCS game, for the seventh year in a row. So the old consoles and computers are more than holding their own.


1. Be sure to list the system, the name of the game, and the length of time you play. Please note if the game has any alternate titles by which it's better known (i.e. Air Sea Battle vs. Target Fun). If you list multiple games, please group them by platform. If you play on a backwards-compatible system, e.g. Atari 2600 games on the 7800 or SMS games on the Genesis, the game should be listed under the older platform's name.

2. Each week runs Monday through Sunday (at midnight), except the first and last week of the year. The deadline for posting stats is now 3:00 PM (EST) on Mondays to allow for different time zones. I may accept times posted after the deadline. If you post late on Monday, please make it clear that you're posting last week's times.

3. Playing on actual vintage hardware is preferred, although emulators are certainly allowed. In some cases (homebrews in development, rare arcade games) there's no alternative to using an emulator.

4. Our cutoff year is 2000. That is, eligible consoles and computers have to have been released (in the US) before 2000. This includes Dreamcast and N64, but excludes the most recent systems like PlayStation 2, XBox, GameCube, Game Boy Advance, et al. You're welcome to mention gameplay on those systems, but as of now they won't be added to the tracker.

The same goes for computers: we count Windows 95 and 98 games, but not XP; Mac OS 9, but not OS X; and so on.

5. Arcade games up to A.D. 2000 are permitted. So are emulated compilations of arcade games for modern systems, as long as they're not rewritten or otherwise massively "updated" versions. If you play 45 minutes of Robotron via Midway Arcade Treasures for the XBox, those 45 minutes are counted towards the arcade game. When you're playing arcade compilations, be sure to list each game separately (don't just put "Midway Arcade Treasures - 45 min.")

6. You don't just have to post a bare list of times -- comments, stories, gripes, and helpful hints are always encouraged! If you're struggling with a level, got a new high score, or have some thoughts about what's great or what stinks about a particular game...well, that's the kind of stuff that makes this fun to read.

How to make the statskeeper's life easier:

- If you post a big list of games, please consider alphabetizing them first (after grouping them by platform).

- Posting your times in minutes, rather than hours + minutes, makes things a little simpler.

- Even if you don't know the exact time, it's better to post a specific number and say it's an estimate. If you say you posted a bunch of games for "between 20 minutes and an hour", I'll just average everything out to 40 minutes, but it's much better to have a sense of which games you played more and which ones you played less.

- If there's room for confusion or ambiguity, please address that in advance so I don't have to research it myself. Non-US releases, homebrews in progress, alternate titles, and expanded re-releases can get especially tricky.

That about covers it. I've just posted the summary for 2016 (starting here), including the all-time top games, so those who like stats are welcome to check that out.

One more thought:

If you haven't participated before, or if you did and got busy with other things, consider taking part in 2017! You may find that it has some interesting side effects -- I've found that keeping a log dramatically changes how I think about my own gaming, and mostly for the better. icon_smile.gif

P.S. Past years of the tracker: 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016

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Here's an interesting question that never occurred to me in previous years: Are dedicated video game handhelds like the pre-2000 Tiger LCD games tracked? I ask because tonight I remembered a very addictive puzzle game from Tiger called "Lights Out" that I used to play constantly back in the 90's and I was wondering if it was trackable. Though now that I think about it, even if LCD handhelds are trackable Lights Out might not be, since it's a simple LED based game that doesn't use a video screen of any kind.

Edited by Jin
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As of now the "Handheld/Tabletop" category has seen these logged:


Dungeons and Dragons (Mattel)
Football (Mattel)
Head to Head Talking Football (Tiger)
Ironsword: Wizards & Warriors II (Acclaim)
Little Mermaid (Tiger)
Pac-Man (Coleco)
Pong Generation 2
Tandy-12 Computerized Arcade
Tomy Grandstand Caveman
For obvious reasons it's a pretty loose category and I haven't been super-meticulous about standards. I'm disinclined to allow simple LED-based games like Simon and Merlin, but I suspect some are in there already (I've probably logged a few!).
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I like the Atari 2600 version of Miner 2049er even though you have to be perfectly positioned to safely jump the mutants.

I wanted this game (for the 2600) so bad when I was little. I got sick and had to miss a week of school. My mom surprised me by buying Miner 2049er for me. After wanting it so badly, I was disappointed with how slowly it moved. It wasn't a bad game but would have been so much better if it played at a quicker pace. I like to Commodore version much better!

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Apple II:

Star Blazer - 2 min.

Taxman - 2 min.

Atari 8-bit:

Defender - 3 min.

Mattel Aquarius:

Burger Time - 3 min.


Hole in One Professional - 8 min.

Hyper Rally - 9 min.

Knightmare - 6 min.

The Maze of Galious - 3 min.

A bit of function testing own & other systems. I'm not sure I'll have any play time during Sunday, so I'll post early.

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Here are my times for this past week (January 1st through 8th)...



Mike the magic dragon - 38 min.



Space Attack (Sega) - 132 min. in 2 sessions



Apocashop - 10+ min.

Family Guy Tiles - 55 min.

Farm Tiles - 433 min. in 8 sessions


This week I played way more than last week. First I replayed "Mike the magic dragon", a platformer on the Amiga. Then I discovered Sega's "Space Attack" arcade game which I didn't discover last time around because there's a game by the same name which is a bootleg of Space Invaders. Sega's version, however, is a remake of Space Invaders, and I think this is the game I was looking for when I referred to it as being "Deluxe Space Invaders". At least it's much as I remember it... it has color, the invaders look different from the original with some have flapping ear-like things, it scores in hundreds with a maximum score of 99,900, and there's a bonus round between waves where a saucer goes left and right erratically until it escapes or you hit it. What I don't remember is the blue background, and I thought the invaders were a bit more colorful than they are. Also, unlike the original Space Invaders, this version runs at an inconsistent speed, similar to the original of Gorf. Your cannon and the enemy fire move much faster than in the original Space Invaders, and actually I think this must have been an inspiration for TI's TI Invaders for the TI-99 which shares some of its features. Sadly, the emulation in MAME lacks sound, but I actually have a tape where I recorded the sound of it in the arcade back in 1980, and it actually sounds very much like Space Invaders (if the tape really contains that game, but I think it does). However, I just found a screenshot of an actual arcade machine at http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=9638, and it shows a starfield instead of the blue background and also different invader colors, which is more like I remember it.


Other than that, I played some online games on Kongregate. Farm Tiles is a farming game where you put together a more and more complex ecology system with the goal being putting together a picnic basket out of various ingredients. Family Guy Tiles, in contrast, is a puzzle game with the twist that the tiles are laid out in 2 layers. Finally, in Acopashop you play a shopkeeper trying to sell swords and chickens to passers-by, aiming not to make a loss if possible.

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I planned on playing more commodore 64 games this year so here's my recent gaming...




Pinball Quest - 20 minutes

One on One: Bird vs Jordan - 45 minutes

Donkey Kong - 15 minutes


Maybe the C64 will get some time next week

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Atari 2600:

E.T. - 20 minutes

Superman - 25 minutes



Tempest 2000 - 20 minutes



Shiryou Sensen 2 - 1045 minutes



Castlevania - 30 minutes

Super Mario Bros. 3 - 150 minutes



Shiryou Sensen: Browning no Fukkatsu - 670 minutes


eyy, another 1000 minute club game. seriously I need something better to do with my time.


Alright, well I got a nice little list of stuff anyways. My main games for the week were the rest of the Shiryou Sensen games - no PC Engine one yet (can't find my Ultra Pro binder of HuCards, it perfectly blends into my MTG card binders as they're the same binders) - but I did throw some other random stuff in on the side.


So, for the main two games, well I figured I should play through these and I'm glad I did. In the last few weeks of 2016 I ran the original Shiryou Sensen/War of the Dead and enjoyed it with some complaints about gameplay. So, I figure this is a good time to cover the rest of the series. The first of the two I did is the PC-88 one - Shiryou Sensen: Browning no Fukkatsu (War of the Dead: Browning's Resurrection) - which is essentially a remake of the original except it's got a good few swaps to it. First starting it, there's two big things I noticed - the everything is bigger and faster, but you only get eight colors. In the end, from these few things, you get smoother and bolder animation but the color is a tad bit more ugly so you sacrifice general look for quality movement. A few battles in and one of my biggest issues was fixed - guns have unlimited ammo! I mean they balanced out weapons and monsters are only really vulnerable to certain stuff that makes more sense, but holy crap you don't get screwed out on fists and the knife. Speaking of combat, a new issue has appeared - the MSX can hold multiple enemies, the PC-88 can only hold one - but they also had fixed some others - enemies won't attack while you're standing still and encounter rates are dropped so you're not being constantly violated of your right to walk around a damn map. Going back to graphics alongside combat, sadly the PC-88 can't hold a background scene on combat screens so you get a nice black box but whatever. For other minor changes, this is what I noticed - No day/night cycle, no Bush Knife (extended knife), no SMG, no Parabola Launcher, you get a flamethrower, more events, synthesized music that sounds nicer and adds to the atmosphere. I'd say honestly if you have an interest in playing this game series, for the first just pick up the PC-88 version - it's seriously worth it if you want the least frustration while keeping the gameplay the exact same - the only issue with it is that even if you run it on an emulator with savestates, there's no english-patched .d88s so you have to deal with the japanese text. I may take more time out on this for next week as I want to see if I've missed any major changes somewhere along the line


Onto the second of these two, well this game is different. I own it on both MSX2 and PC-88 but I figured I'd run with the MSX2 as it's the original version and came even before the remake/PC Engine versions of the game. As a sequel, well it's a few years after the main events and a bunch of terrorists targeted a big industrial city called Sun Dorado. You play as Lila a few years later than the 1st game as a part of S-SWAT and have to handle the situation of a Nuclear Power Plant being taken over alongside an issue of creatures from hell somehow coming into the situation. Gameplay-wise, this is not an RPG anymore - ever play Metal Gear? There's no stats, day/night, overworld, etc. and instead you have these big maps with no random battles. I will say, combat is a lot better in this version - you walk into a room, there's a health bar for the hostile, and well you know what to do. Still though, I was kinda hoping for a bit more story and all that, there's still a plot of course but not a ton like the previous entry... nobody beside Lila even matters, character profiles are gone, the story is shrunk, etc. although it still is a good game. The plot that does exist kept me wanting to find out more and more, the combat is a lot less of a pain in the ass, you've got control on all the gameplay aspects, and the atmosphere is even nicer - you can really get into it if you're dedicated to the game. I guess in summary, it's more of an action-adventure than an RPG but my god did I still enjoy the thing.


So I ended up dragging the NES out, yeah it was a lot of fun. Tradition states that the first game of the year is Castlevania for the NES and I did just that. Also, today, I played SMB3 - I had friends over and we ran through it with me restricted to a U-Force controller (surprisingly workable although it takes forever to learn how to actually use the thing) and the others passing around my Sansui SSS that I usually run as they refused to use the U-Force. SMB3 with a U-Force is a lot of fun I guess I should say, and it was funny watching the others fail constantly trying to figure out how to use the thing - it's something I'd do again anyways.


Atari got a bit of playtime from me as I decided to make my annual contribution to the trackers lord and savior, Kaboom by Activision. I seriously suck at this game, I couldn't make the requirements for the patch, but hey it's entertaining... all I can say is that I suck I guess. After I got that out of the way, I played ET and Superman - they're always confusing to me but hey, read the manual and I know exactly what I've got to do and they're fun games anyways.


At work we got yet another Jaguar in (if no customers pick it up for a few weeks my god I'm jumping on that) so being that my job is fixing and testing hardware I did exactly that - Tempest 2000 is always fun, and I seriously want a Jaguar for T2K at least.


So, that was my week with gaming. I did put some time into modern games too - I have like 118GB of games to download from the Steam sale still and I got the other half finished up so I've been running some of that - but apart from work and watching movies all I've done is games. I figure for next week I'll pull something odd out and run it as I haven't done that in a while and that either leads to loads of frustration or fun so it may be worth it.

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Here's an interesting question that never occurred to me in previous years: Are dedicated video game handhelds like the pre-2000 Tiger LCD games tracked? I ask because tonight I remembered a very addictive puzzle game from Tiger called "Lights Out" that I used to play constantly back in the 90's and I was wondering if it was trackable. Though now that I think about it, even if LCD handhelds are trackable Lights Out might not be, since it's a simple LED based game that doesn't use a video screen of any kind.

Tigers game.com system is tracked and it has a version of Lights out on it ;)

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My times for the (eight-day) week:


Flappy - 55 min.

Hatris - 61 min.

Hell Fighter - 2 min.

Karateka - 111 min.

Nuts & Milk - 7 min.

Overlord - 8 min.

Target: Renegade - 20 min.

Thunder Warrior - 1 min.

Game Boy:

Jungle no Ouja Tar-chan - 3 min.

Mouse Trap Hotel - 57 min.

Noobow - 1 min.

Shikinjou - 4 min.

Tennis - 25 min.

Top Rank Tennis - 164 min.


Art of Fighting - 35 min.

International Tennis Tour - 43 min.

Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 - 514 min.

Pac-In-Time - 36 min.

Toys - 58 min.

Beat Overlord, Karateka, Target: Renegade, and Hatris on the NES; Top Rank Tennis and Tennis on the Game Boy; and Art of Fighting and Toys on the SNES. Of those, Top Rank Tennis was the only one I'd never beaten before, though this was the first time I'd ever beaten Karateka legitimately (i.e. without savestates).

(In fact Karateka was the very first game I ever beat using an emulator, though oddly enough I don't think it was the first game I beat with savestates -- my family briefly owned or rented a hardware cheat device for SNES in the mid-1990s, and I think I may have used it when beating Super Turrican.)

Anyway, thoughts on some of those here. Otherwise, besides checking out a few random NES and Game Boy games, I made it through some levels of action puzzlers Pac-In-Time and Flappy; lost a match and won a match in International Tennis Tour; and -- my biggest time this week -- played most of the way through Lord of the Rings Vol. 1 on SNES, with only the Mines of Moria left to go.

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