Do you know how things you treasure from your past probably wouldn’t hold up if you tried to enjoy them again years later?
That doesn’t apply here, buddy.
Because there aren’t more important things to think about these days, nope, my mind recently started wandering back to a game I played on my graphing calculator back in high school.
I did a lot of that back then, mostly during classes not necessarily math. And while there were definitely better games, more atmospheric games, more fun games, more Tetrisy games — and dozens of other games I spent more time on — I’m not sure any captured my imagination quite like this one did.
It was called Cola Wars and this game was absurd. You would buy and sell cans of Coke, Sprite, Mountain Dew, RC Cola and — because it was the late 90s — Jolt. You’d buy them on the street from a dealer and try to re-sell them. Prices would go up and down. For some reason you had to avoid the cops.
I was struck by the sheer… I guess the word would be “randomness” of the idea. It didn’t cross my unsophisticated mind that it could have been a metaphor, an allegory or something. I sincerely believed that someone in the world just one day decided that they would make a game about the risks and rewards of illicitly selling soft drinks on the secondary market.
So when I later discovered that there was a game called Drugwars, and that TI-83 was definitely not the first platform it was available on, and that the weird drinks game was a rip-off — if not a simple find-and-replace — it explained how this mysterious, supremely odd duck came into existence.
And I guess it took away some of the appeal. But just a little. I’d love to find a copy and play it again, but the places I would normally look have failed me. And I’ve done some serious Wayback Machine spelunking.
Help me, the Internet.
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