Old-school computer games

Image adapted from: Habbo, Viwawa, Neopets & 3D Pinball

Back in primary school, the best lessons took place in the computer lab; We got to cast aside our books and warm classrooms for computers and sweet, sweet air-conditioning.

And we always looked forward to gaining knowledge from our teachers in an environment more conducive for learning! …At least, that was the original plan. When ‘cher wasn’t looking – or so we thought – many of us diverted our attention to some of the 11 games below.

1. Little Fighter 2

little fighter 2 home screenImage credit: Little Fighter Empire

Little Fighter 2 was wildly popular back in the early 2000s when it was in its prime. Catch anyone intently mashing their keyboards, and you could almost be certain LF2 was the culprit.

little fighter 2 creating firzenFiren and Freeze combine to create Firzen
Image adapted from: BrotherzZzGaming

You could choose from 24 different characters, each one with his/her own unique movesets and strengths. Who can forget the iconic Firen and Freeze – representing fire and ice respectively -, two characters that combined in-battle to create the powerful Firzen?

little fighter 2 co-opImage credit: Little Fighter

And nothing beats the co-op function of LF2, where you and a friend can share 1 keyboard for a split-play sesh. The only downside to that was not being able to hide the fact that you were gaming instead of actually e-learning.

You can still relive the experience of playing LF2 today, with the game available for download on its official website here.

2. BattleOn

battleon battle sceneImage credit: Uncyclopedia

While BattleOn’s graphics look like they were put together by MS Paint, it was the entry point for many of us into the world of fantasy RPGs. It allowed us to insert ourselves into a whole other world through characters that were completely customisable.

battleon warlic's magic shopImage credit: wikiHow

If you’re someone who’s drawn to all things magical, you’d have loved Warlic’s magic shop, where you could learn how to sling fireballs and conjure gusts of wind to attack foes.

battleon pet rockRocky smashing Vagaran with 4 points of earth damage
Image credit: The Average Gamer

And it was also here that you could get your first impromptu pet for free – a pet rock! All you had to do was mix magma leaf, bad juice, and slattwob dust into a cauldron at the back of the shop to create the rock, which was perfectly functional as a combatant in battle.

battleon guardian packageImage credit: Battleon

The desire to pay real money to become a premium Guardian in BattleOn was a very real one, and we would be bummed each time the window asking us to become one popped up, blocking us from accessing exclusive content like towns, areas, and quests.

3. Stickdeath

stickdeath shortThis was one of the tamer ways stick figures got killed on Stickdeath.com
Image credit: Angelfire

Belying the nondescript facade of Stickdeath.com’s homepage was the guilty pleasure of a good number of our childhood selves.

stickdeath homepageImage credit: Meme

This website offered games where your ultimate objective was to brutally murder stick figures. Though the these were crudely animated on Flash, they were still pretty graphic – enough to make any parent’s skin crawl and rob you of access to a computer for weeks.

stickdeath rebornThe new interface of Stickdeath’s rebirth
Image credit: Alex VS Games

‘Twas fun to not just play games behind the teacher’s back, but also indulge in something taboo. Although the original site has since been taken down, it has been partially revived here, where you can once again inflict despair upon hapless stick figures.

4. Spider Solitaire

spider solitaireImage credit: BrunoDaniel1000

Spider Solitaire was instantly identifiable by its iconic spider logo, as we’ve seen on our good ol’ Windows computers. Its simple interface made it a great way to pass the time – without maxing out the dial-up internet budget.

With many of our parents being fans of the game themselves, it naturally got their seal of approval. And playing this would make our kid selves feel more grown up, what with the cards’ no-nonsense.

5. Neopets

neopets old landing pageImage credit: The Daily Neopets Forums

The web version of Tamagotchi, Neopets was where we could create, raise, and play with our very own alien pets. Like real pets, our Neopets had moods that would turn sour if neglected for too long – cue the daily logins, feedings, and mini games to keep our pets happy.

neopets abandoned petPlease don’t cry
Image credit: Bustle

And to meet our pets’ needs, we would gather Neopoints to buy things like food and toys for them – we could even buy pets for our pets that were called petpets! Neopoints were primarily obtained from the huge collection of minigames that the site had to offer.

neopets hasee bounceImage adapted from: Sparkle Sillies

Hasee Bounce was one of the more memorable games, where you bounce two little Hasee critters off a seesaw to snag doughnuts floating across the screen.

neopets new landing pageImage credit: Neopets

Neopets is still up and running today, so if you still remember the login details of your old account, check in on the pets you’ve abandoned your beloved pets today!

6. Habbo

For those of us who weren’t into RPGs, Habbo was our thing, connecting us with people all over the world under the roof of a massive virtual hotel.

habbo roomsImage credit: Habbo

Creating our own characters and designing our rooms were highlights for us Habbo fans, and we could actively socialise by visiting each other’s rooms. And for those who were part of the older crowd, Habbo was like an early version of Tinder – a hotspot for us to find our next date with the magic phrase “A/S/L?”

habbo battleballImage credit: Habbo Wikia

And for a period of time, Habbo had these “official rooms” that anyone could access, some of which even had mini games like Battle Ball, SnowStorm, Wobble Squabble, and diving.

habbo snowstormImage credit: Habbo Wikia

Habbo is as yet not dearly departed from the Internet, and is still receiving regular updates on its website here.

7. Icy Tower

icy tower title screenImage credit: Soft Famous

Another timeworn classic we loved was Icy Tower, where the objective was to jump from one “floor” to the next, aiming to go up as high as you can without falling off the platforms.

icy tower gameplayImage credit: Soft Famous

Those of us who played this game religiously know that this game was impossible to beat – there were far too many stages of platforms, and we only kept going upwards without any definite end in sight.

All the time we’ve spent on this game has firmly ingrained its trippy rainbow-illuminated text and the skater dude’s “woo”s and “whoopee-doo-dee-doo”s as he jumped and cartwheeled into our minds.

8. 3D Pinball Space Cadet

3d pinball space cadetImage credit: PC Gamer

Now this is a game that we all have played at one point or another in our lives. 3D Pinball Space Cadet was memorable for being very high-tech for its time, featuring a pinball board entirely rendered in 3D – all save for the scoreboard on the side.

The audio only added to the experience, with the sound of an engine revving at the start of a game, and alarms going off when a pinball is ejected – making you feel like you were commandeering an actual spacecraft.

9. Club Penguin

club penguin partyImage credit: Kiss 91.7

Club Penguin was basically just like Habbo, but made more kid-friendly with penguins and igloos instead of human-like avatars and hotel rooms. The penguin avatar you created was fully customisable, where you could pick its colour and even the clothing and accessories it wore.

club penguin coloursImage credit: Club Penguin Wikia

Although Club Penguin didn’t seem particularly special, it was strangely addictive with the huge number of activities in-site, such as earning stamps, having snowball fights, and playing mini games.

club penguin bean countersGame of Bean Counters in session
Image credit: Crzypengu

Bean Counters was a cute little game in which you tortured your penguin by getting him to catch an increasing number of coffee bean bags tossed out from the back of a truck.

club penguin bad wordsLettuce off, you donkey!
Image credit: CollegeHumor

And there was, of course, testing the “bad word” system to see what colourful words and expressions would incur the wrath of the dreaded ban hammer.

Sadly, Club Penguin has shuttered, leaving in its wake nothing but fond memories, screenshots, and videos of the game in its heyday.

10. Viwawa

Proudly made in Singapore, Viwawa is a one-stop portal for us to swing by and play casual multiplayer games online.

viwawa wahjongImage credit: Cherry Credits

Wahjong was a very popular game available on Viwawa, and it was basically mahjong modified with SG and HK-centric rules. With its cutesy interface and player avatars, this was something that even kids could get into. Even Xiaxue had a phase when she avidly played this game back in 2008.

viwawa sushidoImage credit: Cherry Credits

And there was also Sushido, a match 3 game where you acted as a chef and competed with other players in a mad rush to fill your impatient customers’ sushi orders.

viwawa todayStill alive and kicking today
Image credit: Viwawa

Viwawa is still in existence today, although it’s not as big a hit as it once was. You can access the site here.

11. RuneScape

runescape title screenImage credit: Sal’s RuneScape Forum

No matter how fancy modern MMORPGS have become with their awesome graphics, they can never replace the special place RuneScape has in our hearts. Despite its plain, unfancy interface, Runescape stood out for being one of the earliest ways we could connect with and play with our friends in a fantasy world.

runescape fishingFishing
Image credit: Runescape Classic Wikia

Collecting raw materials was a very big thing on RuneScape, and we would spend long hours at the computer just to fish, mine, and cut wood to create new items for upgrading our secondary skills like cooking and fletching.

runescape quest completeCompleting the Legends Guild Quest
Image credit: Runescape Wikia

No RPG is truly complete without a proper quest system, and RuneScape’s did a world of wonders in adding dimension to its canonical characters’ short stories.

While the original classic RuneScape is no longer around, it has been revitalised by a group of devoted fans as Old School RuneScape. This one can only be played through a client, which can be downloaded here.

Nostalgic computer games of the 2000s

Playing these games in the school computer lab was technically against the rules, but hey – you gotta admit that the thrill of sneaking behind your teacher’s back has created some of the most unforgettable memories that you can look back on fondly.