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11 Old School Computer Games You Secretly Played In The Comp Lab As A 90s Primary School Kid

Old school computer games

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 old school computer games below.

1. Little Fighter 2

Little Fighter 2 Main screen
Image 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 Fighters 2 characters combining
Firen and Freeze combine to create Firzen.

Image adapted from: BrotherzZzGaming via YouTube

You could choose from 24 different characters, each one with their 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 1
Little Fighter 1.

Image credit: LittleFighter

And nothing beat the co-op function of LF2, where you and a friend could 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 the Little Fighters official website.

2. BattleOn

BattleOn 2
Image credit: Adventure Quest via 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 Role Playing Games (RPGs). It allowed us to insert ourselves into a whole other world through characters that were completely customisable.

BattleOn Magic Shop
Image 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.

Rocky 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 Membership
Image 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.

The game is still accessible by heading to the BattleOn website, and for better or worse, it still retains its comically simplistic art style from all those years ago,

3. Spider Solitaire

Spider Solitaire
Image credit: BrunoDaniel1000 via YouTube

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.

4. Neopets

Neopets website 2
Image 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 pet profilePlease 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 Bounce
Image adapted from: Sparkle Sillies via YouTube

Hasee Bounce was one of the more memorable games, where you bounce 2 little Hasee critters off a seesaw to snag doughnuts floating across the screen.

Neopets website
Image credit: Neopets

The website 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 via the Neopets website.

5. 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 Room
Image 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 Battle Ball
Image 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 Hotel Origins
The Falling Furni mini game in Habbo Hotel: Origins.

Image adapted from: Habbo Hotel: Origins

Habbo has not quite departed from the Internet just yet, as it has recently been given a new lease of life with Habbo Hotel: Origins. Its core gameplay, as well as its distinct blocky textures largely stay faithful to its predecessor, albeit presented in a higher definition. Avid fans can turn back the years by designing their own rooms, and indulging in iconic virtual pastimes like the Falling Furni mini game.

But, if you’ve ever wanted to roll back the years, you’ll be glad to know that the original Habbo website still exists. Surprisingly, it still receives frequent updates; its last one was just pushed out days ago, releasing a slew of summer collectibles to deck your characters and rooms out with.

6. Icy Tower

Icy Tower main screen
Image credit: Soft Famous

Another time-worn 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
Image 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.

7. 3D Pinball Space Cadet

3D Pinball Space Cadet
Image 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. Alarms also went off when a pinball was ejected, making you feel like you were commandeering an actual spacecraft.

8. Club Penguin

Club Penguin town
Image 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 characters
Image 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 Counters - Old school computer games
Game of Bean Counters in session.

Image credit: Crzypengu via YouTube

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 ban screen - Old school computer games
Lettuce 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.

While the original has shuttered, many sites have taken it upon themselves to recreate an authentic Club Penguin experience. Although the legality of these sites might be sketchy, you can still visit its beloved pizza parlour and snow dojo with a quick search on Google.

9. Viwawa

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

Viwawa Wahjong - Old school computer games
Image credit: Cherry Credits

Wahjong was a very popular game available on Viwawa, and it was basically mahjong modified with Singapore and Hong Kong-centric rules. It even attracted gamers who had but an inkling of the intricate rules of mahjong because its cutesy interface and player avatars were a hit amongst its younger fans.

Viwawa Sushido - Old school computer games
Image 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.

10. RuneScape

RuneScape login page - Old school computer games
Image 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 fishing - Old school computer games
Fishing in RuneScape.

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 Legends Guild Quest - Old school computer games
Completing 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 via the Old School RuneScape website.

11. Y8 Flash games like Bartender: The Right Mix & Boxhead - Old school computer games
What the Y8 website used to look like back in the day.
Image credit: u/Veejay_Carlos via Reddit

This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention of, the website every student would make a beeline for once left to their own devices in the computer lab. It was loaded with Flash games that you could play with just a web browser, making it the de facto site we would head to for fuss-free, clandestine gaming right under the teacher’s nose.

Bartender The Right Mix - Old school computer games
Image credit: NuMuKi

A tried and tested game we would load up on was Bartender: The Right Mix. Players were tasked with concocting a drink that met the standards of a moustachioed bartender, using a varied mix of liquors and garnishes. Try as we might, we could never appease his exquisite taste, and would often inadvertently kill him with our deadly, alcoholic brews.

Box Head - Old school computer games
Image credit: u/IGotaRager via Reddit

Box Head was another favourite amongst pre-teens. You could play this one with a friend by sharing a keyboard to mow down wave after wave of zombies with an arsenal of guns. OGs might remember accidentally blowing up their friends with mines and explosive barrels if they forgot to turn friendly fire off, resulting in hilarious spats IRL afterwards.

If you’d like to experience the glory days of Flash games once more, the Y8 website is still up and running with all the games we used to play, so feel free to have a crack at the classics.

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.

For more games-related articles:

Cover image adapted from: Habbo Hotel, NuMuKi, 3D Pinball, Kiss 91.7
Originally published on 25th July 2021. Last updated by Khoo Yong Hao on 9th July 2024