I am a gamer. I play games of various sorts, including board games and pencil-and-paper RPGs, but mainly I play single-player computer games and videogames. There’s a largish CD rack in my apartment, a kind of trophy case filled with games that I have played to completion and put away. And then there’s the stack.

The stack is the set of games I have not yet completed. Although I call it a stack, it has been some years since it was physically possible to stack them all. In my youth, when my game-buying habits were formed, I had more time than money. Today, I have more money than time. As a result, for the last decade or so, I have bought games faster than I can complete them. Some of the games in the stack haven’t even been opened.

Now, it’s not unusual to start games and not finish them. Most people do that. But I’m a completist. I like finishing things. To me, a game is a commitment, one which may be delayed, but which I genuinely intend to see through to the end. Call it pointless, call it OCD, but it can’t be uncommon among gamers. Much of the pleasure of gaming comes from the illusion of accomplishment, and this pleasure is at its greatest when you stick through to the end, even after a game stops being fun.

Some of the games in my stack are very old: the oldest when I started this site was Sierra’s Mission Asteroid, written in 1980 (although my copy is part of an anthology published long afterward). Not all of them are “A-list” games — for obvious reasons, the worse games tend to stay in the stack longer. Some of them I only bought because they were bundled with another game that I wanted. But I intend to complete every single one, and, furthermore, blog about it.

As I start this blog, there are just over 300 games in the stack.  If I manage to complete an average of one per week (which I won’t), and don’t buy any more games (which I will), it will take about six years to clear the stack. This is, of course, absurd. So really, this whole exercise is an excuse to play a bunch of old games and examine them in detail from today’s perspective.

8 Comments so far

  1. Harry on 12 Oct 2008


    I have read your review quite attentively (LAIR), and while I am not permitted to talk about entries while the contest is in progress, I greatly appreciate any thoughts you may have on improving the game for the post-comp release.

    Take care,


    ps – If you still have it, could you send me the file produced by the conversion? Did you not get the 3.9 Adrift runner?


  2. Wulf on 8 Mar 2010


    nice blog.

    I’m playing Age of Empires, Pool of Radiance, Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion right now.

    Is there any way to see your list of games?

    Ina comment I read somethong about a Google Docs list, how can I see this list?

  3. Carl Muckenhoupt on 8 Mar 2010

    The Google Docs list can be found here, and I’ve also been keeping the list in parallel at Backloggery.

  4. Anne on 30 Jan 2011

    I read and very much enjoy your reviews of the various games, being a long term advenure game fanatic myself (yes, I’m old enough to call them “adventure games”!)
    I searched on Uru and was surprised to see your last entry lamenting the closure of Uru – but nothing since. Are you aware that the game has reopened?
    Cyan is running servers and the fans (or better termed fanatics)are alive and well. Google Myst Online Uru Live and you will find yourself at the familiar places again, with a whole bunch of people discovering Uru – some for the first time, others are rediscovering it all over again.

    Cheers, look forward to seeing you there.

    PS Even the old timers like to play the puzzles again and we all need teamwork to get through ages like Ahnonay, so see you in there!

  5. Ciopo on 3 May 2012

    I would have tried to email this, but I didn’t find a PM service anywhere, so I’ll leave it here, hoping it’s not out of place:

    Could you please ad the possibility to sort the post from oldest to newest, as opposed to them being presented always in a “newest first” order?

    I’ve only recently landed in this blog and it’s interesting enough that I’m likely going to read it all, chronologically, and scrolling up, then down, then up, then down…. is somewhat uncomfortable

  6. Robin Bradshaw on 18 Jun 2018

    Can anyone provide solution to the zipper, practice game no. 19 on the Next Tetris menu?

  7. Hooduh Fukcares on 20 Mar 2023

    While I appreciate your effort, your execution has been found lacking.

    Most of the games you review are so obscure as to be almost meaningless to the public at large, and you often spend ten or fifteen entries on one of them! This is greatly inefficient.

    Good luck with future reviews. I’m done with this blog.

  8. Carl Muckenhoupt on 26 Mar 2023

    Your refund is in the mail.

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