Friday, May 17, 2013

Commodore Classics #2: Little Computer People

This time I would like to ramble on for a few paragraphs about Little Computer People, which is a piece of software I used to load up on a fairly regular basis and just basically enjoy an hour or so mucking about with it. The basic concept is that upon loading, the little computer person himself moves into a virtual house that is displayed on the screen. It comes complete with all the rooms and amenties that you would expect of a standard abode from the 1980's - kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, a little office with a computer of some kind, and a mysterious door at the top of the house that the little chappy is always going in and out of for some reason. Maybe it's a magical portal to the land of Narnia, maybe it's where our tiny serial killer hides the dismembered body parts of his victims? Who knows.

It is not really accurate to describe LCP as a game, as there is no objective or what you could consider to be game play. Instead, you enter instructions via the keyboard which the resident of the house may or may not decide to listen to, and you can also issue keyboard commands that cause food, books or records to be delivered to the door of the house. The main draw of the game is simply watching the little digital chap go about his daily life. He may decide to do some star jumps, he may pop a record on and do the funky chicken, or he might just write you a letter and either thank you for keeping him well supplied in food and water, or complain that you aren't taking care of him.

Will Wright has said that LCP was an influence on The Sims, and you can certainly see the likeness. While it may not keep you entertained for long periods of time, it is packed full of charm and is worth firing up from on the odd occaision. I have many fond memories of coming home from school and mucking about with the software before moving on to something more "hardcore" (cringe).

That's it for another edition of Commodore Classics! I hope that I will manage to get the next one up a bit quicker. I am also toying with the idea of doing similar videos/articles for NES, SNES, Mega Drive and Master System games, as well as having some more Wii Hidden Gems for you. Until then, happy gaming!

You can download the Little Computer People game files here, or the VICE C64 emulator here.

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