Did you ever play Rags to Riches?

Rags to Riches for the Commodore 64

Do you make top five lists? I do. Today I made my computer game top five list:

  1. Rags to Riches (C64) (Free)
  2. Ultima IV (C64) (Free)
  3. Sim City 2000 (MAC/PC)($5.99)
  4. Sam & Max Hit the Road (MAC/LINUX/PC) ($5.99)
  5. Fallout 3 (PC) ($19.99)

I realize this list spans the ages, it’s a top five computer games of all time list. These are my favorites. I want you to note #1… Rags to Riches.

I bought Rags to Riches in I’d say about 1987 for 99 cents at Software Etc in the Santa Monica Place. It was part of a collection of games from a company called Value Ware. The other two games were Algebra Dragons and some Egypt tomb thing I think. I played the other two games like maybe once each, I payed Rags to Riches for hours and hours and hours and hours. When I discovered emulation in the late 90’s, I played Rags to Riches for hours and hours and hours and hours again. Thanks to the magic of emulation I was able to “finish” the game (it dosn’t really have a finish).

Why do I love this game so much, I mean it made #1 in my top five. Well it’s because it’s so f-ing original. You play a hobo who needs to get a haircut, find a job and move up in the world. The goal of the game is to make a million dollars, but nothing really happens when you finally do that in the game. How’s that for real? The graphics give the game a feel all it’s own, This was obviously a single person project that simply did not receive the sort of press it deserved back in the 80’s. The guy who made it is named Bob Keener who I can’t find any info on. If he’s still alive, I’d like to shake his hand and tell him how much his game meant to me over the years. I mean, I’v been through thirty-one years relationships, jobs, careers, training, schools, births, deaths, happiness, sadness… life stuff, and through it all I’ve always had a copy of Rags to Riches to remind me that it’s all about getting enough to eat, a place to sleep and a haircut if you want a job. I think a lot of my reasons for taking a more Taoist outlook may be a result of the Rags to Riches influence. Geez, that’s a lot for one little game eh?

Skid Row Joe, programed by me in my spare time last spring.

Anyhow, I love this game so much that I created a tribute game with the Pico-8 Fantasy Console that is my version of Rags to Riches that I called Skid Row Joe, and is available on this very site in the Retropute Games Section. Pico-8 deserves its own post, and I will do that in the future for sure, but for now go ahead and play some Rags to Riches or Skid Row Joe because you can.

Rags to Riches on GB64

Play Skid Row Joe


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