Posted on April 26, 2018
Did you ever play Rags to Riches?
Do you make top five lists? I do. Today I made my computer game top five list:
- Rags to Riches (C64) (Free)
- Ultima IV (C64) (Free)
- Sim City 2000 (MAC/PC)($5.99)
- Sam & Max Hit the Road (MAC/LINUX/PC) ($5.99)
- 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?
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.