In case you are not aware, I have kind of a thing for vintage computers. I got like 60 of these things hanging around from all the eras and all the countries that I can get my hands on them. I just think it’s fun! I love going out into the wild and seeing what you can find. And you know, a lot of other hobbies get games made out of them. Fishing and chess and whatnot, so, why not vintage computer collecting? I’ve always thought that was strange. Seems like a fun game…to me. But it didn’t exist. Until now! Someone has finally come along and fixed that. Retro Fever. Developed by Brandon Bogle and Brian Picchi in 2014 for the Apple II! “There is no cure, only more computers…” I couldn’t have said it better myself. And, yes, it was distributed in a plastic Ziploc bag just like the earliest personal computer games, which is the first clue that this is made by people that really know their audience. Open the bag and you get some instructions printed out on a sheet of card stock, detailing all of the detailed details of the game’s details.
Naturally, it comes on a 5¼-inch floppy disk which is only appropriate and I would have it no other way. It’ll run on any 64k Apple II, so the IIe, IIc, IIGS and the like should all work just fine. I’ll playing and capturing this using my Laser 128EX, a clone of the Apple II by V-Tech from 1987. Just insert the floppy disk, turn the machine on, and enjoy that catchily upbeat intro tune. Press the joystick button and Level 1 begins with you and your wife entering the recycling center, with a message instructing you to save the computers from destruction and eBay. And, yeah, the goal of the game is like a page straight out of my diary. You’re a vintage computer collector and those precious Apple II computers are out there, just ripe for the picking! The problem is that the world is conspiring against you, with a greedy reseller snatching up everything to sell online for ridiculous prices, the recycling center doing their job but sadly destroying pieces of history in the process, and your tenacious wife constantly pressuring you to make you get rid of your technological treasures.
If either one of them touches you, you die! While I lack the wife, the rest I can identify with increasingly so as the years go by, as I have died many times at the hands of eBay resellers. But seriously, I just love the fact that this niche struggle was made into a game! Frickin’ cracks me up! As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to have it. Although, man, I WISH recycling centers had this many free computers. They’ll constantly stream in from the left, and unless you or the businessman pick them up, they go straight to the incinerator. Sometimes other things will come along, like clocks that freeze things, so you can grab computers freely, and money that can be picked up and dropped onto the ground to distract your wife and the businessman. I love the fact that the money is of no value. You’re not after that. It’s like, “Who cares? I got an Apple II!” That is so spot-on to the enthusiast collector mentality. The next level is the repair shop, and this is another all-too-familiar scene for a vintage computer collector. After all, most of the computers you’ll come across are gonna need *something* done to them, due to some kind of damage or just the ravages of time.
Although whoever runs this shop has gone full Bane and hasn’t merely adopted the darkness but was born in it, molded by it. Everything is pitch black and you have no idea where anything is until you’re right on top of it, or find a lantern. There’s also a giant rat wandering around that wants nothing more than to taste human flesh. And from what I hear, computer collector flesh is quite soft and juicy, and rats love that stuff! Yeah, so what you’ll need to do is go up to each computer, see what part letter pops up on the screen, go find the part and bring it back to the computer without getting eaten by Master Splinter.
Sometimes you’ll run into a special part which can be used in place of any other part, but most of the time, you’ll be running the gauntlet trying to track down one tiny thing you need to give your amazing recycling center haul a fresh breath of life! The final level is the roadside, and it makes so little sense, it’s hilarious. For some reason, your computers are on the side of the road in the middle of the day and the sun is beaming down its beams like Missile Command rockets. Vintage ABS plastics and UV light do not mix, so in order to prevent your computers from yellowing, you have to run around with an umbrella and block the sun’s rays.
You can also grabs bottles of Retr0bright, if you’re quick enough, which is a bonus and is another perfect nod to the hobby that only the initiated will understand. Once the sun sets in the west, you’re in the clear, but of course there are other obstacles in the way. Seems that pesky businessman has added vehicular manslaughter to his list of unscrupulous activities, and is constantly threatening to run you over with his flashy convertible, no doubt bought with the money of overpriced vintage computers that he didn’t really care about to begin with. And yet again, your wife is on the prowl, trying to stop you from being such a doofus. After all if you’ve left your computers outside and you’re running around in the street with an umbrella, the hobby has gone too far.
Oh, that poor lady! I’m sure she means well, and yet, here she is as the enemy. Although if you go to Brian’s channel and watch the video “Angry Wife Threatens to Break Computer,” you’ll see some of the inspiration directly and it’s a tad scary. Such are the joys of married life, or so I’m told. And that’s it for Retro Fever. a simple set of mini-games all about the joys and hardships of retro computer collecting, with a little bit of relationship commentary on the side. And I gotta say, I love this. If only for the subtle humor and the constant winks and nods to one of my favorite pastimes. It’s simple, it’s fun, it’s very playable, and it’s free to download from Brian’s website. Plus that plastic bag packaging completely sealed the deal. I’d love to see a sequel on the Apple IIGS or the Macintosh or something, like, dealing with the challenges of storing the computers and balancing real life with precious computer playtime. But hey, until then, there’s Retro Fever, a fantastic little homebrew title that hits so close to home it just amuses me to no end.
This is awesome. And if this video amused you and you would like to see some more, then I’ve got a ton of them on my channel and plenty more are on the way. New videos every Monday and Friday here on LGR. So subscribing is beneficial if you would like to be benefited. And definitely go and check Brian’s awesome channel, TanRu Nomad, on YouTube as well as Brandon’s awesome website. I got a link to both of them in the video description, so go and check ’em out. And you can also check *me* out further on Twitter and Facebook, if you’re that kind of online stalker person. And there’s always Patreon for those of you that like to take it a step further, as far as, uh, good stuff, not the creepy stuff. And as always, thank you very much for watching. .