The year was 1991, I was a 9 year old Tragic Hero looking for a new computer game to play. I had already beaten Kings Quest 3 and 4 and I had just completed Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. So now I was without any games to play on my Packard Bell computer. X-Com: UFO Defense and Doom weren't to come out for another couple of years and being as young as I was I had nowhere to go to find a new game. I almost had to turn to going outside until my friend introduced me to the "Mother of all Games"
Before there was Worms there was Scorched earth, a turn based 2D tank battle game. Released in 1991 as a shareware title (as most PC games were back in the day) this title might not have been the mother of all games but it certainly was the king of its genre.
The game play is simple, you pick your tank and color, buy yourself specific weapons/powerups/shields/etc before each battle and then try to be the last tank to survive. What makes this game so much better than the rest are the many options you have to go into the battle field with.
Weapon choices range from napalm to megaton nukes, to homing rounds and even rounds that will create dirt hills and rounds that will eat away the dirt, causing an enemy tank to plummet to its demise. Unless of course your enemy decided to buy parachutes so that it can survive such falls.
Graphics didn't get better than this...
Another great thing about the game was how the enemy tanks could taunt you before they shoot. Tanks spurting one liners out before they drop napalm on you never got old. Beauty of it though was how all the quotes were stored in a text file that you could alter to your own liking.
Unfortunately though like many great shareware games of its time, it never took off. No one ever felt the need to buy the full version for the little extra features it provided and eventually the creator of the game never got around to making a more complete version.
Of course games like Worms came along to fulfill this hunger for Turn based 2D tank games but it just isn't the same.