Before the advent of home computers, I read a lot of books and I did a lot of crosswords and other puzzles to keep my mind occupied. As a child I loved reading through my encyclopedia, especially the wildlife (my love of the Hoopoe came from said encyclopedia - but that's for another day) as well as reading the usual novels. I loved Enid Blyton's Secret Seven, Famous Five & especially the Malory Tower's series. My favourite childhood book was Pamela Brown's 'Swish of the Curtain'
so much so that I bought it a few years back when it was re-issued, just to have on my bookcase along with Hillaire Belloc's Cautionery Verses.
As years passed my love of books and puzzles never changed but the manner in which I did them did. The advent of computers saw me buying magazines which listed pages and pages of computer code to be typed into the BBC computer that we had,
just so we could try a really basic game. When the game stopped working it usually meant we had entered something wrong and the job of trawling through the lines of machine code looking for the error was almost as challenging as the game itself.
Then progress meant we no longer had to type the code in, we could now download them via tones down the phone line, recorded on an old tape recorder, something that could be very hit & miss, depending on the quality of the line.
Progression then moved at pace until finally we get to the modern day game with such complicated plots and such fabulous graphics. Throughout the progression my love of puzzle type games never lessened and I was always on the lookout for a good 'brain teaser'.
But doing puzzles on the computer meant being at home. When I was out or away, it was back to the trusty puzzle book.
Until I discovered the Nintendo DS. Wow, that was my kind of games console. I invested in a white DS and suddenly I could keep it in my bag and take it with me. Over the years I collected a number of games,
some played with more regularity than others. When the Brain Training games came out I couldn't stop playing them, always competitive with myself, trying to beat my previous score.
When they started advertising Professor Layton games I pre-ordered.
It arrived in time for Christmas 2008. My friend Lucy also used a DS and also had the game for Christmas. Neither of us surfaced for 2 weeks whilst we challenged each other as to who would complete the puzzles first - as it happened we finished it pretty much together. People around us had no idea of the total fascination we had with the game but Lucy & I were totally addicted.
A couple of years ago I finally found a game that would be completely addictive, the only problem was it was incredibly difficult to find. It had been released in 2008 and they had not manufactured on a large scale and only made the one run. A £20 game was now selling on Ebay as used for £30 plus, and that was when they were listed, which was infrequent. Many were manufactured in single languages, French or Italian, finding one in English was
proving a challenge. Eventually, after about 3 months I found a copy listed on Ebay and it had a Buy Now price - I bought it.
Over the last few years it has been played for hours but as my arthritis has worsened in my hands and fingers, it is becoming increasingly painful to hold the stylus and the DS itself. Finally, about 6 months ago the DS went back into its case and has remained there ever since. Now, my game playing is solely on my laptop. Unfortunately there isn't a version of Pic Pic for the laptop, but there are similar games that keep me occupied. I rarely sit watching TV without having my laptop on my knee.
And so, I have finally decided the time is right to Ebay my DS games, most of which will go for a fraction of what I paid for them, except for Pic Pic.
The end of an era, but I shall hang on to my DS for now, you never know ......