I was thinking today about games that are so strongly tied to a physical location in my mind that I'm transported back there whenever I replay them. It's usually games that were unlike anything I'd played before or hit me at the right time in my life.
I think I've got two that stand above the rest:
- Super Mario Bros. 3 always takes me back to the kitchen in my house as a kid. Hunched over, sitting on the counter staring at a white 13" CRT.
- I remember playing Mass Effect in the basement during summer break 2010. My normal bedroom in the attic wasn't insulated and the summertime temp could hit 80 degrees inside (it was an old house) so I'd camp out downstairs. I would come home from my mindless summer job at the high school and veg out in the dark, damp, chilly basement. I only had Nintendo consoles up until high school so my first taste of the wider world of games was Steam, loaded onto a Bootcamp partition, on my middle of the road MacBook Pro. I can remember picking up Mass Effect for sale for $6 not knowing anything about it and it blew my mind. I'll never forget the feeling of sitting on the fold out bed in the basement and playing the coolest game I'd ever seen. It's goofy, but to this day playing Mass Effect in a room that isn't 63 degrees, pitch black, and vaguely damp feels wrong.
What about you folks? What games can you never separate from a single location?