Living in past is the fad again, and I’m leaning in by turning my smartphone into a time machine.
As if it wasn’t already obvious, nostalgia is in, everyone. ‘Tis the season for unearthing your middle school journals, busting out the retro video game consoles for marathon summer gaming sessions, and making playlists for the sole purpose of reminding you of that one faithful night.
Nostalgia doesn’t seem to be limited to my bubble either. Every old thing seems to be getting a reboot, from the Twin Peaks TV show to the Nokia 3310 cellphone, to high-rise jeans (Frankly, a fad I can get behind). I’m not sure if this is 2017 or 1997 anymore, so I thought that maybe it would be entertaining to use my Galaxy S8 as a time machine and take me back to when Bill Clinton was in the Oval Office and the Spice Girls were my favorite thing.
Games that take you back
Perhaps the best way to truly relive your past is through video games for the simple reason that they’re interactive. Playing Ecco II: The Tides of Time, for instance, brings me back to the arduous summer of 1995, when I realized that there was just no way in hell I was ever going to beat that game. That was the first time in my kid life that I’d experienced crushing defeat.
If you were a fan of the Sonic the Hedgehog games, you might want to grab the original title from the Play Store (and pay the $1.99 to remove ads). It’s been specially optimized for the mobile playing experience and it lets you save your game progress — not a thing you could do in 1991. You can also play as either Tails or Knuckles through the classic Sonic levels as soon as you finish your first round of the storyline.
I also sought out a classic Nokia-era Snake redux for my personal pleasure. This one’s fun because it features old school controls and you can choose your background to be one of five classic Nokia phones. This Minesweeper app is a blast from the past, too, though I’ll never be able to properly play the game, and Microsoft’s Solitaire reminds me of how I’d always use the original program as a ruse so my Dad wouldn’t catch me on the dial-up internet. (Sorry, Dad.)
Part of what’s helping fuel all of this sentiment and longing for the good old days is the fact that fads are cyclical and we’re at a point in time when the aura of the nineties and early millennium are what sells to the youths (I think).
I found some apps that hearken back to a digital time of yore and twist it up so it’s modern again. For instance, this app called Photo Text ASCII Art will help you transform your modern-day marvels into a relics of the past with a literal touch of a button, and then you can share those creations through other apps.
Vaporwave is also a musical genre that’s sparked and evolved precisely because of this same sort of wave of nostalgia hitting the dance scene. My favorite app to tune into vaporwave-style music is Nightwave Wave Plaza, which even utilizes Windows 98 dialog windows to add to the aesthetic. The music is chill, and you can still listen to it when the screen is off, like any other traditional music app.
If you’re simply not interested in playing the games of the past, maybe because you’ve played them too often in a bout of “the good old days”, there are plenty of retro-inspired games in the Play Store that are just as satiating. One of my favorites is 10000000, which I’ve already played through a couple of times out of sheer enjoyment of the game mechanics.
Old is new again
Nostalgia can seem sort of nauseating when you’ve got too much of it surrounding you, and maybe the idea of downloads extra apps to your smartphone that already has limited storage space isn’t your idea of the best time.