Sierra Online Games - My experiences with Sierra On-Line Entertainment Games

My Experiences with Sierra On-Line Games

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The page below was written several years ago. There's a few updates I'd like to make. It's a bit sad that there's only -one- game at walmart with a Sierra logo on it, but honestly that's better than nothing at the moment.

There are some Sierra games, usually labeled "Activision" which you can buy at While it's definitely not a huge collection, there's a bunch there from the classic days. There should be a few available on steam. Which you might not feel it makes a difference, someone, somewhere might be reading the quantities sold on those. That's a plus.

There are several Facebook groups about the games. You should be able to use the regular Facebook search feature to locate them.

Now that Ken Williams' book is ready to print (ETA October 2020) it's a good time to go over some options to learn about how Sierra was. This is definitely not a complete list and I'll be adding to it periodically.

I got into Sierra games a little late, around late 1989. (Sierra dates back to 1979.) My family got a hand-me-down computer, a 286 with DOS with just about a megabyte of RAM. My brother found Police Quest 1 in the DOS menu system that was installed, and he showed me a little bit about it. I loved the PC speaker music... and the little graphics. It was way cooler that the Atari games and seemed much more involved than playing NES.

Later on we got Hero's Quest 1 (later renamed Quest for Glory 1) which still is probably my favorite Sierra game. The mix of graphics, sound, and gameplay/storyline is just amazing. (I'm really glad that decided to put it up as one of their playable games, I now have confidence that the next generation might still enjoy it. It's one of their top 10 games this month!)

There was a local shop we called "Computer & Games" that had a pre-owned system for PC games... something that today you'd probably experience by visiting an EBgames or GameStop. I think we traded at least a dozen games every year until they went out of business. Some of those games, sadly, I will never see again.

I played a lot of games with my friend Andrew, and we started collecting games to share with each other. Today, thanks to Andrew's help, I have about 70 Sierra games (although not all of them are the original classic AGI/SCI games). To be honest, Andrew probably played a lot more Sierra games than I did, because In 1997 I was diagnosed with cancer and that really limited my ability to continue gaming during high school.

A few years before I was diagnosed, Andrew and I "started" a game company that unfortunately was cut short by my cancer. Andrew made an awesome demo using Turbo Pascal, but it never got further than that.

A few months after I was diagnosed my dad and a friend at Sierra (Cindy) help Andrew and me get one of our life dreams--to see Sierra in person. The three of us flew out to Sierra's Headquarters (Then in Bellevue, WA) and we took a tour of the studios and had lunch with Cindy, her husband (also a Sierra employee) and Al Lowe (creator of the Leisure Suit Larry series). It was really an awesome time.

Growing up as a teenager I think my dream was to have a Sierra business card someday, with my name on it. It didn't really matter to me what job it said, as long as it had the Sierra logo and my friend. Unfortunately, right before I graduated from college, Sierra closed the last of their studios (2004).

All is not wasted though, I've had a great time playing Sierra games and learning about making computer games. In 2003, while I was a junior in college, I co-developed a Shockwave game called "The Cancer Game" which is an arcade style game that cancer patients can play for a little smile. You can check out The Cancer Game at Creating this game was a great experience for me and helped to fulfill part of that "I want to create a game someday" feeling I've had since I played my first Sierra game. But hope is not lost--I think someday I still may make another game--it just won't have the Sierra logo--but maybe the same spirit.


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