Ready Player One Replay

Welcome to the Ready Player One Replay!

In honor of the November 2020 release of Ready Player Two, and Nuketown is re-reading the original novel … and replaying all of the games mentioned in it (or at least, all of the games we could find). The replay is inspired by’s re-reads of series like The Wheel of Time and re-watches of Star Trek series like The Next Generation

The replay is a great opportunity to revisit classic video games, many of which we haven’t played in years (or decades). Others are games we never played (or even heard of).  Where possible, we’ll link out to emulators where you can play the games yourself, as well as links to reviews and commentary about the game. And, of course, we’ll include our high scores.

The original plan was to review a game a day until the new book came out, but that proved impossible. Ready Player One overflows with 1980s pop culture references and the sheer number of games mentioned, plus limits on our time, mean this is going to be a more slow-moving, gradual project. Hopefully, it’ll be a fun one as well.

Level I represents the first phase of this replay, beginning in November 2020 and ending in March 2022. Level II began in March 2022 and is ongoing.

Game High Score
Level I
Adventure N/A
Galaga 20,830
Defender 7,500
Asteroids 7,760
Robotron: 2084 23,000
Dungeons & Dragons N/A. This is D&D
there is no high score.
Contra 65,000
Golden Axe N/A (that said, I beat the
game multiple times)
Heavy Barrel
Smash TV 1,936,990
Ikari Warriors
Tron – Deadly Discs 2,170
Swordquest N/A
Akalabeth Made it to Level 3, then starved to death.
Zaxxon 2,750
Tomb of Horrors N/A
Joust 5,570
Street Fighter II I didn’t make it past the first round.
Dungeons of Daggorath I died. Early and often.
Level II
Combat I blew up my son’s tank. A lot. And then he did the same to me. A lot.
Space Invaders
Star Raiders
The Empire Strikes Back
Yars’ Revenge
Madness and the Minotaur
Star Wars Arcade (1983)
Tennis for Two
Donkey Kong
Dig Dug
Colossal Cave
Time Pilot