Welcome to the Ready Player One Video Game Replay!
Ernst Cline’s dystopian novel Ready Player One is set in a cyberpunk-ish future in which climate change, economic upheaval, pandemics and other catastrophes have transformed our world. Poverty is rampant, with many people living on the fringes of big cities in the hopes of scrapping together enough resources to get by. Much of the world finds relief from their personal hells in the virtual reality of the Oasis. Like Neuromancer and Snow Crash before it, Ready Player One imagines a digital world that’s bigger, brighter, and more addicting than the real one.
Eccentric programmer James Halliday created the world, and before he died, spent years crafting an elaborate easter egg hunt. Halliday’s easter egg was inspired by the famous Easter Egg in the Atari 2600 game Adventure (which allowed to find the programmer’s digital signature hidden in the depths of the fantasy proto-RPG). The reward for finding Halliday’s Easter Egg would be ownership of his company and the Oasis, a prize worth billions.
The book (and later, the movie) follow the quest of Wade Wilson to find the Easter Egg, which in turn mean navigating hundreds, maybe thousands, of 1980s pop-culture references. With Nuketown’s Ready Player One Replay, we’re going to play every game mentioned in the book. It’s 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 link out to emulators where you can play the games yourself, as well as links to reviews and commentary about the games.
And, of course, we include our high scores.
The replay is broken into two parts. 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.
- Geek Dad: The Video Games of Ready Player One
- Nerdatron: Ready Player One: Complete List of Video Game References + TOP 10
- A Critical Hit: The True First Easter Egg – Ready Player One was wrong
- WIRED @ Youtube: Every Video Game in ‘Ready Player One’ Explained By Author Ernest Cline
Game Review Index & High Scores
|Dungeons & Dragons||N/A. This is D&D …
there is no high score.
|Golden Axe||N/A (that said, I beat the
game multiple times)
|Tron – Deadly Discs||2,170|
|Akalabeth||Made it to Level 3, then starved to death.|
|Tomb of Horrors||N/A|
|Street Fighter II||I didn’t make it past the first round.|
|Dungeons of Daggorath||I died. Early and often.|
|Combat||I blew up my son’s tank. A lot. And then he did the same to me. A lot.|
|Pitfall||8,686 with 16:31 minutes remaining.|
|Star Raiders||Novice, Class 3 (29 kills)|
|The Empire Strikes Back||416|
|Starmaster||3,279 (beat Ensign Level)|
|E.T.||I died. A lot.|
|Raaka-tu||5 of 50|
|Madness and the Minotaur|
|Star Wars Arcade (1983)|
|Tennis for Two|