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Alter Ego

Second life.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Ever wanted to live your life a different way? Ever fancied seeing what might have happened if you'd have only been a bit more daring and reckless? Alter Ego lets you do all of that and more as you begin life's journey from the womb, through to puberty, middle age and old age.

Designed by US psychologist Peter J Favaro, the Activision-published game came on four floppy disks (each with its own side) and gave players the chance to engage in hundreds of everyday scenarios via a text-based multiple choice system. Depending on your selections, the game would develop a statistical profile of what kind of person you were, and your ability to succeed or fail in certain situations may well come down to how you've reacted in the past.

For example, you might find yourself as a teenager playing Spin the Bottle with your mates, with the option of being a bit reckless. But how the scenario plays out will have an awful lot to do with the levels of confidence and social skills that you've developed up to that point, so it becomes clear fairly early on that you can't just change your reactions on a whim - because the game knows who you are.

The thrill of Alter Ego was that it was one of the most replayable experiences around, giving you the option of taking up a different career or lifestyle, or the chance to become a philandering, abusive drunk with no career prospects.

Available in Male or Female editions, it was probably the most mature 'game' ever attempted at the time, and kind of makes us wish The Sims would steal just a few of its incredible ideas.

A browser-based version of Alter Ego can be played for free here. Go and experience one of the most unique videogames ever made - and tell us what sort of person you became.

9 / 10

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