Life As A Retro Gamer: Connor Nichols
Whether it’s the high score tables, challenges or just forming friendships, Antstream Arcade is all about community and bringing gamers both young and old together. With our carefully-curated selection of retro classics as the starting point, there’s a whole new virtual neighbourhood at the heart of what we do. For our latest gamer profile, we present Connor Nichols, known as SeafoamGaming on Antstream Arcade. Connor is one of our youngest gamer profiles so far – why not friend him up, and throw a challenge his way – if you dare!
Name: Connor Nichols
Antstream Arcade Handle: SeafoamGaming
Occupation: Video Gamer Reviewer and owner of Seafoam Gaming
First Gaming Love: Super Mario Bros Deluxe and Pajama Sam
Favourite Games on Antstream: Valis The Fantasm Soldier, Magical Drop III, Boulder Dash, Volfied.
Favourite Challenge on Antstream: 1 credit challenge for Chain Reaction.
Bright Young Thing
Considering his tender years, Connor’s very early gaming memories are perhaps a little more intact than we are used to. “My first memories go back to playing Pajama Sam on my grandmother’s PC when I was around two years old,” he says, before adding: “And then wanting to dress as Pajama Sam himself!” Antstream Arcade can’t help going dewy-eyed, and those Humongous point ‘n’ click adventures remain firmly with Connor today. “They’re the only classic adventure games I can really get myself into and I feel a lot of that has to do with the nostalgia of those old games and being able to goof off, clicking random things in the background without penalty.” Sadly, Connor reveals that he ‘didn’t exactly have the smoothest childhood growing up.’ It’s fortunate that, if nothing else, he had videogames to rely upon.
The Golden Age
Connor’s love of arcade games and score chasing came a few years after the Pajama Sam incident. “I always have fun coming across certain things such as an old Namco Plug and Play – containing Mappy, Dig Dug and Ms. Pac-man – and NES games with a high score listed on the title screen,” he explains. “Most people ignore the scoring parts of those games, but I find focusing on scores to be half the fun, even if it’s usually just trying to best my own records!” Unsurprisingly, Connor’s love of high scores endears him to Antstream Arcade in particular. “The online leader boards are super fun to go after since I can do all the score chasing from the comfort of my own home.”
Connor smiles when we ask him about his first games machine. “I could cheat and just say Windows 98, but that was my family’s computer and not my own. Thus, it would have to be the Gameboy Color.” The Nintendo handheld was a gift from his father’s family, and it came complete with two games, Super Mario Deluxe and Conker’s Pocket Tales. “I still own both copies to this day, which is shocking considering how all of my childhood Nintendo 64, GameCube and Gameboy Advance games ended up getting stolen.” Connor’s appreciation for the underrated Gameboy Color has only increased lately with excellent ports such as Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins, Street Fighter Alpha and Mr. Driller all finding time in his GBC cartridge slot.
A Wise Head On Young Shoulders
The question of favourite era for gaming is a tricky one for Connor, but we’re happy to hear his retrospective thoughts on gaming’s eras. “I may have been born long after the fact, being a ’98 kid, but easily the period from 1989 to 1994 is super fascinating to me,” he explains. This 16-bit era is a common love for those that experienced it directly; looking back, Connor still fully appreciates what made this such a magical time for gamers. “There were LOTS of gems in the arcade and especially the PC Engine, which contains tons upon tons of scorechaser games. The Genesis/Mega Drive had a lot of decent games too, with stuff like Gaiares and Sol-Deace being Antstream highlights.” But what if we pin Connor down to a period he has actually lived through? “I definitely enjoyed the 2011 launch of the 3DS since it led to not only a plentiful amount of re-issues, but also the launch of new scorechasers and retro-inspired indie titles, helping make old new again!” With companies such as Piko Interactive and Limited Run Games starting within short, the indie boom of the 2010s remains a fond time for Connor.
While he didn’t back Antstream Arcade’s Kickstarter campaign, Connor has fallen in love with the service since seeing it advertised during Atari VCS press events. “I had to find out where it came from and signed up on a whim to give it a spin!” Having been hooked in with familiar classics such as Valis, Connor was soon discovering new gems on Antstream Arcade. “I have found tons of fun arcade games thanks to the challenges such Psychic 5 and my most favourite hidden gem, Psycho-Nics Oscar. It was also neat to play Volfied – I’m a huge fan of the original Qix on Gameboy and finding the sequel on Antstream was a real treat, especially with the challenges on offer!”
Young At Heart
Connor enjoys Antstream Arcade on a Mac book for casual play with a PC-HDMI TV set up with a brace of Bluetooth controllers for local co-op sessions. “Honestly, more people should give the local co-op on Antstream a go since I find it a pretty fun was to just spend an afternoon with a friend,” he grins. While he admits a few new games wouldn’t go amiss (such as 8 Eyes, Soldam and Magical Drop II), like many gamers he’s would like to see a return of Antstream Arcade to Xbox. “Being my multimedia device of choice, it would be amazing to just switch to Antstream after watching some blu-rays!”
Scorechaser, games reviewer and lover of pajamas, check out Connor’s retrospectives, unboxing videos and more on YouTube and his website.
Our thanks to Connor - stay tuned for another retro gamer profile soon!