Colin’s been getting a taste of some old-school video games over the past week.

His video game diet is pretty consistent with Apex, Fortnite, Minecraft and Subnautica. A few nights ago, Jason introduced him to Punch Out.

I never played the game myself on the original Nintendo system. I do, however, remember my brothers playing it with my cousin when we visited. It never appealed much to me — I was more Mario Bros., Rad Racer and Excite Bike.

A few years ago, I found a way to download some of those classics games onto our Wii. Punch Out was one of those games. But, with the glitz and glam of the Playstation 4, our Wii often sits unused.

Well, the other night Jason decided he wanted to try to take Mike Tyson (now called Mr. Dream) down in the 1980s-era video game. He called Colin downstairs to help him get it set up and find the code to fight Mr. Dream.

It’s a challenge that’s continued. Every couple of nights, Jason will sit in front of the Wii and try to take out the top boxer in the game. Colin has gotten a kick out of the frustration Jason exhibits. “It’s so funny when Daddy rages,” he says.

Eventually, Colin decided to take a stab at it. He started off easy, fighting from the beginning of the game rather than using a code to advance himself. It was a tough fight, but Colin prevailed. No such luck with the second fighter.

I finally took a turn the other night as well. My luck was even worse than Colin’s, though I got a few good punches in.

When Jason had gotten his fill of attempts on beating Mr. Dream, I decided to take over the controller and play Dr. Mario, one of the other games I downloaded. With all this COVID-19 stuff going on, it felt good to take out some viruses, even if they are fake. Colin decided to take a try at it after watching me for a bit. He struggled at first but eventually got the hang of it and defeated a few levels.

Eventually, we decided to break out Mario Kart. It’s the Wii version, so it’s definitely more advanced than what we had been playing.

Ironically, though, the course I had the most trouble on was a throwback to the original Super Nintendo game.

Maybe we finally proved our point to Colin: Our video games were definitely more challenging than what they play today. After all, when you die in those games, you don’t automatically respawn to where you left off with unlimited lives. You have to earn those checkpoints and extra chances.


I also wanted to take the time to make a note on our upcoming distribution of the annual 101 Things magazine. It’s coming over the next week in our southeast Iowa CNHI group newspapers. Due to the publication schedule, our magazines get sent out to design about a month before it’s distributed. That means we were in the design process when COVID-19 cancellations started rolling in. We were able to update a few of the cancellations and postponements that came in early in Iowa’s shutdowns, but others have come in since we have sent it off for printing. It’s also likely others will be coming. So we encourage you to double-check each event — particularly those in April, May and June — to see if dates have changed from what was originally scheduled.

— Features Editor Tracy Goldizen can be reached via email at or followed on Twitter @CourierTracy.

Tracy Goldizen is the Courier's features and magazine editor, leading production of the award-winning "Ottumwa Life" and the Courier's other magazine offerings. She began work with the Courier on the copy desk.

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