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Alter Ego is a game which tries to simulate life itself. The player creates a character with different personality statistics, either by assigning them randomly or by answering a few introductory questions. They then guide this character through seven life phases, from infancy to old age.

The gameplay consists of a series of situations where a decision has to be made. This is done by choosing one of multiple answer possibilities, sometimes accompanied with a mood. Then the player gets presented with the outcome and goes on to the next situation. Every decision has long-time consequences and influences the personality, health and which situations await further down the road. Some decisions may even result in an early death or instant game over.

Every life phase is represented by a life tree where the situations are lined up; the motive of the situation card shows the general theme of the situation. After reaching a certain age, additional life options can be undergone at any time. Here the player can change his lifestyle and manage his love and professional life.

The game exists in two variations which depict a male or female life.


Alter Ego Browser If only it was laid out this cleanly in real life!
Alter Ego Browser Last stop!
Alter Ego Browser Another typical infancy scenario
Alter Ego Commodore 64 Pick a node, any node

Promo Images

Alter Ego Screenshot
Alter Ego Screenshot
Alter Ego Screenshot
Alter Ego Screenshot

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Better than life? DOS Martin Smith (78264)
Terribly flawed, but interesting nonetheless Browser Asinine (1006)
Better than The Sims DOS federicocrane (38)
Life through PC eyes... DOS Narf! (138)
IT is one of the greatest games I ever played Apple II Rodolfo Pacheco (3)
Life.. all on a 5 1/4 floppy... DOS Chris Martin (1204)

Critic Reviews

Tilt Commodore 64 Jul, 1986 6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars6 Stars 100
Zzap! Commodore 64 May, 1986 98 out of 100 98 (UK) Commodore 64 Oct 26, 2007 9 out of 10 90
Happy Computer Apple II Feb, 1986 90 out of 100 90
Lemon64 Commodore 64 Sep 24, 2002 9 out of 10 90
Happy Computer DOS Feb, 1986 90 out of 100 90
Tilt DOS Dec, 1986 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 67
Datormagazin Commodore 64 Apr, 1987 5 out of 20 25
Happy Computer Apple II Mar, 1986 Unscored Unscored
Computer Gaming World (CGW) Apple II May, 1986 Unscored Unscored


Topic # Posts Last Post
Graphics score? 3 Cavalary (11224)
Jul 09, 2014


1001 Video Games

The Commodore 64 and Apple II versions of Alter Ego appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.

Explicit content

Because of the authenticity of the life experiences explored in the program, Alter Ego contains explicit material which may not be suitable for players under the age of 16. They have the option of skipping these experiences, however.

Female and male versions

The game came out in a distinct male and female version, where all the experiences are geared toward male or female players respectively.


The female version, due to the very small percentage of female gamers at the time, did not sell well and is fairly rare.


  • Commodore Format
    • January 1991 (Issue 4) - listed in the A to Z of Classic Games article (Great)
  • Happy Computer
    • 1986 - Best Game Idea of the Year
    • Issue 04/1987 - #11 Best Game in 1986 (Readers' Vote)
  • Zzap!
    • January 1990 (Issue 57) – 'The Best Games of the 80's Decade' (Phil King)

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Quapil (5475), the--dud (6), Sciere (772873), Pseudo_Intellectual (64072) and Terok Nor (32119)
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