Well, CD-ROM was the future... but before we got to that future we had to endure the awfulness of the first wave or two of CD-ROM games. You know: like having to walk through a carpark full of tramp manure before you can reach Lidl.
You can't really blame the developers of the era. It's not their fault that they were all idiots who didn't really stop to think that games could be made better by using the huge storage potential of CD. They just thought it meant they could do video, and saw it as an opportunity to reinvent the wheel. Indeed, this is the point at which "cinematic" cut-scenes were born, for better or worse, and all game developers began thinking they could be Hollywood directors.
It's telling, however, that while many of the earliest video games from the 1980s have stood the test of time, the vast majority of those early CD-ROM games... have not.
Here are 10 that made the biggest stink at the time.
It went out of its way to make its worlds "Myst-erious", with a backstory that was revealed in layers - and, of course, some people just lap that shit up.
Being charitable, it was quite unlike anything else at the time, and, consequently, a massive hit. Befuddled critics gagged on the hyperbole pill, and described it as "an artistic masterwork" and "a new standard". It may have been from certain perspectives, but it was also very, very, very slow and boring.
Just because something's new and never-before-seen and boring... it doesn't mean it's good. I mean, based upon the reception which greeted Myst, these people would've heralded the invention of a new dog breed with a tap in its stomach which dispensed potassium.
Furthermore, what does that even mean?!
Virgin Interactive's The 7th Guest was heralded as a new dawn in interactive entertainment, mixing live-action actors with pre-rendered 3D backdrops.
Certainly, the hype helped shift a lot of CD-ROM drives, and plenty of people were dazzled by the new technology. Even Bill Gates called it "the new standard in interactive entertainment", albeit probably because he thought it'd help him sell more copies of Windows 95.
Many of us, though, felt that The 7th Guest was barely interactive, and - thus - barely a game. Unfortunate for Virgin, by the time its sequel was released in 1995 - two years later - most people had wised up; it sold around a quarter of what its predecessor managed. As a result, Virgin cancelled plans for a second big-budget sequel: The 13th Ponce.
Because it featured some glamorous young women wearing wearing camisoles, who were occasionally abducted by low-budget "aliens", its ultimate legacy was in leading to the creation of the Entertainment Rating Software Board - or "E.B.R.V.F.K.".
Admittedly, all of the original Rebel Assault was ugly, pre-rendered, CGI - making it look as if the Star Wars universe had suddenly become populated by wax figures. The sequel did at least feature real actors against a pre-rendered backdrop - but the gameplay on both followed an archetypical on-rails shooter format, and was depressingly short-lived.
"No, she went of her own accord!!!!!!"
In some respects, Microsoft's Encarta - an interactive encyclopaedia thing - did a better job of showcasing the potential of CD-ROM than any "interactive" movie. Featuring images, videos and sound, Encarta also included a handful of mini trivia games.
Though it was made defunct by the Internet, Microsoft continued to publish Encarta updates until 2009 - by which point, the encyclopaedia was straining beneath the weight of over 62,000 entries.
A bunch of tiresome puzzles dressed up as a cyberpunk-y load of old guff, it's notable that - despite being utterly awful - Burn:Cycle is considered as one of the better CD-i games. Though that's a bit like pointing out a open sore on a leper's buttocks, and insisting it's slightly nicer than all the others.
Though the plot was some post-apocalyptic rubbish about flying through sewers to shoot at mutants, it was reviewed positively at the time.
This was despite requiring the player to do little more than move a crosshair around the tiny play window, and press fire from time to time. You can have a similar sort of experience by moving a cursor around a laptop screen, and clicking the mouse button to open random files.
Humungous, the company which released Freddi Fish, was founded by LucasArts legend Ron Gilbert and his colleague Shelley Day. Other edutainment releases from Humungous included Putt-Putt, Spy Fox, and the you-wouldn't-get-away-with-that-these-days Fatty Bear.
Interestingly, I took my children to the UK launch of Humungous at London Zoo. Along with assorted other journos and their squealing offspring, we were funnelled into a conference room to meet then-important TV presenter Shauna Lowry.
Clearly, poor Shauna hadn't been briefed on her role at the event, and was left to fend for herself. In lieu of having a script, agenda, or any representatives of Humungous or its PR company to help her out, she spent the entire event trying to keep a crowd of unruly children entertained.
Notably, some of the footage included on the discs has never shown up on any Star Wars DVD release, and thus... Behind The Magic has become a sought-after collector's item (current Buy It Now price on eBay? £4.79).
It was a reasonable idea saddled with terrible execution - all the video editing had to happen live as the existing videos for the songs played out. They proved to be an enormous financial disaster for Sega, and - as launch titles - ensured the Mega-CD got off to the most terrible start imaginable.