Everyone knows Thomas Magnum, the Aloha shirt-wearing, Ferrari-driving, friend-mooching private investigator, was into baseball, paddling his surfski on the open ocean, and goofing off with a rubber chicken and gorilla mask, but the man was also an early video gamer. And a dungeon crawling PC gamer at that.
Witness Exhibit A: “Little Games” from season 5, where Magnum controls his sword-wielding adventurer via text commands in a game called The Dungeon Master, while snacking on chips and yelling at the screen as any proper gamer would do.
Man, aren’t you jealous that Magnum’s game had way better, and I mean better than CGA or even EGA, graphics than you (shh, Amiga people)? I mean, it almost looks like it was actually hand painted with watercolors or something. “Little Games” originally aired in January of 1985. For a reality check, compare Magnum’s fake-for-TV game (where I’m guessing Gary Gygax wasn’t a consultant) to an actual 3D RPG for a home computer, The Bard’s Tale, which was released the same year:
Before crashing the security system’s computer for Robin Masters’s estate with The Dungeon Master, however, Magnum was getting his game on — and hilariously annoying the hell out of Higgins — with a handheld Pac-Man game a few years earlier in the 1982 episode, “Black on White.”