For our latest offering in the Must Play Games Collection, we’ve gone back to the 80s Arcades like a knock off version of Marty McFly and Doc Brown trying to find a way home. Video games were still finding their feet but it didn’t mean that the end result was any less memorable, here’s ten you simply must play.
PAC-MAN (NAMCO, 1980)
I’m sorry but if you need me to explain Pac-Man to you then you’ve no business reading this list. Unless you’re 5. I’ll let you off if you’re five.
Instead, here’s a bit of useless information courtesy of Scott Pilgrim Vs The World:
“Did you know that the original name for Pac-Man was Puck-Man? You’d think it was because he looks like a hockey puck but it actually comes from the Japanese phrase ‘Paku-Paku,’ which means to flap one’s mouth open and closed. They changed it because they thought Puck-Man would be too easy to vandalize, you know like people could just scratch off the P and turn it into an F or whatever.”
DONKEY KONG (NINTENDO, 1981)
There’s not much we can tell you about Donkey Kong that you probably don’t already know. It is as iconic a title as anything Nintendo has ever published since and remains a firm favourite for competitive gamers.
STAR WARS (ATARI, 1983)
Star Wars games are a dime a dozen these days, but back in 1983, they were a little less common. Aesthetically this arcade offering from Atari Inc. may not be pretty but it captivated Jedi-fans both young and old, especially with its white-hot recreation of the destruction of the Death Star.
TAPPER (MIDWAY, 1983)
Chances are, if you played Tapper the first time around, then you were probably drunk. That’s because Midway originally shipped all of their machines to bars. Spotting the potential for success with kids, Tapper soon became Root Beer Tapper and found its spot on the sticky floors of the arcade, somewhere between Donkey Kong and Pacman.
DRAGON’S LAIR (CINEMATRONICS, 1983)
Dragon’s Lair was a pioneer of the then-groundbreaking LaserDisc technology that was supposed to reinvigorate the flagging video games industry. Animated by the iconic Don Bluth, it was a stunning piece of arcade gold, complete with a brave knight hero and a gorgeous princess to save. It’s been ported about a million times since, but it’s the original arcade stick that’s found a place in the Smithsonian Institute alongside Pong and Pac-Man.
RAMPAGE (BALLY MIDWAY, 1986)
Most kids these days probably only know Rampage as a movie starring Dwayne Johnson, but for those of us with a few more miles on the clock, Rampage was an awesome arcade video game in which players took control of 1 of 3 giant monsters intent on smashing the shit out of various cityscapes across America.
OUT RUN (SEGA, 1986)
Out Run was the 1986 video game of the year, selling an unprecedented 20,000 cabinets in its first year alone. No surprise when you lay your eyes upon the sleek, shiny body of the first-ever sit-down deluxe driving cabinet.
R-TYPE (IREM, 1987)
Well, well, well. If it isn’t R-Type, the Holy Grail of sidescrollers for me and my friends. Our parents called it the coin-guzzler, as it feasted upon our pocket money hour after hour, day after day. But that was the truly great thing about this game – it had a neverending replay value because you just knew that with one more coin you could beat that ugly alien once and for all and make it to the next level.
DOUBLE DRAGON (TECHNOS JAPAN, 1987)
Meet Hammer and Spike, two badass dudes with serious attitudes, who’ll kick your balls so hard they’ll fly out of your nostrils.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (KONAMI, 1989)
Konami were world-beaters during this era of arcade video gaming, and their spin on the then white-hot Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles property was first class.
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