When it comes to video games, people now have a lot more options than they did twenty years ago. Modern video games provide many possibilities, and graphically and plot-wise are a lot more advanced. You can explore ancient worlds, role-play with characters in life-like American cities, and play sports with characters that are hard to differentiate from real-life players. Despite how advanced video games have become, we still miss some of the classic games of the 80s. Here are our top 5.
1) Contra – Developed by Konami and released in 1987, Contra was a gun-action role play game in which the player controls one of two armed military commandos: Bill “Mad Dog” Rizer or Lance “Scorpion” Bean. The two commandos are on a mission to battle the Red Falcon terrorist organization that plans to take over the earth (as all villains do, right?). Basically the goal was to get to the terrorists, and the main player had unlimited weaponry (and had a choice of a few different guns throughout the game) but could be instantly killed by one shot from the opposition.
2) Duck Hunt – Duck Hunt, though rather simple in concept, was extremely addictive. With a console that looked like a gun, lovingly known as the NES Zapper, the goal of this game was to shoot the ducks as they flew into the air. Developed and released by Nintendo in 1985, the game requires the player to shoot a certain amount in one round so that they may advance to the next round.
3) Tetris – Probably still the most popular of all the 1980s games, Tetris was designed and programmed by Russian Alexey Pajitnov, and released in 1984. The game got its name from a combination of the Greek numerical prefix tetra (because all game pieces are made of four cubes) and tennis. Tetris was the first entertainment software exported from Russia to the United States, and is now available on almost every gaming console, though in the 1980s it was most popular in arcades and the handheld version of GameBoy which was released in 1989.
4) PacMan – Developed by Namco and released in 1980, PacMan is one of the primary video game classics that also still maintains a cult-like following. Until now, it is one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, generating more than $2.5 billion dollars through arcade gaming by the 1990s. Controlled with a joy-stick, PacMan moves his way through a maze, eating yellow dots and fruits. When all the dots are eaten, PacMan advances to the next stage. The enemies, known as Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde, and who come in ghost form, chase PacMan until he eats a fruit and then they become valuable and edible. Filled with fun arcade sounds and loads of suspense, it’s easy to see why this game became so addictive.
5) Super Mario Bros – Last but certainly not least: Super Mario Bros. Released in 1985 as a sequel to the 1983 game Mario Bros, the two-player game controls Mario and his leaner brother Luigi as they roam through Mushroom Kingdom hoping to rescue Princess Toadstool from the terrorizing Bowser. Without a weapon to defend himself with, the brothers’ primary attacks are to jump on top of enemies therefore disabling them. Though the game consists of eight worlds with four stages, the final stage being a castle where Bowser is fought, I never got that far. Did you?
Can you think of other awesome 1980s games? Let us know at Editor@Barakabits.com!