Paperboy

Paperboy

Space hero, cowboy, mythic warrior…all pale in comparison to Paperboy, the arcade game that allowed the player to work his own virtual paper route. It’s a game that might very well have been boring if it wasn’t for the fact that the main character wielded newspapers like lethal weapons, just perfect for launching through a [...] Continue reading...

Tetris

Tetris

Call it the Russian Revolution… In 1987, software company Spectrum Holobyte, Inc., released a PC game designed by Russian programmer Alexey Pazhitnov. Dubbed Tetris (from the Greek word for "four"), the game was deceptively simple: Using seven differently-shaped bricks-each made of four blocks-players tried to build complete rows at the bottom of the screen. But what might have appeared an easy task at first glance, proved to be a little more maddening once the pressure was on, which made this one addictive video game. Continue reading...

Centipede

Centipede arcade game

The male-dominated video game industry was injected with a woman’s perspective in 1980, when Dona Bailey became the first woman to help design an arcade game. Alongside the legendary Atari programmer Ed Logg, who had unleashed Asteroids on the public a year earlier, the pair created a masterpiece called Centipede, one of the first games to appeal to both men and women alike. The result was one of the most successful titles in arcade history. Continue reading...

Missile Command

Missile Command

Would you like to play a game? Back in the 80s the Cold War was still a very real threat so naturally, the whole global thermonuclear annihilation thing made a fantastic subject for arcade games. Missile Command, released by Atari in 1980, took advantage of the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. standoff to create a virtual world where missiles were indeed flying fast and furious and only you and your quarters could save the country. Continue reading...

Tempest

Tempest arcade game

Placing unsuspecting gamers right in the heart of a terrifying storm, Atari's Tempest literally put a whole new perspective on video games. With dazzling color vector graphics (an arcade first), the game was set in a gravity well, a forced-perspective structure with your claw-like yellow "Blaster" skirting around the outside rim. From inside the blackness, hordes of enemies approached, sliding up and around the walls, ready to destroy you on contact. Continue reading...

Asteroids

Asteroids

Of all the arcade games released over the years, a mere handful have reached iconic status, games that if you lived in a particular generation, there was little chance that you had escaped their magnetism. The Atari mega-hit Asteroids is certainly deserving of this special status. Released in 1979, during the era of Star Wars, it utilized simple black and white vector graphics, an (at the time) impressive array of buttons, and a repeatability factor that was unparalleled. Continue reading...

Breakout

Breakout arcade game

For all of the mass frenzy created by the introduction of Pong in 1972, the excitement started to wane four years later, as the public was eager for new and exciting arcade games. As a result, future Apple computer creators Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak put their heads together and the result was Breakout, the newest chapter in coin-operated game history that was destined to sweep the world. Continue reading...

Battlezone

Battlezone arcade game

In the early days of arcade games, truly immersive experiences were few and far between. Battlezone was a welcome exception. Thanks to realistic controls, which made up somewhat for the simple, green wire-frame vector graphics of the day, and a viewing scope that kept the surrounding real world from view, players of Battlezone enjoyed a unique experience that made this a must-play arcade game. Continue reading...

Atari

Atari Video Computer System

The granddaddy of all platform and handheld game stations, the Atari Video Computer System remains a classic. In the tradition of trench warfare and bayonets, Atari maintains its appeal despite its antiquity. And like Kleenex or Xerox, the word itself became synonymous with the activity it represented. In the late seventies and early eighties, nobody played video games. They played Atari. One had to go to the arcade or to the corner of the local sandwich shop to play video games. Atari, on the other hand, offered a comparable selection of games, required no quarters, and could be played at all hours from the comforts of your living room. Let's look back at this innovative video game from yesteryear. Continue reading...