Odyssey

Odyssey

It's strange to fathom those dark ages prior to the advent of the home video game, but civilization waited until 1972, when we were forever changed by the release of the Odyssey. We owe our thanks to a man named Ralph Baer (who would later introduce us to a beloved electronic memory game called Simon). He was the mastermind that teamed with Magnavox to change the world forever and make home gaming the preferred recreational activity of children and adults alike. Continue reading...

Galaga

Galaga

All the way back in 1978, millions of arcade aficionados got their first taste of civil defense experience by protecting the planet from those pesky Space Invaders. And like all good arcade games, competition would soon follow. The next year, Namco introduced Galaxian, a similar game with a few extra bells and whistles. Then, in 1981, they followed up with a sequel, one that would go on to become a certified hit in the video game world. Thy name was Galaga. Continue reading...

Whac-A-Mole

Whac-A-Mole

Tough day at school? Siblings giving you a hard time? What you need is a little cathartic activity to make things seem all better. All can be cured with a trip down to the local Chuck E. Cheese (or Showtime Pizza, if you prefer) where a plastic mallet and a field of unsuspecting rodents await your assault. The game is called Whac-A-Mole, and it's been delighting kids for decades. Oh, and quite a few adults as well. Continue reading...

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 glass window. Continue reading...

Sega

Sega

Remember those old Charles Atlas comic book ads about the 98-lb. weakling who got sand kicked in his face by a bully, went home, bulked himself up, and came back a bully-kicking hero? Maybe it's a bit of a stretch, but Sega's home console story wouldn't be too out of place in Charles Atlas Land. And what's more, the former 98-lb. weakling is still enjoying the happy ending after more than 15 years in the home console business. Take that, beach bullies. Continue reading...

BurgerTime

BurgerTime

To create a successful video game, one must provide both a unique premise and a certain level of frenzied excitement. Combine the two successfully and people will part ways with every quarter in their pocket. One such game was the quirky and fast-paced BurgerTime, which pitted the player against a variety of fast food objects and edible enemies while they raced against time to build the perfect burger. 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 different shapes, each made of four blocks, players tried to build complete rows at the bottom of the screen. But what appeared an easy task at first glance proved maddening once the pressure was on, which made this one addictive video game. Continue reading...

Frogger

Frogger

For those who didn't necessarily want to wage their arcade battles in the far reaches of space, there was once a game called Frogger, which allowed us to help a member of the animal kingdom traverse obstacles both natural and man-made, and find his way safely to his preferred habitat. This journey, both daunting and surprisingly addictive, made Konami's Frogger an instant hit among the masses, and one of the most beloved video games to emerge from the 80s. Continue reading...