Undoubtedly, video games are part of our everyday life. Young and old play online or offline on consoles, PCs, smartphones and tablets. The range of games is great and is ideal for every taste. Adventure, shooters, racing, sports, RPG, mind games and many other kinds of games that keep us company and give us special experiences. Many of the successful series titles such as Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter have been transferred to the cinema and other forms of entertainment, creating a special and highly recognizable culture that has in turn influenced the new generations. The frenzy of video games has begun. Long before the realistic graphics, CGIs and endless plotting, there were titles that were loved at the level of worship and influenced the evolution of games and not only. They have lasted for decades, and to date they are a reference point. Let’s make a nostalgic journey back in time. In times that reigned the famous “ufadika”, when the internet was still unknown, while home PCs were luxury items. When coins and batteries were necessary components and gaming was limited. An era full of miracles that gradually appeared like the slopes of the most addictive platform game. There we will find games that have changed the world.
Atari Pong (1972)
Two white straight lines and a dot on a black screen were capable of making perhaps the most addictive game of all time. Playing with the logic of tennis, the player simply has to ward off the dot ball by manipulating the racket. If his ball escapes, the game ends. So simple. To date, at a time when graphics have reached realistic levels and games compete with Jaguar movies in a case and script, Pong and his dozens of variations remain addictive. It is also worth mentioning that Atari’s Pong was the first video game to enter the homes. The entry was through the historic Magnavox Odyssey console, which was released in 1972-1978, launching the era of home video gaming. Pong made the big start.
Lunar Lander (1973)
Another game of Atari that came out in the arcade and was a blockbuster until the Asteroids and 300 Asteroids were released by the same company. Like the Pong, the Lunar Lander had a black screen and white charts that formed mountains and hills. The player was the operator of a small space vehicle that had to land carefully at the right points by collecting points. Although it may sound boring and pointless to a modern gamer, Lunar Landing was one of the most beloved video games of its time paving the way for many more space-based games.
Mattel Auto Race (1977)
Those who were children in the 80s and early 90s will recall some small game machines with a wheelbarrow and a gear lever that guided the tiny vehicle of the integrated screen left and right. These handheld devices were nothing but sophisticated clones of a revolutionary gaming machine that brought gaming closer to the player, keeping him away from television and screens. This is the only Auto Race released by the Mattel game company known since then for Barbie Dolls and Hot Wheels. Influenced by racing games in the 70’s arcade, Mattel invented a portable gaming machine for … fast-throttleing. The object of the game was to avoid the car obstacles in the four lanes of the screen. The manipulation was done by means of a built-in left-right lever and a switch that determined the speed and level of difficulty. The red light on the small screen and the accompanying bim-bim sound were then impressed. Mattel’s Auto Race was there 12 years before the Gameboy and 30 before the smartphones.
Space Invaders (Taito, 1978)
The end of the 70’s is approaching, and space culture has conquered both young and old through Star Wars, Star Trek and many others. Every child’s dream is to enter a spaceship and fight aliens. And yes, Taito gives him the opportunity to live his dream through the legendary arcade where he manages a green laser cannon by shooting hostile creatures from space to descend in order to conquer (what else?) The planet Earth. This is Space Invaders who won first prizes and awards and revolutionized the music of games. It is worth noting that game designer Tomohiro Nishikado did not only draw inspiration from series, books and anime on space, but also from a dream with young Japanese students who rejected an alien invasion waiting for … Santa Claus.
Pac-Man (Namco, 1980)
And while games such as Space Invaders and Asteroids first came to the public’s preference, finally the Earth was conquered by a completely different game that no one could predict its success. A hungry yellow ball that moves endlessly by eating dots in a labyrinth avoiding encountering four colored ghosts with round eyes, was to become the king of games. Pac-Man was not just a phenomenon, but the spirit of the 80s and of course “broke” the four labyrinth walls and was transferred to television, music and comics. Originally starting from arcade, it has been released on other consoles and although to date it has followed many of its tracks, the traditional Pac-Man has continued to play furiously for four decades.
Battlezone (Atari, 1980)
Games like Call of Duty and Medal of Honor as well as Goldeneye 64 and Doom have a special magic: they put you in the game itself. You do not just see the hero’s eyes, you are the one holding the gun, going ahead, marking and shooting. This unparalleled gaming experience was first launched by Atari in 1980 with the Battlezone. This is the first game of virtual reality, even if it was still at a very early stage. Graphically poor compared to later first-person shooter games but for 80s gamers the experience of being behind the shooting range and blowing up tanks was incomparable.
Geometric shapes fall from the sky and form a wall. Whenever a horizontal line is completed, the wall goes down. Slowly And this is not just a game but the legend of games. This great addiction, universally known as Tetris, was designed and created in Soviet Russia. Originally released on PC and later on several consoles where it was enriched with colors, pictures and music always on the subject of “Mother-Russia”. Tetris was the first game to go from Russia to America. It is also worth mentioning that the name Tetris comes out of the Greek word “tetras” because each of the shapes of the game consists of four squares.
Super Mario Bros (Nintendo 1985)
Who does not know the Italian plumber with the red outfit, the salpetta and the characteristic mustache? Super Mario is not just the Nintendo mascot but the most famous hero of video games and no matter how hard he tried to deconstruct him, Sonic of Sega and Sony Crash Bandicoot did not. Since 1985, where Super Mario Bros has been released for Nes by revolutionizing platform games, Mario has been starring in many successful games, some of which combine adventure with racing, sports and other types of gaming. And in our minds, Mario may be jogging, hitting pipes and beatings with his head traveling to different places (the most famous being the Mushroom Kingdom and Bowser Castle) but his first appearance was very much different from what we know in most games. Originally, Mario was a hero in Donkey Kong, an 1981 arcade. Mario, who was then called Jumpman apparently thanks to his ability to make jumps to avoid barrels, had to climb stairs to avoid obstacles to save his girlfriend from the evil Donkey Kong gorilla. The scenario of the prince’s kidnapping-salvation will become a key element in Mario’s other games. As for Donkey Kong he will later change the format and become a protagonist in a series of successful games in super nes with Donkey Kong Country first.