It was in the 80s that Madonna’s song hit the airwaves and stayed at number one for a very, very long time. It was also the decade that brought us some of the greatest classics in gaming and as we hit thirty years I thought it was a good time to look back at the games that shaped our passion...
Here they are in no particular order...
Developed by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, Tetris has become one of the most enduring games ever. Last Thursday the Tetris Company announced that the game had just exceeded 100 million mobile paid for downloads. An unbelievable accomplishment! It’s addictive, fun and is now in its 25th year of existence. Bravo! Play it HERE.
The first ever God-game developed by gaming legend Peter Molyneux placed you directly into the, ahem, hot seat as you controlled the lives and lands of your population. It was the setter of the trend and the leader of the pack, and an extremely addictive way to spend many happy hours alone as an anguished teen. What better way to vanquish your parents I ask you? Play it (at your own risk) from HERE.
Sid Meier’s Pirates! is an iconic title that remains firmly at the top of most gamers’ lists. It was a groundbreaking tour de force that had you playing the role of a privateer on the Spanish Main. It was an open-ended world that had you shooting, fighting, hunting down buried treasure and exploring new trade horizons. It was endlessly fun and captivating with such detail and expansiveness that you could play it again and again and again. Play it (at your own risk) HERE.
Prince of Persia (1989)
This adventure title from Jordan Mechner is a classic action platform game that offered up fantastically entertaining levels for players to enjoy. Few could resist the addictive challenges and puzzles and the character animations were revolutionary for the time. Yes, young ones, they were. Play the game HERE.
It’s hard to believe that this title, Archon: The Light and the Dark, was one of EA’s first. After all, comparing these graphics to the latest titles really makes you sit and think about how far we have come. Archon was a strategy game that used the basics of chess and mythical creatures alongside combat and war. I remember spending hours pondering different strategies. Try it out now, you may be impressed that such a simple concept can have such a complex structure. Play the game HERE.
Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0 (1982)
Ok, I’m the first to admit that I just don’t get these games at all. The point of sitting in a chair to fly for eight hours to a destination that doesn’t exist, and then back again, makes me feel faintly disturbed. Needless to say it was a huge hit with a long standing run of titles and spin-offs. Here we have the first of Microsoft’s flight sim games that spawned a legion of gamers that liked this bizarre idea AND the genre itself. See, there is something to thank Microsoft for after all...Although you still can't play it for free.
This title was ported to almost every platform available in 1989, that’s how successful it was. Will Wright, the genius of geniuses and consummate gaming legend, created SimCity while designing another game, Raid on Bungeling Bay. The game itself is superbly entertaining, even today, and created an entirely new genre, the simulation. It’s a compelling title that merges fun, brainwork and skill into one cohesive experience. Play it HERE.
Kings Quest (1980-1994)
The Kings Quest series are classic gaming genius. You can pick any of the original titles from the 80s and it takes you off on a memorable journey into the land of nostalgia. These games from Sierra Entertainment are considered the classic adventure titles of the decade and still have avid fans. In the first episode, Kings Quest: Quest for the Crown, you are Sir Graham as you quest for magical treasures that will save your kingdom.You can still play them HERE.
I absolutely loved, loved, loved this game when I was a kid. This was one of the most exciting and addictive games I’d played and it resulted in plenty of fights over whose turn it was to play. This space trading sim had me piloting my ship, climbing the ranks and trading myself silly to get credits. It was irresistible and the clever use of wireframe graphics really gave the feeling of being in deep space. Simply fabulous. Play it HERE.
Super Mario Brothers (1985)
The world was introduced to Mario and, before we knew it, he became a cultural icon and has segued seamlessly into our language lexicon. The game, released for the popular Nintendo console in 1985, was fun, fast and furious. The game has had tons of sequels, the characters appear in many new titles and on other platforms and if you didn’t play it then you should definitely try it now.