Archive for the ‘1980s’ Tag
In Mario Bros. the objective is to rid the sewers of pests such as turtles, crabs and flies. The player controls one of the Mario Bros., Mario or Luigi, and has their character jump up and strike the platform one of the pests is on from below, flipping the pest over. The character can also jump up and hit the POW box, flipping over all pests on the screen at once. The player then has their character kick any flipped pests into the water below, then repeat the process until the level is clear.
Mario Bros. can be played by a single player or by two players simultaneously. In a two player game the players can choose to cooperate or compete with each other.
Mario Bros. was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi and produced by Nintendo in 1983.
At first glance Spy Hunter appears to be a driving game, but it soon becomes apparent that it’s actually more of a top-down shooter like Galaxian or Galaga. The player controls a sports car which is initially equipped with machine guns, and later acquires oil slick, smoke screen and missile capabilities by driving into the back of a weapons van while driving down the road at full speed. The player must evade and destroy enemy vehicles while avoiding any damage to civilian vehicles. The player’s car also transforms into a boat at times when the road meets a waterway, then transforms back into a car when necessary.
The game’s has a unique set of controls, consisting of a control yoke, a gear shift and an accelerator pedal. The control yoke has two triggers, two thumb buttons and a button to call the weapons van.
Spy Hunter is one of the few games I played in an arcade as a kid. A friend had his birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza, and each kid got a few tokens to play whatever they wanted in the arcade. I spent all my tokens on Spy Hunter, and it was worth it.
Spy Hunter was created by George Gomez, and features the Peter Gunn theme by Henry Mancini as it’s background music. The game was produced by Bally/Midway in 1983.
In Elevator Action the player controls “Otto” – Secret Agent 17. The player guides “Otto” through high-rise buildings, collecting secret documents from rooms with red doors and shooting what enemy agents he can’t avoid. “Otto” also has full control over the elevators when he is riding them, and he can use the elevators to squash any enemy agents who get in the elevator’s path. Once “Otto” has collected all the secret documents from a building he proceeds to the basement garage and escapes in his car.
The control scheme for Elevator Action is pretty basic – a four-way joystick, a fire button and a jump button. “Otto” can fire while standing or crouching, and he can jump to avoid enemy fire and to jump kick enemy agents.
Elevator Action was produced in 1983 by Taito.
Mad Planets is a space shooter game with a twist – instead of fighting aliens from other planets, you’re fighting the planets themselves. These planets are angry, and the player has to destroy them or be destroyed. At first the planets are small and can be easily destroyed, but they quickly grow in size and sprout moons which attack the player’s ship. Once a planet’s moons are destroyed the planet itself goes berzerk and attacks the player’s ship. In later levels the player rescues astronauts floating in space for extra points and also has to dodge attacking comets.
Mad Planets has a somewhat unusual control scheme – a flight stick with a trigger on the right to move the ship around the screen and fire, and a spinner on the left to rotate the ship to the best angle for shooting attackers.
Mad Planets was designed by Kan Yabumoto and pruduced by Gottlieb in 1983.
John’s Arcade review of Mad Planets with additional gameplay. (Caution: Language)
Karate Champ is considered by many to be the first fighting game. The controls consist of two joysticks per player – the left one moves the player’s character, and the right one determines what action (punch, kick, etc.) the character will perform.
There are two versions of Karate Champ – regular and versus. The regular version only allows one player to play at a time, and the character in the game is competing in a karate dojos and tournaments. In the versus version the male main character competes against other male characters for the affections of a young lady, and each competition takes place in a different location. In both versions each competition consists of two rounds, both of which the player must win. Rounds are won by scoring points against the other character, as in a martial arts tournament. In between competitions are mini games where the main character can dodge thrown flowerpots, punch bulls, etc. for extra points.
My first experience with this game was seeing it at the laundromat I frequented with my mom. At the time (the late 1990s) I thought it looked old and lame, so I never tried it. My loss.
Karate Champ was created by Technos Japan Corp. and produced in 1984 by Data East.
I had quite a few Star Wars action figures growing up. I even had two of a few of them – Han Solo in his Endor gear, Darth Vader, and Wicket. But my favorite figure was R2-D2. It wasn’t exactly an accurate figure, but there was something about it that seemed almost… friendly.
Baby Pac-Man is a sequel to Pac-Man which is part video game and part pinball. The game starts in video mode with a fairly standard Pac-Man maze, with one difference – there are two escape chutes at the bottom of the screen. When Baby Pac-Man goes down one of the chutes the game switches to pinball mode. The player gets power pellets (referred to as energizers), fruits, extra lives and other power ups when playing the pinball portion, then once the ball is lost the video portion of the game resumes.
Baby Pac-Man was released by Bally in 1982.