As a 90’s kid, I grew up playing some basic yet classic games of my times. These day’s high quality graphic games and online multiplayer system were non existent back in the day and despite that those games are forever green because of their amazing story plot, missions, tasks and specially cool characters.
Here are some of those classic retro games that make you nostalgic and wish you still had them to play these days along with some interesting unknown facts about them:
Okay if you don’t know about Mario, then clearly you are an alien or simply a wanna-be video gamer. Mario is the reason why you have Call of Duty, Sonic and all those amazing video games today. After the crash of the video game industry in 1983, Nintendo came up with this brilliant marketing idea of Mario, a small Italian plumber who is set to rescue a princess. Even though the game is about 30 years old, one can never ever get tired of playing it. Mario came with over 200 video games since his existence and is hands down the best selling video game franchise in the history. Thousands of Mario versions, power ups, levels are highly addictive, cool and entertaining.
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Interesting Fact: In the year 2000, Nintendo was sued because Mario Party’s joystick-spinning mini games caused hand injuries to children. Yes that’s right. The kids were so addicted that due to their injuries lawsuit, the gaming boss had agreed to invest $80 million in protective gloves for the owners of the game. Nintendo boss was willing to provide up to four fingerless gloves with additional padded palms for each household that owned the game. Talk about bizarre lawsuits and their consequences.
Aladdin was one of the perfect love stories and a perfect entertaining game. Designed by Virgin in 1993, the game was a replica of the movie due to the fact that its creators made sure that the setting, characters and actions are same just like in the movie. The game is basically all about killing enemies with basic swordplay, jumping and throwing apples. Aladdin needs to escape from the Cave of Wonders on a carpet and jump across the Agrabah’s rooftops. The whole plot is simple, entertaining and fun to follow. You see the other minor characters in few episodes or extra games. And I must say, the graphics were pretty well done considering the era and the time it was created in, thanks to the use of Cel Animation. Aladdin surely manages to look like a sexy warrior against the cruel world.
Interesting Fact: Aladdin took almost a half-year of work to be completed at a price of between $1 and $1.5 million, which was four times the average cost at that time. It was released on October 19, 1993, which was three weeks after the movie hit VHS. Wow, with that amount of money they could have made another movie on Aladdin.
The Pokémon franchise is one of the world’s biggest franchises. People love the manga, the television shows, the Pokémon toys, Pokémon collectable cards, Pokémon CDs, T-shirts, basically everything about Pokémon. There are about thousand versions of Pokémon game. The first version was released in 1996 for Gameboy. The main highlights of the game are to have a digital pet or a digital Pokémon. You simple have to train it, battle with other players and control your whole Pokémon career. The Third generation version that was released in 2002 for the Gameboy Advance had relatively better graphics and speed. What’s also special about the third generation game is that it introduced about 135 new Pokémon for a total of 386 species.
Interesting Fact: The origin of Pokémon comes from Sathoshi Taijri’s concept for Pokémon manifested itself in a manga names Capsule Monsters. The early sketches of Pokémons, their various avatars and Poke ball can be found in the pages of that classic manga. Another reason to fall in love with Mangas and admire them! Thank you Sathoshi San!
First person shooting game lovers, this one goes out to you. Released in 1993, Doom is a sci-fi/horror first-person shooter (FPS) game by id Software. It is absolutely the father of FPS games because of, well about a hundred reasons. Let us start of with the fact that people could create custom levels and modify the game in the form of custom WAD files. This made Doom so popular in no time and became the first large mod-making community. The first version’s graphics were all right but the thrill and the horror found in each level was mind blowing. Doom being widely praised over the years, was ranked as the fifth best video game of all time by the Computer Gaming World in 1996. GameSpy voted it as the number one game of all time in 2001. I could go on and on about how amazing this game is but honestly speaking, you have to play it in order to embrace its awesomeness.
Interesting Fact: Apart from being controversial because of its violence and gore, Doom turned out to because a major form of distraction at workplaces. It not only occupied the time of employees, but also clogged computer networks with traffic caused by deathmatches. As a result, Intel and Carnegie Mellon University formed policies exclusively disallowing their employees to play Doom during work hours. Poor employees, addiction takes time to over come.
This platform game was released in 1981 by Nintendo and got pretty famous in the USA and Japan. The cool thing about this game is that it makes you jump and make the main character (our lovely Donkey Kong) jump. You have to jump between gaps and over obstacles and on enemies and just jump your way through the game while collecting those yummy bananas. If you want to complete the game, you need a lot of patience with all that jumping and trying to get a high score. Among collectors and video gamers, Donkey Kong still stands as the fifth most popular arcade game. The popular culture embraced the phrase “It’s on like Donkey Kong” over the years and Nintendo even applied for a trademark on that phrase in 2010.
Interesting Fact: One of the most controversial things to take place with Donkey Kong was when Universal Pictures decided to sue Nintendo over Donkey Kong’s similarities to King Kong. Of course Universal Pictures lost the case or else Nintendo wouldn’t be alive today. The reality is, Universal didn’t actually own the rights to King Kong since it became public domain years ago. Oh well, it was worth a trial I guess.
SONIC, THE HEDGEHOG
Sonic the Hedgehog was released in 1991 by Sega. The game plot of the whole series was featured around a blue hedgehog names Sonic. Sonic was the main character as well as the protagonist of the story. His mission was to save the world along with his allies and fight against the evil geniun Dr. Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik. The evil doctor’s aim is to rule the planet and tries to kill Sonic and his friends. This particular series of games was fun, entertaining, and fast paced.
Interesting Fact: The King of Pop Michael Jackson was hired to score the music for Sonic 3! Oh. My. God. I screamed with joy when I got to know about this rare fact. Jackson met with Sega and discussed about putting together the music for Sonic 3 and even started putting composures together for the soundtrack. Sadly due to all his on going controversies in the news, the music was abandoned. Bummer. Although some people still say there is a bit of the Jackson influence on the soundtrack.
This arcade game was released in 1978 and was developed by Tomohiro Nishikado. It is evident that Nishikado derived inspiration from Star Wars and The War of the Worlds for the whole game play. The game is one of the most basic shooting games. The aim is to defeat seas of aliens by using a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. Space Invaders was first released in Japan and quickly became popular. Arcades were filled with nothing but Space Invader cabinets and by the end of 1978, it grossed over $600 million in Japan alone. Apart from making good business, Space Invaders spread its wings over the world of popular culture. Books were written on it, musicians were appreciating the game’s music and getting inspired from it and television shows such as Scrubs and That 70’s show have at some point referred to the game or made a casual comic comment towards it.
Interesting Fact: Okay this fact will blow your mind! Wait for it…Space Invaders was the first game to save scores ever! All of the arcade games that existed before Space Invaders lacked that one important element that would soon become future of the gaming world – saving high scores! Space Invaders gave you the liberty to type in your initials and save your high score for others to see on the arcade machine. Hats off to Space Invaders for giving birth to competitive souls out there!
The famous tile-matching puzzle game was released in 1984 and is Russian. Alexey Pajitnov designed Tetris while he was working in Moscow. This addictive Russian game was the first entertainment software that was exported from the USSR to the USA. The objective of the game is to rotate and control random geometric shapes composed of foursquare blocks each and make a horizontal line of time blocks without any gaps. Tetris has developed over time and even became an online multiplayer game that allows you to battle with other users online.
Interesting Fact: Playing Tetris can make you thinner. I didn’t come with that unusual fact, but the psychologists at Plymouth University did. They found that playing Tetris for just three minutes could help reduce cravings for food, drinks and smoking. Wow! It’s an all in one formula. According to them, it makes a fun diet aid for people trying to lose weight. No more running on the treadmill for hours my friends, just play Tetris.
Fun, thrill, speed, and illegal practices – that is what Road Rash series is all about. Released in 1991, this motorcycle racing video game is all about illegal races and competing against other players in order to gain the first position. It is as rash as the name suggests and is bound to keep you on the edge of your seat as you play it.
Interesting Fact: The first Road Rash that was released on the Mega Drive, took place in California and had a two-player mode. Yet the system only allows one person to play at a time. Talk about giving out false hope of playing together against the 14 other contestants.
MS PAC MAN
This simple yet fun game was created by Namco in 1980 and initially released in Japan. The main objective of the game is to control the Pac-Man through a blue maze and making sure it eats all the dots and fruits without getting killed by the tiny and cute four ghosts. The cute ghosts were given cute names – Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde.
Interesting Fact: The game was initially designed to attract female players, mainly because the gaming world was flooded with males during the 70’s. According to Toru Iwatani, the creator of Pac Man, arcade centers were a “playground for boys. It was dirty and smelly. So we wanted to include female players, so it would become cleaner and brighter”. Is it just me or does that theory make no sense? How does Pac Man help make the gaming world brighter? Oh well, moving on.
What are your favorite retro games? Share in the box below!
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