From vinyl records to indestructible Nokia phones, we’ve been seeing retro designs and throwbacks pop up everywhere lately. It’s official: OLD is NEW again! One of the most popular areas in which fans like to relive their childhood memories is gaming. In light of that, Retro.HK will be hosting the Retro Gaming Expo 2017 from today until Sunday at Polytechnic University for HK gamers hankering after a simpler time.
Here are the top 10 classic games we at Young Post HQ think you need to replay – or play for the very first time.
10 Space Invaders
The simplistic concept of Space Invaders makes this one of the most addictive classic games ever. This was THE prototype of the modern “bullet hell” shooter, in which the aim of the game is simply to survive as many waves of hostile alien ships as possible.
This Namco-developed game is as beloved now as it was when it was first released. The only one of its kind when it came out, Pac-Man is at its core a game of virtual tag ... with giant ghosts and superpower-giving cherries.
Atari’s two-dimensional take on table tennis consists of a controller for each player, and a one-pixel ball “pinged” back and forth between two paddles. Pong proves how fun doesn’t always mean flashy graphics and high-speed performance – sometimes, a simple take on an amusing concept is all you need.
Whether it was on an old Nokia phone or in a web browser, gamers 15 to 50 will have spent a fair amount of time on a version of Snake. Players move a snake around on the screen without bumping it into the edges of the screen or itself. The snake would grow with every pixel it would “eat”. The game was so popular it spawned many variations and spin-offs, from Snake II to Snake Xenzia.
6 Duck Hunt
It’s funny to think that this game, published by Nintendo, was one of forebears of the first-person shooter (FPS). The difference with Duck Hunt is that, instead of zombies or bad guys, you had to shoot … ducks? Whatever works, we suppose. Was it the simplicity that made this game so special? Or that you could play with two people? We don’t know, but there’s no denying this is super fun.
Created by Capcom, 1942 was the first of many in a series of “shoot ’em up” games, where players try to survive through enemy planes’ fire while trying to reach – and beat – the massive boss plane at the end of the stage. The arcade flyer’s two-player option brought the game to a whole new level, as you could join forces with a buddy, doubling the fun – as well as the difficulty level.
An early influencer on the action-adventure genre, the two-dimensional landscape and fictional planet setting netted Metroid 11th place on (the now discontinued magazine) Nintendo Power’s best Nintendo console games of all time list. Its exciting soundtrack and engaging story helped make female bounty hunter Samus one of Nintendo’s most popular characters.
3 Street Fighter
Another Capcom classic. Street Fighter, Street Fighter II, III, IV, V and Street Fighter EX are all part of the action-packed fighting series, where two players battle it out using characters with unique fighting styles and special moves. Filled with flaming hadoukens from Ryu and magical shurikens from Geki, playing this game will bring back for many vivid memories of broken friendships and fights between siblings.
The fact that Tetris Battle is still such a popular feature on Facebook justifies why this is easily one of the best classic games ever. You’d think that arranging a set of shapes in a line wouldn’t make for very exciting gameplay, but Tetris’ Russian game designer Alexey Pajitnov proved otherwise. Who doesn’t know that classic Tetris soundtrack that speeds up the longer and the better you played?
1 Super Mario
We could easily create another top 10 list of games using just releases from the Super Mario series. Here, the franchise has been grouped under a single subheading; because otherwise there’d be more Mario than you could shake a stick at. Whether it’s Super Mario Bros, Mario Kart, or Super Mario World, the world of mushrooms, power-ups, and pipes has consistently proved its popularity and prominence within the gaming community. The plucky Italian plumber is here to stay too – recent releases include casual runner Super Mario Run for the iOS platform, and open-world Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch.
All of these video games have helped to shape the popular gaming community that we all know and love today. From the endless action of Overwatch, the tricky platforming elements of the Uncharted series, and the competitive nature of League of Legends, all owe their concepts to these pioneers. There’s only thing left to do now: hit the start button.