You’ve made the space, you’ve decorated the walls, and now it’s time to fill your garage games room with – you’ve guessed it – games. But with so many to choose from, it can be difficult to know which ones will bring the most joy. To help, we’ve compiled a list of 5 classic arcade games that have stood the test of time, and are guaranteed to bring you hours of fun for years to come!
Released in 1978, Space Invaders was one of the pioneers of video gaming, helping to move the gaming industry from a niche to a global market. In the game, the player controls a laser cannon, moving it left and right while shooting a field of moving aliens, and gaining points by destroying them. Space Invaders quickly became a success in its native Japan, making US$600 million by the end of its first year. Simple, fun and highly addictive, Space Invaders is a game you’ll definitely come back to time and again to beat the scores left by friends and family.
No list of top arcade games would be complete without the munching yellow circle. Pac-Man was first released in Japan in 1980 as a response to the more commonplace, violent-type games of the time – like Space Invaders and war games. Its popularity stemmed from being both a game that everyone could play and its simplicity; you control Pac-Man to eat Pac-Dots around a maze, the more dots are eaten, the more points gained. This is done while trying to avoid ghostly enemies who move about trying to eat Pac-Man. And, like Space Invaders, players try to outscore each other, adding to its addictive nature. If you only have one arcade game then Pac-Man is a great choice for the same reasons that make it so popular; it’s easy to play and its fun for all ages!
Released in 1981, players take on the character of Mario and have to move him left and right on the girders, up and down the ladders, and avoid any obstacles in the way – typically barrels thrown by Donkey Kong, a large angry ape. Donkey Kong was actually the first appearance of Nintendo character Mario from Mario Bros fame. Often Mario would have to save the princess in a classic boy gets girl scenario; the ‘will he won’t he’ question was and still is a big part of Donkey Kong’s ongoing success as a computer game.
Frustrating at times, joyous at others, Tetris combined skill and luck like no other arcade game. In Tetris, falling shapes made up of squares fall from the sky. The player has to move them left and right and sometimes turn them all the way round to fit them into the layers they land in, in order to form complete grids. Frustration comes when gaps begin to form in the layers being built up, which would them be swapped for overwhelming joy as completed grids disappeared and points were gained.
First released in 1987, Street Fighter is a two-player game where characters fight it out to the death in front of a static, exotic-looking background. Each character has its own signature moves, like spinning kicks and throwing fire. Street Fighter became hugely popular as friends picked their favourite characters to battle each other, while the game’s commentator shouted out encouragement such as ‘Perfect!’ and ‘Finish Him!’, which made the game that bit more exciting. Today, more advanced versions can be on XBox and Playstation, but it’s the simpler moves and classic comments that take adults back to their youth – and a more innocent time.
As technology has rapidly advanced and computer games have gotten more complicated, returning to simpler times often brings much more happiness – and who could argue with that when facing an angry ape!