[Written By External Partner]
Anyone lucky enough to have grown up in the decade that style forgot will know better than most just how much video gaming has advanced since the 1980s. Yet there was something about those 8-bit games that has been lost in today’s games. Trying to explain that to today’s gamers is a little like analysing why someone enjoys driving a classic car, even if it is basic, unreliable and noisy compared to something modern.
But while it’s no easy feat to put someone behind the wheel of an E-type Jaguar, we can at least show today’s gamers exactly what they missed, as many classic 80s games have now been ported across to iOS and Android. And, of course, it means we get a chance to get a little nostalgic too. Let’s see what’s out there!
An arcade classic, Pac-Man was also culturally important. At a time when video games were aimed squarely at a male audience, this was one of the first to really appeal to both sexes. There are a few different versions around for iOS and Android, but the Bandai/Nameco port really captures the feel of the original. There are also some welcome extra features, including new mazes and special daily challenges.
Fruit machines had been around since long before the 1980s, but Fortune Coin was the game that brought one armed bandits into the video games era. It was the first game to incorporate an interactive bonus, a feature that we take for granted with modern slot games. You can still find Fortune Coin at many online casino sites, and best of all, if you take advantage of the minimum investment offers that are around, you can even play for 1980s stakes!
This is an arcade classic that had the strange distinction of being a feature of the school curriculum over in the UK in the early 80s thanks to a BBC-sponsored computer literacy project. It demands patience and lightning reflexes to get your froggy friend across the busy highway, and while the concept is rudimentary, the game is as addictive today as it was 40 years ago.
Another pioneer of its time, Doom was one of the first 3-D shooters and gave us our first glimpse into the future of video gaming from our 1980s perspective. This iOS version captures the essence of the game but the aiming is less fiddly than on the Atari original. That’s definitely a good thing, as precision aiming under pressure on an iPhone is no fun at all.
Space Invaders Saving the best till last? This vertical shooter is perhaps the most iconic 80s game of them all, and the original spawned dozens of rip-offs when home computers appeared on the scene. Taito Corporation, the original creator, is still going strong and its iOS version of the original game will transport you back to the days when E.T phoned home and Madonna was like a virgin. Have fun!