Sunday, September 2, 2012

3 Cool Games From 1982 (III)

With Prisoner 2 and Ultima 2 the year 1982 really had it going with video games and despite of all the bad publicity video games like Custer’s revenge or E.T. got, this new industry was definitely growing. Companies like E.A. Games or Lucasarts Games were born so it seemed to be a bright future for video games. There were some first releases that remain in the history of gaming and everybody who was a kid or a video game fan back then surely remembers them.

1. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Ah, the first Star Wars video game, one of the classics, one of those games that kept the kids of its generation wide awake.

How do you play it ?
The game is pretty simple, you have to control a snowspeeder to battle against the Imperial AT-AT walkers on the planet Hoth. There were many difficulty levels depending on their speed and their power. They are destroyed by aiming the torso or the head while shots in the legs are ineffective. There were also flashing spots that would have destroyed them if the player shot there but these were hard to spot and to aim as they randomly appeared on the map.

How do you win?
You will have to manage to hold them off as long as possible before they blow up the power generator at the RebelsEcho Base. The game ends when five speeders are destroyed or when the lead walker reaches Echo Base, destroying it.  

Why was it so popular?
Well. I guess it’s pretty obvious why this game was so popular back then, it was a Star Wars game....

Can I still play it?

2. Zaxxon

Isometric view, flying a fighter craft and shooting up enemies is what this game was about and it was extremely popular. It seems that it was ported to almost all home computer and video game consoles between  1982 and 1985.

How do you play it?
You fly a craft through a fortress while shooting at enemy entities. That’s it. When you run out of fuel, you shoot fuel tanks and you magically get fuel.

How do you win?
The  whole purpose is to shoot as many targets as possible before being shot down or running out of fuel.

Why was it popular?
Well, this game was pretty cool for its age. First, it was the first game to employ axonometric proection, which means isometric view.  It also displayed shadows, which was a pretty cool thing back then and they were flexible enough to show the distance from the surface. It also gained a lot of popularity because it was widely advertised on television....with this interesting commercial.
Oh, and the game was cool, it was fun and definitely more versatile than other games of its age.

Can I still play it?

3. Utopia (video game)

The first of the sim games, Utopia was definitely a game that changed the world of games. Utopia was a new concept that gained popularity in a very short time. Utopia is a real time strategy or a sim game or even a god game.

How do you play it?
The cool thing about Utopia was the fact that it allowed two players to play it. When you started the game, you chose how much the turn lasts and how many turns you have to do until the game ended. Each player has to build fishing boats, PT boats or fund rebel activity on their enemy island. They also have to feed the population and keep them happy, otherwise their score is decreased.

How do you win?
The goal of the game is to have the biggest score at the end of all the turns. You can focus on growing or you can focus on making things harder for the other player.

Why was it popular?
 Well, should I say again that it was the first sim game ever? And it had various elements: feeding your population, maintaining a good income and even jeopardizing the other player’s game. You also had rain, hurricane and random fish pool occurrences.

Can I still play it?
I couldn’t find it but here’s a gameplay video.


  1. I love your blog, I look forward to seeing more from you. Do you run any other sites? thanks

    1. Thanks so much. No, I don't have other sites although I have plans for a few more when I'll have more free time.