Monday, 7 June 2010

Mmmm games :P

I have made a list of the games that I think confidently display what true retro gaming was like, before Mario and Sonic the Hedgehog came along.

I will research each of these to find the most suitable one for the sound bed I have chosen

click logo to play Pacman

Pac-man is probably the most famous game, ever. Created by Toru Iwatani for Namco and released in 1980 it instantly became a Genderless and addictive hit. Pacman has been remade over and over over its time and is now just past its 30th birthday!

it was famous enough for the creators of Google to style their Logo around the game's platform and even make it playable!

It is a common addition to many Flash gaming websites and as such is still played widley even today.

the original game was played on coin operated arcade platforms, of which a record number had been sold around the world.

the game itself could be played indefinatley provided the player still had at least 1 life remaining, it had 5 Characters

1. Pacman - the protagonist and famous hungry yellow circle of doom!

2. Inky - Red Monster/Ghost
3. Blinky - Blue Monster/Ghost
4. Pinky - Pink Monster/Ghost
5. Clyde - Orange Monster/Ghost

I found a very funny video that is to do with pacman that was created and released on the 21st May 2010, so its pretty recent, definatley worth a watch and just proves my point that still people remember watch and play this game.

The embedded player was disabled so click here to see the video!!

Because pacman has such a wide and dedicated following that so many people can relate to even outside of pop/gaming culture, I think this could be my best and most ideal platform to base a retrogame E-sting from.


click logo to play Snake

Snake is another very old and popular game, made in 1978 by "P.Trefonas" -wikipedia, couldnt find another source- this is a game that again has had nearly countless remakes from both fans and companys and has a large scale of sequels. In actual fact when the game was released it was called "Wurm" not "Snake".

Like Pacman Snake was also released in 3D when the technology and the remaking of old games combined and was available.

the game itself was far simpler than Pacman, you have to guide an abstract snake-like creature around a small room and eat/consume (presumably) the objects that appear within that room, you are not allowed to try and eat either yourself or the boundrys around the room. what makes the game difficult is that your creature grows in size as you eat more making it harder and harder to maneuver around your own body to stay alive.

Snake was brought back to the foreground of attention after the Nokia mobile phone company added this game to all of its mobile phones stored memory where it could keep track of high scores and such.

Snake Gameplay

this game is older than pacman but not nearly as famous, since there were no actual "characters" it is more just a set of rules within an area, I most likely dont thing I will look at Wurm/Snake or any of its derivitives for my E-sting.


click logo to play Missile Command
Missile Command
Missile Command is one of my favourite games from the classic selection of video games, -sadly because it said "missile command" in the title so i just had to play it, yes i'm a war nut-.

The objective of the game is to defend 6 cities -represented by 6 small clusters of houses- from a waves of incoming missiles raining down from the top of the screen, you have to use your missiles to intercept the enemy missiles before they harm your cities.

Released in 1980 and programmed by Dave Theurer it is unlike Snake and Pacman in the ways of that you have controls but you do not see the thing you are in control over, all you are given is a small cursor that indicates the location your missile will impact. Interestingly John Connor plays Missile Command in Terminator 2 Judgement Day while he is in the arcade, the game seems to represent America's fear of missile attacks and the supposed nuclear holocaust.

All things said, and despite this game being one of my favourites, I can not see this being integrated very well into the sound bed I have chosen.

A gameplay reveiw of Missile Command by Classic Game Room HD


click logo to play Defender
Defender! one of the ones I remember most from my selection of classic games, although it is much older than when got hold of it as a re-release on the Sega Megadrive (Genesis), I have had many frustrating moments with this game shouting, throwing game pads, the works.

this game was created by Williams Electronic in 1980 although it didnt recieve the welcome deserved at its initial show it was very popular when it was ported to arcade machines and eventually became Williams best selling arcade game.

you play as s space ship saving humans from a planet under alien invasion, certain aliens will try to abduct the humans whereas other exist soley to destroy the player.

Lander - these are slow moving inacurate enemies that try to abduct the human inhabitants, if they succeed they become "Mutants"

Mutant - these are the result of an alien fusing with a human after abduction, they are very fast and very agressive and will try to land on your ship and destroy you.

Baiter - these teleport into the mission to kill you asap if you are taking too long, they are very fast inescapable enemies that fire fast moving prjoectiles into your path to shoot you down.

Bomber - these leave a small trail of small glowing orbs or "bombs" behind them which if you touch with your ship will cause you to die, they arent normally a threat.

Pod - think of these like a perfectly quite hornets nest, its not the nest thats the problem its whats inside.

Swarmer - within the "Pods" are normally a dozen Swarmer enemies, they all fire acurate fast moving projectiles making near impossible to dodge them all without some manner of godlike skill, they are also extremely small, making them just about the hardest thing to kill in the game, and if you kill 3 or 4 "Pods" then... good luck, because you will so need it.

here is a good review of Defender that can show you the game being played, as well as explaining how the game works, this is the Colecovision version of Defender since it has been re-released on just about every consol that has been released, normally packaged with other Williams titles like Robotron, Sinistar, Joust etc.

since my aspiration heads more towards vehicular design and this game is based amost solely on the ships both player and alien this could be a good base for my E-sting, however its hard to imagine at this point this game fitting with the sound bed.


Gradius is a game I never realy got a chance to play all that much, I do know however that it is a loved classic of many of my friends, the game is a manic sidescrolling game where waves of enemies attack you from the right side of the screen, you have a veriety of weapons at your disposal to dispose of the many many enemies that come to attack you.

released in 1985 by Konami the Gradius series is a very long one, much like the other classic games they have been re-envisioned a number of times, Gradius has a long line of sequels, the latest of which being Gradius V released on the Play Station 2 in 2004, i dont count Gradius Rebirth which came out in 2008 because it was a mixture of several levels from previous Gradius titles.

here is another good "Classic Game Room HD" review of the original Gradius

all the Gradius titles were released as sidescrolling shootem ups, however Gradius V was both a 3D game and a Sidescrolling shootem up. Similar to how super smash brothers works, it has fully 3D characters and backgrounds while only allowing you to move up down left and right, in classic side scrolling fashion.

I believe the Gradius could translate to a really good retro game E-sting, I have some questions that are begining to re-occur which I shall place at the end of this post.


click logo to play Space Invaders
Space invaders

Ahh space invaders, this is arguably my most loved game ever between Robotron and Missile Command. Next to Pacman this is probably one of the most recognised games of all time, and not just the game itslef, the pixel spaceships that try to invade have themselves become classics in popular gaming culture. being seen on clothing and accessory items, as well as individual artist creations. It is probably just as well known as Pacman only its influence is of a much more personal nature, unlike Pacmans heavy modern corporate image.

A sample of things contained in the link below, a space invader created out of rubik cubes.

Rubik Cubism

this link shows a veriety of Cubist Artworks using rubic cubes, a heavy Space Invaders influence is clear.

other examples below

a really cool painting with a space invaders theme, you can also see that Defender drew alot of its influences from Space Invaders.

Food inspired from the game Space Invaders.

there are many more things clearly inspired by Space Invaders, Car Decals, wall Decals, Paintings etc. typing "space invaders Tile art" into Google brings up a whole range of things.

these little spaceships are litterally everywhere, it pretty much is an invasion!


Tetris is a game I have had a lot of experiance with both playing and watching my mum play it for years and years, it is another very simple game that is just adored, it has much less of a following than games like Defender, Space invaders and Pacman, but thats mainly to do with the impersonal platform of simply different shaped bricks.

The game came out first in 1984 and was created in the soviet union by Alexey Pazhitnov, the game for those that might not be familliar with it, is a puzzle based game where a random series of Tetrominoes fall down one at a time in a random order and the player has to assort them into a neat pile at the bottom of the well. If a complete line is made then it vanishes moving the stack down and allowing more Tetrominoes to fall.

What is a "Tetrominoe"?

A Tetrominoe is the name of a shape made of 4 other small square parts. Like Dominoes are made of 2 square parts.

here are some funny videos influenced clearly by Tetris

regardless of its personal following among fans and the community, I do believe that Tetris would be suited well to the quirkyness of the sound bed and could be good to do within the perameters of the brief.


Robotron 2084... this is a game and a half, if you havent played it, you must, if you have, your probably banging your face against a wall because of the intense sound effects.
Thinking about it, this could probably be my all time favourite game, ever.

It was created in 1982 by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar and has been a game that did quite well commercially however not probably as well as it deserved, the arcade cabinate sold around 50 thousand units.

the game itself is very fast paced and has controls that were specifically designed for the game, there were 2 control sticks instead of 1 control stick and a series of buttons like all the other games of that time used.
One control stick moved the character around the screen, and the other control stick determined the direction to fire in, the aim? to simply kill everything on the screen whilst saving the last human family from the robotrons (evil robot enemies).

Within Robotron there are a veriety of enemy combatants

Grunts - standard hostile combatant that simply runs at the player to destroy him

Electrodes - basically colourful land mines that kill the player (or anything else that touches them) on contact.

Hulks - Indestructable enemies that can not be killed, they are in the level to destroy the last human family, they do this by walking over and flattening them.

Enforcer - these are harder enemies to kill, and they will fire back and chase the player until he is killed, they spawn from within Spheroid's.

Speroid - these will attempt to ram the player and will move away from the players line of fire, if not destroyed within a small time frame they will spawn Enforces.

Brains - these are enemies with enlarged and visible brains coming out of their heads, their goal is to locate and hypnotise the human inhabitants and turn them into evil killers that chase the player. Brains also fire bolts of energy that chase the player around the screen.

Tanks - these are tracked enemies that fire rapid moving projectiles to intercept the players movements, they ricochete off walls and will often come back in the direction of the player, these are the hardest enemies to kill.

Review for Robotron, Classic Game Room

Robotron Gameplay

dispite how must I honestly love this game, it just would not fit into the brief, specifically the sound bed, so I will be looking to some of the other games for further consideration.


Conclusion: because retro games are known by most people between to the age of 20 to 30, where as other people not connected to computers or games may be alienate a little by an E-sting of this type, not that that is a particularly bad thing but that isnt what I want in particular, to help elieviate this as much as possible I have decided to choose Space invaders over Pac-man and all the rest of the games i had selected.

I have chose Space Invaders rather than pac-man because Pac-man is a corporate symbol, he is also one of the most well known game characters ever created, which is both good and bad.
Space Invaders is still extremely famous, but its more down to earth, having being recreated by fans in a veriety of forms; food, clothing, accessories, Car Decals, paintings and sculptures, the little aliens had been totally integrated into game and pop culture since it began, the game is memorable and still inocent enough to propperly portray an E-Sting in a cute retro game style.


tutorphil said...

It was nice to have you around the place yesterday, Dii - also, go and check your settings on your blog so that you can see icons of the people following your blog: I'm following and, by rights, a little icon of 'tutorphil' should crop up on the right side of your template; also - are you following anyone's yet? Get stuck in Dii - the course has changed a great deal in just the space of one year, and I'd like you to warm your hands by the energy! P

Dii said...

it wouldnt let me comment at home :/, but I did see your comment :)