Taito‘s American division developed this vertical screen base defence game in 1981. Colony 7 owes quite a bit to Missile Command, if the truth be known, and was also probably the very first video game to feature “rip-off” micro-transactions too…
Konami‘s 1981 arcade classic, Amidar, is a maze game with a difference.
Konami‘s Frogger was released into video game arcades in 1981 and was an instant hit with gamers.
The basic premise of Frogger is to guide a hopping frog over a road and a river, to reach a safe haven on the other side.
The Intellivision console has a very good conversion of Konami‘s arcade hit Super Cobra, courtesy of Parker Brothers.
Namco‘s Galaga – the sequel to Galaxian – came out in 1981 and was an immediate hit with gamers.
Gone were the days of Space Invaders and rigid attack patterns – the baddies in Galaga danced around the screen; made circles, and flew around in distinct and fluid attack patterns. It was new and it was revolutionary!
Gorf is an early arcade shooter that feels like a poor relative to many of its peers of the time.
It borrows most of its features from other games (one wave is actually called “Galaxians“) and doesn’t bring anything new to the table in terms of gameplay, but it did pioneer ONE THING. And that is: in the use of synthesised speech. Gorf was one of the earliest video games to use it (and although clear, it is quite robotic).
Tempest, by Dave Theurer, is one of the first ever ‘tube shooters’. It was released by Atari in 1981.
You control a spider-like yellow craft that walks along the edge of a 3D playfield, often taking the form of a cylindrical tube. You shoot bullets down the tube at enemies that are rising upwards to get you. Thus the name ‘tube shooter’.
Designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey, Centipede is a superfast fixed-screen shoot ’em up from the arcades of 1981.
Yes, Data East‘s classic 1981 arcade game does feature a policeman called “Stiffy”. The other three are called “Scaredy”, “Smarty” and “Silly”. And together the four of them chase you – a thief – whose mission it is to collect the coins in the maze, and any other treasure that appears, before escaping.
Lock ‘n’ Chase is hardly ‘high-brow’ gaming, but bare in mind that this was made in 1981. And back in 1981, dinosaurs still roamed the planet…
Anyway. Lock ‘n’ Chase is simple but fun. It’s an early colour video game that does alright under its own auspices, even if it is – in essence – something of a Pac-Man clone.