Tag Archives: 1983

Forty Niner, ZX81

This 1983 release from Software Farm broke new ground on the Sinclair ZX81. You see: graphics on the ZX81, before Forty Niner, consisted of chunky basic graphics and ASCII symbols, because the machine wasn’t really capable of anything else. Or so the world thought…

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Hunchback, Arcade

Century Electronics UK‘s Hunchback is apparently NOT loosely based on the 1831 Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, as many have speculated. But since it features Quasimodo running from left to right over a castle rampart, trying to rescue Esmeralda from a tower at the end, that is an easy assumption to make.

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Molar Maul, ZX Spectrum

This early ZX Spectrum game from Imagine Software was designed and programmed by John Gibson and first published in 1983.

It is a good example of a mundane idea being turned into a video game – namely: dental hygiene and the battle with tooth decay! Gibson apparently wrote the game in only four weeks.

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Time Bandit, Dragon 32

An American TRS-80 release imported to the Dragon 32, Time Bandit is a scrolling maze game with shoot ’em up elements. It was written by Bill Dunlevy and Harry Lafnear and first published by MichTron in 1983. Microdeal published it in the UK.

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Pogo, ZX Spectrum

Ocean Software‘s 1983 release, Pogo, is arguably the best Q*Bert clone on the ZX Spectrum. And there were a lot of Q*Bert clones around at the time.

It was one of the very first Spectrum games I ever bought and it kept teenage me occupied for a few days, before I eventually grew tired of it.

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Stonkers, ZX Spectrum

This 1983 release from Imagine Software is one of the earliest examples of a Real-Time Strategy game ever made.

It might not look like much, but Stonkers is an important game, and designer/programmer John Gibson probably never even realised it at the time.

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Mario Bros., Arcade

Released into arcades by Nintendo in 1983, Mario Bros. is a one or two-player platform game featuring Mario and Luigi as the main characters. Incidentally, this was the first time Luigi ever appeared in a video game.

Mario Bros. was designed by Shigeru Miyamoto and Gunpei Yokoi – two of the lead creators of Donkey Kong, of which this game is a follow-up.

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Crystal Castles, Arcade

Crystal Castles is a legendary arcade maze game developed and published by Atari, Inc. in 1983. What made the game so good were: the trackball and jump button controls (which gave a good degree of freedom to make headway at pace) and the unusual isometric graphics (which drew on-screen in an unusual and interesting way).

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Journey, Arcade

This infamous 1983 arcade game from Bally Midway is a bizarre multi-stage action game where you play members of the prog rock band, Journey, trying to retrieve their instruments “from the dangers of the five galaxies”.

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