Developed by Techno Soft and first published in 1989, Herzog Zwei is an early real-time strategy game, predating Dune II by three years. It is the sequel to Herzog on the MSX2 and it shares the same DNA as that game.
For starters: there are now indoor shooting sections, where you have to search for MIAs and POWs and free them. Secondly: this time you get to fly different helicopters, and thirdly: you also get to drive ground assault vehicles! Yippee! 🙂
Utopia is probably the first ever Real-Time Strategy game ever made. It was designed by Don Daglow and was published exclusively for the Intellivision by Mattel in 1981.
I hadn’t seen this 1989 arcade game from Atari Games before, until I played it recently, and even then I found it on the Commodore 64 first, then realised that it was an arcade conversion.
Skull & Crossbones has all the ingredients of a classic arcade action game, but – having played it extensively now – I can see why it failed…
Nintendo‘s 1982 arcade game, Popeye, was somewhat ahead of its time, and also in some respects as archaic to play as a Game & Watch.
It was ahead of its time in the way that it used a relatively high screen resolution (512×448), which results in quite detailed, high res sprites that are unusual for the time.
Unfortunately the same can’t be said of the background graphics, which look like something designed on an Atari 2600… In fact: Popeye is a weird mix of graphical resolutions, but this weirdness doesn’t affect the gameplay at all.
Written by Carol Shaw for Activision and published initially for the Atari 2600 in 1982, River Raid is an early vertically-scrolling shoot ’em up with simple graphics, challenging gameplay, and its own unique set of rules.
The 1994 sequel to StarTropics, Zoda’s Revenge again features the red-haired hero, Mike Jones, only this time he’s on a time-travelling adventure searching to find a series of puzzles shapes called “Tetrads”.
These Tetrads are actually a nod to Tetris, and in the Virtual Console re-release of StarTropics II their names have been changed to “Blocks”, probably to avoid any legal problems. But anyway, I digress…
Following a year after the original Donkey Kong Country, this 1995 sequel is more of the same platforming action, with pre-rendered graphics, only this time you’re playing as Diddy Kong – and his girlfriend, Dixie Kong – on a mission to rescue Donkey Kong.