Tag Archives: Retro Gaming History

Lemmings, Amiga

DMA Design‘s puzzle game, Lemmings, was a big hit with gamers when it was first released in 1991. The simple-but-compulsive gameplay and cute graphics won over everyone who played it.

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Sonic CD, Sega CD

Released exclusively for the Sega CD in 1993, Sonic CD is arguably the best game in the entire Sonic the Hedgehog series. It came out between Sonic 2 and Sonic 3.

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Sonic the Hedgehog, Megadrive/Genesis

When Sega bigwigs asked their talented designers to create a video game character that would become the company mascot, the designers rubbed their chins for a while, then came up with a blue hedgehog, called Sonic.

In fact, the designers were so enamoured with their new creation that they changed their name to Sonic Team as they developed the game.

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Ms. Pac-Man, Arcade

The 1982 sequel to the smash hit Pac-Man originally started out as a third party modification kit for Pac-Man machines, developed by General Computer Corporation, and called ‘Crazy Otto‘.

After legal action from Atari, GCC was forced to present Crazy Otto to Midway, the North American distributor of Pac-Man, who bought the game and developed it into Ms. Pac-Man.

Further complicating the story, apparently Midway did this without Pac-Man‘s original owner Namco‘s consent, which caused some licensing issues later. The truth is by no means clear, but in the murky world of video game licensing it is sometimes the case that people sell and exploit rights to products they have no right to.

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Amiga CD32 Special

The CD32 is a CD-ROM-based console that is basically a high-end Amiga contained within a small, grey box. It can do pretty much everything an Amiga can do, but with a few built-in extras, such as Red Book Audio (CD quality sound, streamed from the disc), CDTV compatibility, and backwards compatibility with older, 9-pin D-Sub (Atari-style) controllers of the ’80s and ’90s (including Sega Megadrive pads and existing Amiga mice and paddles).

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Tir Na Nog, ZX Spectrum

Tir Na Nog (Irish for “Land of Youth”) is the location for this classic 1984 ZX Spectrum game, developed by Greg Follis and Roy Carter for Gargoyle Games.

You play Cuchulainn, a long-haired young man who has “departed the land of the living” (ie. died) and who finds himself walking in an afterlife patrolled by nasty creatures called Sidhe, which must be avoided at all costs.

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Portal, PC

Portal is a legendary first-person puzzle/gravity game developed and published by Valve in 2007.

I say “gravity game” because Portal combines basic physics (acceleration, velocity, gravity, and inertia), with the ability to open up entry and exit portals, to create a game so beautifully simple-yet-complex that it is almost beyond belief…

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Tony Crowther Week

Born in Sheffield in 1965, Antony Crowther is a prolific and highly-regarded British video games designer/programmer who has had success across a number of different platforms.

Crowther is particularly well known for his Commodore 64 games, although he has worked on pretty much every gaming system known to man. He still designs and programs games to this day.

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One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird, Commodore 64

This classic one-on-one basketball game on the Commodore 64 originated on the Apple II in 1983 and was later converted to other systems courtesy of Electronics Arts.

One on One: Dr. J vs. Larry Bird is remembered as one of the best basketball games of all time and does indeed have a lot of subtlety to it that isn’t obvious until you play it.

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Mega Man, NES

Known as “Rock Man” in its native Japan, Mega Man is a Nintendo Famicom game developed and published by Capcom in 1987. It is the beginning of the long-running Mega Man series.

What the first Mega Man did was establish a style of its own – for both gameplay and graphics.

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