Tag Archives: Retro Gaming History

Pilotwings, Super Nintendo

Nintendo‘s famous flying game, Pilotwings, first came out in Japan in 1990, then the following year was a launch title for the North American and European releases of the Super Nintendo.

Pilotwings uses scaling and rotation effects (known as ‘Mode 7’ in some circles) to give a visual representation of the ground, with regular 2D sprites making up everything else, and it works extremely well.

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Zarch, Archimedes

David Braben‘s 1987 shoot ’em up, Zarch, is probably the most well-known Archimedes game around. It was an early release for the Acorn computer and it really made the gaming world sit up and take notice.

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Elite, Amstrad CPC

The Amstrad CPC version of Elite (released in 1986) is a fine program – even though the play window is smaller than those seen in other versions.

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Elite, Commodore 64

Elite on the Commodore 64 is slow and flickery (just like the BBC original in fact) but at its core is a fantastic game that refuses to be ruined by the C64‘s limitations.

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Dun Darach, ZX Spectrum

Dun Darach is the 1985 sequel (actually prequel) to Tir Na Nog, written by Greg Follis and Roy Carter and again featuring the expressive Cuchulainn – the long-haired man who is not afraid to walk around with his shirt off…

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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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