Hall of Fame Inductee Paperboy Original Release: 1984 (Arcade) Designers: Carl Bedard, John Salwitz, Dave Ralston, Russel Dawe Developed by: Atari Published by: Atari
It could have been the superior graphics or the fact that the main character had characteristics that were similar to the people playing the game (during their adolescence), however, Atari’s Paperboy probably achieved its great success because of its input interface. Instead of joysticks or buttons on a console, the game was controlled with a pair of handlebars. Before arcade games began to rely on gimmicky input devices to survive, Paperboy‘s handlebars were something special. The game itself was something exceptional because it looked great and was fun to play. There’s good reason why this game was ported to practically every home console and computer system during the 80s.
Hall of Fame Inductee Pitfall! Original Release: 1982 (Atari 2600) Designer: David Crane Developed by: Activision Published by: Activision
Platforming games were not as prevalent in 1982 as they are today. Video games back then were supposed to be quick experiences that you’d have fun with for a short period of time. This was very important for the arcades which relied on players to pump the machines full of quarters for as long as possible. Adventure games that gave the player a chance to play for an extended period of time were not good for the arcades because people would be spending less money. Home consoles started a different trend. While most people were happy to get home translations of their arcade favourites, many people wanted more from their high-priced machines. While it wasn’t first platform-based game, Activision’s Pitfall! made the genre accessible to the home market. It was fun to play and looked good, even though it was on the Atari 2600 which was a graphically inferior system compared to other home consoles and computers at the time.
Hall of Fame Inductee Asteroids Original Release: 1979 (Arcade) Designers: Lyle Rains and Ed Logg Developer: Atari Publisher: Atari
It’s not like Asteroids was the first video game (it was far from it). It didn’t have revolutionary graphics or rethink how players played video games. However, Atari hit on something big with Asteroids. It was simple in its design which helped make it easy to get into. It became the definitive video game in arcades and amusement parlours until games began to have more sophisticated displays. Asteroids became such a huge hit that it caused Atari to alter their entire retail plans afterwards.
Hall of Fame Inductee Breakout Original Release: 1976 (Arcade) Developed by: Atari Published by: Atari
When Pong came out, people realized that the game came with a major flaw: you had to play the game with another person. People with no friends were left looking lonely in the corner. Atari responded several years later with Breakout which is essentially a Pong game for people to play by themselves. Atari and the creators of Pong felt that taking the Pong concept and developing into a single-player experience would be well received. They were right as Breakout not only did very well in the arcades but also spurned multiple sequels and has had a lasting legacy.
The first round of voting is over for the Madness Brewing Video Game Hall of Fame. Ten games were inducted among the introductory batch of titles. There were a few surprises; both on the side of those that received enough votes to be inducted as well as others that didn’t receive enough votes to remain on future ballots. There was also some controversy over some of the titles that did not get inducted.
Hall of Fame Inductee Dig Dug Original Release: 1982 (Arcade) Developed by: Namco Published by: Atari
Namco was very smart about the properties it pushed in the arcades during the early 80s. They always had cute names and featured child-friendly creatures. Pac-Man, Dig Dug, and Bosconian all had these as their main characteristics. Well, not so much the last one, but Dig Dug not only had some incredible gameplay, it was also very easy for Namco to market. it was extremely successful in the arcades and it also helped Namco to proclaim that it wasn’t just a one trick pony; it had a stable of all-star franchises.
Hall of Fame Inductee King’s Quest Original Release: 1984 (IBM PCjr) Developed by: Sierra On-Line Published by: IBM, Sierra On-Line
During a time when computer programmers took little risk on their projects and companies shied away from large budgets, there was little room for innovation. By 1984, on all the various home computer formats there were tons of RPG games. The text-based adventure had given way to exploration games with graphical interfaces. King’s Quest took everything one step further. Unlike previous games where the screens remained lifeless and unanimated, King’s Quest’s world was alive (or at least as much as possible with the limited technology). Not only that, Sierra and IBM opened up the purse strings and put enough money into this game to make it one of the most expensive game for its time, as well as the most labourious. It was time and money well spent as King’s Quest was one of the best RPGs of the era.
Hall of Fame Inductee Q*bert Original Release: 1982 (Arcade) Developer: Gottlieb Publisher: Gottlieb
While Pac-Man has become the symbol of arcade gaming from the early 80s, it’s way to forget that Pac-Man had competition. Namco’s most famous character had mass-market appeal beyond the video game realm. But it wasn’t alone and it had fierce competition. For years, it competed with Gottlieb’s Q*bert for the hearts and minds of gamers.