Herscher Tigers

Herscher High School Class of '82 30th Reunion
August 18,  2012

Video Games from 1979

Platform: Atari 2600

Adventure was conceived as a graphical version of the 1977 text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure. It took developer Warren Robinett approximately one year to design and code the game, during which time he had to overcome a variety of technical limitations in the Atari 2600 console hardware, as well as difficulties with management within Atari. In this game he introduced the first widely known video game Easter egg, a secret room containing text crediting himself for the game's creation. Robinett's Easter egg became a tradition for future Atari 2600 titles.

Click Here To Play Adventure


Platform: Apple II

Richard Garriott (aka "Lord British") designed the game as a hobby in his junior year of high school. It is now recognized as one of the earliest known examples of a role-playing video game and as a predecessor of the Ultima series of games that started Garriott's career.


Atari's most successful video game. The game sold over 70,000 arcade cabinets and proved both popular with players and influential with developers. It has since been ported to multiple platforms. Below is an HTML5 version.

Platform: Arcade

Galaxian was designed to compete with Space Invaders (which was released in 1978). The game was highly popular upon its release and has been a focus of competitive gaming ever since. It spawned a successful sequel, Galaga, in 1981. The following link will take you to a gameboy(?) version. While the gameplay is true to the original, there is no color.

Click Here To Play Galaxian

Lunar Lander

Platform: Arcade

Although not particularly successful, the vector-graphics generator of Lunar Lander was the impetus for Atari's most successful coin-operated game, Asteroids. The object of the Lunar Lander game is to pilot a lunar landing module to a safe touchdown on the moon. Released in August 1979, approximately 4,830 units were produced.

Click Here To Play Lunar Lander

Radar Scope
Platform: Arcade

Radar Scope was developed and published by Nintendo in December 1979. It is a shooter that can be viewed as a cross between Space Invaders and Galaxian. It didn't become that popular and was considered to be a commercial failure. Contrary to popular belief, it was not Nintendo's first arcade video game. The game was popular for a short period in Japan, which caused Nintendo of America to place a large order for it. The game was a failure in the U.S. and Nintendo of America was stuck with thousands of unsold units sitting in the warehouse. Faced financial disaster, Nintendo CEO Hiroshi Yamauchi asked all Nintendo employees to come up with ideas for a new game that could be designed with Radar Scope's hardware. Shigeru Miyamoto's idea for a game was picked and Miyamoto worked with a small team to make the new game that would later become Donkey Kong. Conversion kits were then shipped to North America. Out of the 3000 original Radar Scope units, around 2000 were converted to Donkey Kong.

Space Invaders
Platform: Arcade

Released in 1978, Space Invaders was still vastly popular in 1979. It was one of the forerunners of modern video gaming and helped expand the video game industry from a novelty to a global industry. The game has been the inspiration for other video games, re-released on numerous platforms, and led to several sequels. The 1980 Atari 2600 version quadrupled the system's sales and became the first "killer app" for video game consoles. Space Invaders has been referenced and parodied in multiple television shows. The pixelated enemy alien has become a pop culture icon. Below is a Sega SG-1000 version from 1985 that was only released in Japan.

Temple of Apshai
Platform: TRS-80, Commodore PET

Temple of Apshai is a dungeon crawl role-playing video game developed and published by Automated Simulations (later renamed to Epyx) in 1979. Temple of Apshai is considered one of the first graphical role-playing games for home computers, predating even the commercial release of Richard Garriott's Akalabeth. It was an enormous success for its era, selling 30,000 copies by June 30, 1982 and remaining a best-seller for at least four years. It was followed by several sequels and two expansions. The latter were bundled with the main game into the remake Temple of Apshai Trilogy in 1985. Below is the MS-DOS version of the trilogy.

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