Herscher Tigers

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

Popular Video Games of 1980

Platform: Arcade

A version of Battlezone called The Bradley Trainer (also known as Army Battlezone or Military Battlezone) was also designed for use by the U.S. Army. Some developers within Atari refused to work on the project because of its association with the Army, most notably original Battlezone programmer Ed Rotberg. Rotberg only came on board after he was promised by management that he would never be asked to do anything with the military in the future. Only two were produced; one was delivered to the Army and is presumed lost, and the other is in the private collection of Scott Evans, who found it by a dumpster in the rear parking lot at Midway Games. The gunner yoke was based on the Bradley Fighting Vehicle control and was later re-used in the popular Star Wars game. The Bradley Trainer differs dramatically from the original Battlezone as it features helicopters, missiles, and machine guns; furthermore, the actual tank does not move—the guns simply rotate. Below is the Apple IIe version.

Platform: Arcade

Berzerk is a multi-directional shooter video arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago. It is one of the canonical examples of a maze game, in which the player has to navigate around a maze-like building while shooting enemies. Berzerk is notably one of the first video games to use speech synthesis, featuring talking robots. In 1980, computer voice compression was extremely expensive—estimates were that this cost the manufacturer US$1,000 per word; the English version had a thirty-word vocabulary. Stern nevertheless did not spare this expense.

Platform: Arcade

Centipede is a vertically oriented shoot 'em up arcade game produced by Atari, Inc. in 1980. The game was designed by Ed Logg and Dona Bailey. The player defends against centipedes, spiders, scorpions and fleas, completing a round after eliminating the centipede that winds down the playing field. Bailey was one of the few female game programmers in the industry; Logg stated that the game was intended to attract women players, and Bailey said "I really like pastels ... I really wanted it to look different, to be visually arresting". Bailey and Logg succeeded in their goal. Centipede was one of the first arcade coin-operated games to have a significant female player base after Pac-Man. Below is the 8-bit Atari version.

Missile Command
Platform: Arcade

Missile Command is considered one of the great classic video games from the Golden Age of Arcade Games. The game is also interesting in its manifestation of the Cold War's effects on popular culture, in that the game features an implementation of National Missile Defense and parallels real life nuclear war. When the game was originally designed, the six cities were meant to represent six cities in California. While programming Missile Command, the programmer, Dave Theurer, suffered from nightmares of these cities being destroyed by a nuclear blast.

Clicke here to play Missile Command

Mystery House
Platform: Apple II

Mystery House is the first graphical adventure game and the first game produced by On-Line Systems, the company which would evolve into Sierra On-Line. Sierra is best known today for its multiple lines of seminal graphic adventure games started in the 1980s, many of which proved influential in the history of video games.

Platform: Arcade

Pac-Man is considered one of the classics and is virtually synonymous with video games. It is an icon of 1980s popular culture. Upon its release the game and its derivatives became a social phenomenon. It inspired an animated television series and the top-ten hit single "Pac-Man Fever". Pac-Man is often credited with being a landmark in video game history, and is among the most famous arcade games of all time. It is also one of the highest-grossing video games of all time, having generated more than $2.5 billion in quarters by the 1990s.

Platform: Arcade

Phoenix was an outer space-themed, fixed shooter video game similar to Taito's Space Invaders. The Phoenix mothership is one of the first video arcade game bosses to be presented as a separate challenge. This was before the term boss was coined. Atari bought the home video game console rights to Phoenix, which it released for the Atari 2600 in 1982. The Imagic game Demon Attack closely resembled Phoenix, so Atari sued Imagic, who settled out of court. The home version of Phoenix is one of the more accurate arcade ports of the time.

Rescue at Rigel
Platform: various

Rescue at Rigel was a 1980 science fiction computer role-playing game written and published by Automated Simulations (later known as Epyx). It was later branded as part of the Starquest series. The game was released for the Apple II, DOS, TRS-80, VIC-20, and the Atari 8-bit family of computers. Although nominally a science fiction setting, the plot of rescuing hostages was perhaps derived from the Iran Hostage Crisis, which was headline news when the game was written. Additionally, one type of enemy which the player must defeat is the High Tollah, a name that resembles the title of Ayatollah Khomeini. Below is the DOS version.

Platform: Unix

In the original, all aspects of the game, including the dungeon, the player character, and monsters, are represented by letters and symbols. Monsters are represented by capital letters (such as Z for zombie), and as such there are twenty-six varieties. This type of display makes it appropriate for a non-graphical terminal. Below is the MS-DOS version.

Voodoo Castle
Platform: various

This text-based adventure game is one of many from Scott Adams and his wife Alexis. Gameplay involves moving from location to location, picking up any objects found there, and using them somewhere else to unlock puzzles. Commands take the form of verb and noun, e.g. "Climb Tree". Movement from location to location is limited to North, South, East, West, Up and Down. The aim of the game is to wake up Count Cristo, who is lying in a coffin at the starting location in the game. Below is the MS-DOS version of the game./p>

Wizard of Wor

Wizard of Wor is an action game for one or two players. The game takes the form of several maze-like dungeons infested with monsters. The players' characters, called Worriors, must kill all the monsters by shooting them. Player one has yellow Worriors, on the right, and player two has blue Worriors, on the left. In a two-player game, the players are also able to shoot each other's Worriors, earning bonus points and causing the other player to lose a life. Team-oriented players can successfully advance through the game by standing back-to-back (such as in a corner) and firing at anything that comes at them. Below is the Atari 2600 version.

>Zork I
Platform: various

Zork is one of the earliest interactive fiction computer games, with roots drawn from the original genre game Colossal Cave Adventure. The first version of Zork was written in 1977–1979 using the MDL programming language on a DEC PDP-10 computer. When Zork was published commercially, it was split up into three games: Zork: The Great Underground Empire - Part I (later known as Zork I), Zork II: The Wizard of Frobozz, and Zork III: The Dungeon Master. Zork distinguished itself in its genre as an especially rich game, in terms of both the quality of the storytelling and the sophistication of its text parser, which was not limited to simple verb-noun commands ("hit troll"), but recognized some prepositions and conjunctions ("hit the troll with the Elvish sword"). Below is the Apple II version.

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