The Chronology Of Video Games

Most popular games since 1976

ARCADE GAMES 1977 — May 10, 2015

ARCADE GAMES 1977

1977 was not the best or most exciting year for Arcades. In fact, nothing really revolutionary was released! From those few titles, here is the list of best arcade games released in 1977:

spacewars

Space Wars (developed and published by Cinematronics)
An innovative (first to present vector graphics) multi-directional space shooter! Two players control different ships. One button rotated the ship left, another rotated the ship right, one engaged thrust, one fired a shell, and one entered hyperspace, which causes the ship to disappear and reappear elsewhere on the playfield at random.

superbug

Super Bug (developed and published by Atari)
Super Bug is a simple black and white driving game! The player steers a yellow Volkswagen Beetle along a multi-directionally scrolling track, avoiding the boundaries and occasional obstacle. The game ends when fuel runs out.

boothill

Boot Hill (developed and published by Midway)
Boot Hill is a classic one-one western gun fight game! Sequel to Gun Fight of 1975. Each player uses a small joystick to move their cowboy up and down the play area, while a second, much larger joystick is used to aim the pistol and shoot – this larger stick also has a trigger button.

circus

Circus (developed and published by Exidy)
Circus is re-themed version of Breakout. The player controls a seesaw and clown in order to pop all the balloons in the level. Three rows of triangular balloons move along the top part of the screen, each overlaid with blue, green, and yellow (colors used in the original version), counting from the top row.

canyonbomber

Canyon Bomber (developed and published by Atari)
Innovative (at the time its release) “drop a bomb into the canyon” shooting game! The player and an opponent fly a blimp or biplane over a canyon full of numbered, circular rocks, arranged in layers. The player does not control the flight of vehicles, but only presses a button to drop bombs which destroy rocks and give points.

And that’s pretty much all worth to try and play! If you know more “really really cool” titles to play from the 1977 Arcade games, please send me an email to: predrulez@gmail.com

See you in the year 1978!

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APPLE II HOME COMPUTER SERIES —

APPLE II HOME COMPUTER SERIES

Apple_II_tranparent_8001977 was an important year for PC gamers! One of the first popular home computer series was released – Apple II home computer series (Apple II, Apple II Plus, Apple IIe, Apple IIc, Apple IIGS and others). Between the release of the series and the end of production (1993) around 5-6 million computers were produced and sold!

To read more detailed information about the Apple II home computer series, please press: here

Apple II series was a gaming platform for huge library of games, but before 1978 no games were released (except Adventure in 1976 for Apple I).

I will start writing about the games on Apple II series when the time is chronologically right! In my next post I will write about the best games released for Arcade Coin-Op Machine in 1977!

See you in my next post!

GAMES: BALLY ASTROCADE (1977) — May 9, 2015

GAMES: BALLY ASTROCADE (1977)

Not many games were released for Bally in 1977, but those few games were all high quality stuff! This is the selection of the very best titles released in 1977:

Gun_fight_arcade_flyer

Gun Fight
Gun Fight is a built-in port of the Arcade Coin-Op title released in 1975. Bally Astrocade’s version is one of the best looking ports, even better than the original on Arcade! You take control of a gunfighter and try to eliminate your opponent! Unfortunately it doesn’t have a single player mode, but it is a great fun for two players! Recommended for everybody!!!

checkmate

Checkmate
Checkmate is another built-in port of the Arcade Coin-Op title released in 1977. And again, graphics and the gameplay are even better on Astrocade! Checkmate is a Tron-like game, where you constantly move and leave impassable trail to block off you opponents! It is a great fun for single or up to 4 players! Recommended for everybody!!!

BALLY ASTROCADE (RELEASED AS BALLY HOME LIBRARY COMPUTER) —

BALLY ASTROCADE (RELEASED AS BALLY HOME LIBRARY COMPUTER)

1280px-Bally-Arcade-ConsoleBally Astrocade is a second generation home video games console designed and released by Midway in 1977. In fact, it was released in 1977 but was only available for mail order and was properly released in 1978! Bally Astrocade was marketed only limited time before Bally decided to leave the market and the rights were picked up by Astrovision, who sold the console until 1984/1985.

Bally Astrocade is mostly known for its graphics (indeed, Bally had most powerful graphics, even compared with Atari 2600) and difficulties to write a game for the hardware. Controller/Joystick for the system is known as one of the most unique! And many would say that Bally also had a best looking home console! These days it is an expensive and hard to find rarity! A must own system for every video games fan!

Bally was released with 4 built in games (Gunfighter, Checkmate, Scribble and Calculator), but also 2 cartridges were released for the console (Football and 2-in-1 cartridge: Seawolf/Missile). Following years we saw a release for about 50 games and homebrew games have been made until today!

In my next post I will take a look at the best games release for the system in 1977!

Hope to see you in my next post!

GAMES: ATARI 2600 (1977) — May 8, 2015

GAMES: ATARI 2600 (1977)

As already mentioned before, Atari 2600 was released with 9 launch titles in September 1977. Atari 2600 was miles ahead at its release, the gameplay was so much more smooth and graphics were from the future. Even the sound didn’t hurt for the first time! And here are the best games of the these nine:

2367690-a2600_combat1_au

Combat
Combat is a two player tank-battle game, where your mission is to blow up your opponent! Unfortunately this game does not offer single player option, but even though it is a great fun for two players! Recommended for everybody!

2367710-a2600_indy500_2

Indy 500
Indy 500 is a single or two player racing game. It doesn’t offer a single player racing mode but you can try how many laps you can drive before the time runs out! For two players this game is magnificent! A must cartridge to own for Atari 2600 console!

street_racer_color_cart_5

Street Racer
Street Racer is another racing game for Atari 2600. It offers you a single and two player modes, where your mission is to avoid collision and take over as many cars as possible! Big time fun even today!

ATARI 2600 (RELEASED AS ATARI VCS) —

ATARI 2600 (RELEASED AS ATARI VCS)

50-ToyHallofFame-atari-2600-game-systemThe Atari 2600, released in September 1977, is the most famous home video games console from the second generation (arguably the best console ever released). Every person, who knows at least something about the video gaming history, knows the Atari 2600 console. Even if the Fairchild Channel F console was the first to use microprocessor-based hardware and ROM cartridges, Atari was the first to popularize it (and helped the video gaming to survive the crash).

2600 was the first of second generation consoles from Atari, so far they had only released a bunch of dedicated consoles (Pong-type machines) and some Arcade Coin-Op Machines. Atari was also one of few home console producers to survive the 1977 video gaming crash!

The game library for the console was huge, biggest we had seen in video gaming history so far – total number of games should be 519 (correct me if I am wrong). In my next post I will write about the best games released in 1977 (from the 9 launch titles of Atari 2600) and come back to other games year by year!

If you know an important fact about Atari 2600 that should be mentioned here or any of the information is wrong, please send me an email to: predrulez@gmail.com

See you in my next post!

GAMES: RCA STUDIO II — May 7, 2015

GAMES: RCA STUDIO II

RCA Studio II must be one of the worst consoles ever made! It was ages behind the other consoles even when it was released. First, it was black and white, when you could already get even a first generation consoles with colors. Secondly, the graphics sucked! It didn’t have any of basic sprites, it was still just dots moving around! And third, the gameplay was quite bad! Just like it was designed to be failure.

indexActually this is the part where I should write about games. Only game I could write anything positive was Space War. Even though the graphics is basic and it is black and white, I managed to play this game 3 times! The gameplay is basic but catchy, some ways even better than more advanced shooters at this time. This would be the only cartridge I would own on RCA Studio II.

RCA STUDIO II (1977 JANUARY) —

RCA STUDIO II (1977 JANUARY)

RCA-Studio-II-FLRCA Studio II is a home video games console made by RCA and released in January 1977. It was the third console to use cartridges for the games but only had black and white graphics. Studio II did not have joysticks, instead all the buttons were built on the console. Console was released with 5 built-in games. Studio II was not a successful console and was discontinued already in the beginning of 1978.

Studio II also saw the release of some clones: MPT-02 clones (France and Australia), Visicom COM-100 (Japan). You can find a complete list of released cartridges here: cartridges

In my next post I will write about the best games available for the console!

If you have some interesting information to add, please send me an email: predrulez@gmail.com

1977 — May 6, 2015

1977

1977Its time to jump into the 1977, the year which is mostly famous for the release of Atari 2600 and Apple II Home Computer. It was the last year of the “Bronze and Silver age” and it is also important to mention that 1977 took place “the home consoles crash of 1977”, which led to the departure of many home console producers (especially Fairchild and RCA). It is possible to read more detailed information about the crash here: home console crash of 1977

But it was not only bad year! We saw the release of some really good video gaming platforms for the future: Atari 2600 and Apple II Home Computer (as previously mentioned), but also Bally Astrocade! Also a good number of first generation consoles were released: Coleco released 6 new variations for the Telstar console and Nintendo released the Color TV Game 6 dedicated console. Atari 2600 took the lead in the home consoles market.

1977 was not spectacular for arcades: most important was the release of the Space Wars – first vector graphics arcade game! Another game I would highlight was Canyon Bomber released for the arcades by Atari!

But lets have a closer look at the games and consoles of 1977. In my next posts I will write about all the consoles mentioned before and their best games of that year.

See you in my next posts!