The Chronology Of Video Games

Most popular games since 1976

NINTENDO – GAME & WATCH — May 27, 2015


gunpei_yokoi_vacant_expo-17Game & Watch – is a series of electronic handheld games (every console had just one built in game and no possibilities to change it). Other than that, it included a clock and/or an alarm. It was a product to put Nintendo amongst the market leaders of the video games industry!

Games were split into the series and in 1980 we saw the release of the Silver Series, which contained five games – Ball, Flagman, Vermin, Fire and Judge! All simple games, controlled mostly with just two buttons! But it didn’t mean less fun – they were highly popular!

After being lucky to try all of them, I must say my favorites are Ball and Fire – others are fun too, but these kept me busy for hours! Ball is a juggling game, where you have to make sure you are not going to drop the balls. In Fire you take control of two firemen with trampoline and catch the people falling from the burning building.

In my next post I will take a closer look at the best games for home consoles.

Stay tuned!

1980 —


1980Welcome to the 80s! As the Arcades Machines continued to rule, 1980 is mostly famous for the Arcade releases like Pac-Man, Berzerk and Missile Command, but some of us remember Centipede and Warlords (which is my personal favourite) as well! We also saw the release of Nintendo’s infamous first handheld system – Game & Watch.

This was the year when Atari 2600 finally got going with the port of Space Invaders and for some reason, suddenly everybody wanted to have it (and their other games) at home! Mattel had a proper release for their home console – Intellivision (which they partly released already previous year – for the test markets). These were definitely steps closer to the Arcade Coin-Op Machines – but not yet ready to take over!

Home computers continued to improve too. Radio Shack released a new home computer with colors – nicknamed CoCo (TRS-80 Color Computer). We saw the release of the ZX80 and Atom home computers for the UK market, but the biggest steps came from the software developers! Infocom released their first text adventure game – Zork I. And influential RPG game Rogue was released (which in fact created a new genre – rogue-like games). Graphical adventure games became the most popular genre for the home computers for almost entire decade.

In my next posts I will first take a closer look at the Game & Watch handheld systems and its games. Then I will take you to the best games released for the home consoles, home computers and the Arcades in the end!

Lets continue the journey!

ARCADE GAMES 1979 — May 26, 2015


By the 1979, Arcade Machines were the head and the neck in the video games industry, offering the best graphics, best sounds and smoothest gameplay! Biggest competition was about to come from the home computers. A lot of different home consoles were also in the circle, but none of the really delivered yet. In my previous posts I took a closer look at the games for home consoles and home computers, in this post I will take a look at the Arcade hits in 1979!


Asteroids is a space shooter released for the arcades by Atari. Its vector graphics were highly advanced for the time and its fun and addictive gameplay was acclaimed by players! Your goal is to shoot asteroids and alien spaceships avoiding getting hit. One of the all time bests!


Galaxian is a space shooter (similar to Space Invaders released in 1978) released by Namco and was meant to compete with Space Invaders. And it did well! It was like advanced version, offering us some nice multi-colored and animated sprites, improved gameplay (now the aliens had individual personality – they really tried to get you by doing crazy kamikaze moves!). Another highly successful game and one of the all time bests as well!


Sheriff was personally my favorite shooter in 1979. Released by Nintendo! A bit less knows than its competitors Galaxian and Asteroids, but in my opinion – not worse! It took the shooting genre to the wild west and now you can take a control of a gun hero sheriff trying to take down the surrounding bandits alone! A fun and addictive gameplay and a must game for intelligent shooter fans!

These were the best games of 1979 for Arcade Coin-Op Machines! There were other fun games (some space shooter clones like – Space Fever and Beam Invader), but none of the were that good and original. In my next posts I will take you into the 80s (starting of course with 1980), take a closer look at the systems and games released!

See you in my next posts!

OTHER CONSOLE GAMES OF 1979 — May 21, 2015


Here are the best video games for the Atari 2600, Bally Astrocade and Magnavox Odyssey 2 home consoles:

Lets get going with the Atari 2600. By today’s standards, not too many nice games were released for the Atari 2600 in 1979. I would like to mention just two games: a nice port of Arcade’s Canyon Bomber and Adventure.


Adventure – is the first action-adventure fantasy game for the consoles. It is graphical version of the text adventure Colossal Cave Adventure released in 1977. Even if the graphics are minimal (you take control of a dot), the game was revolutionary for the time and highly enjoyable even today! At least for the retro gamers! You can read more about the story of the game here: Adventure

Canyon Bomber – is a console port of the Arcade’s Canyon Bomber released in 1978. And its a nice one! The game is colorful and it runs smoothly. Nice upgrade! A must try for a retro gamer!

The next is Bally Astrocade! The system had so much potential, but unfortunately almost nothing came out – rights of the console were sold to a 3rd party group. These were complicated times for the system. From total of five cartridges released in 1979, Amazing Maze / Tic Tac Toe and Astro Battle are the only ones worth to try.

astro battle flyer 1979

Astro Battle (first released as Space Invaders)
Astro Battle / Space Invaders is another port of the Arcade Coin-Op superhit title. You take control of a laser cannon and try to shoot down the alien invaders before it’s too late! No surprise, the game on Astrocade looks even better than the original! Give this classic title a try and you wont be disappointed!

Not much was released for the Odyssey 2 either, most enjoyable games must be another port of Gun Fighter (Showdown in 2100 A.D.) and Alpine Skiing.


Alpine Skiing
Alpine Skiing is a fun single and two-player downhill skiing game. One of the first downhill skiing games (maybe even the first). That being said, it is a decent game and a must try especially for winter sports fans!

Before we can go to the next decade, lets take a closer look at the Arcade games in my next post!

HOME COMPUTER GAMES IN 1979 — May 20, 2015


I am going to split this section and write about every system separately!

And lets start with TI-99 by Texas Instruments. Gaming on TI-99 that year meant pretty much just board and card games. Releases that year included Connect Four, Yahtzee, Chess, Poker/Blackjack and others. But even so, these were pretty nice ports for the time – and for this type of games, it was much easier to play the game using keyboard (compared with joystick). After playing these games, I was not impressed – but it was a pleasant experience trying out these games!

Atari 400 also had a really basic games to offer in 1979. But they offered a little different games – they offered sports (Basketball), they offered action (Outlaw), they offered board games (Chess, Tic-Tac-Toe) and others. But even then, the only game I really enjoyed was another port of Outlaw. Maybe the future is a little brigher for Atari 8-bit systems!

Next one is Apple II. They had an advantage, they had been on the market since 1976/1977 and for some reason they chose a completely different way! They offered some revolutionary games for that time – RPG-s, Graphic Adventures and Simulators. Here I would like to name some of them:


Temple of Apshai
Temple of Apshai is considered to be one of the first graphical RPG-s for home computers. Was highly popular at its release and after that! Nowadays it is fun to try this game, just to see where it all started – unfortunately this game has aged horribly! Recommended only to die hard retro fans.


Akalabeth is another early RPG title, release a little later than previously mentioned game. To be honest, for me this game has aged even more! But you can still try if you are die hard retro gamer!

Other honorable releases on Apple II: Flight Simulator and Lemonade Stand. Lemonade Stand is a wonderful port of Lemonade Stand computer game released in 1973! This is fun and highly enjoyable even today! You start running your own business – selling lemonade. In this game you can play with numbers – you can choose how many lemonades you make, how much you want to spend on advertisement and for what price you are going to sell. There is also a different weather, so watch out – you are not going to see a lot in the rain! A must try for everybody!

Unfortunately I could not find any information about the PC-8000 by NEC. If you have a chronological list of games for the system or you have some other information to share about this computer, please send me an email:

So much for computer games in 1979! In my next post I will write about the best console games!

See you in my next post!

HOME COMPUTERS OF 1979 — May 18, 2015


1979 was a year when personal computers really got going. For the first time they were kind of affordable and people decided to have them at home. We saw the release of three beautiful home computers: TI-99/4 by Texas Instruments, PC8001 by NEC and Atari 400 (first in the Atari 8-bit series). But lets take a look at these!


TI-99/4 by Texas Instruments
TI-99 is a home computer, which was not very successful. Two years later, an advanced and improved version was released. This computer is important for being the first domestic computer with a 16-bit processor! Around 100 games were released for the system.


PC-8001 by NEC
PC-8001 is a home computer, which was mostly sold in Japan. A first domestic computer in Japan. There is not much English documentation about the system, but it is known that it was sold in the United States as PC-8001A

Atari 400 (First in the 8-bit series)
Atari 400 is an important home computer (series). Maybe it was not the most successful commercially, but at the time of its release it had more advanced graphics and sound (much better than Apple II or Commodore PET) and it was going to get a huge library of games.

In my next posts I am not going to try all the released games on all these three computers. But I will try to mention the best releases from the Texas Instruments system and take a closer look at the Atari 8-bit series (obvious choice for gaming).

If you find any of this information incorrect or something very important is missing, please send me an email:

See you in the next posts!

INTELLIVISION GAMES 1979 — May 16, 2015


Armor_Battle_coverNot much to talk about in 1979. Just four titles released for the test market and only one of them I would recommend to play! Armor Battle – was a best looking tank-type game when it was released. And this time you have more than one tank to control. Unfortunately this game doesn’t offer a single player opportunity. But if you have a friend, it is a fun game to kill your time with! Recommended to all action game fans!