Sunday, June 27, 2010

Computer Games - The Arcade

It was around this time that upright arcade games grew in popularity, and the video game arcades came into being.

I never really went to them, but had a few games that I loved to play whenever possible.

Battlezone is my all time favorite arcade game. The controllers, two joysticks that moved forward or backward simulating the movement of your tank's tracks were simple. The vector graphics were simple, but the periscope style viewer made the game pretty immersive.

This was the next step from a very simple game called Sea Wolf. in that one yo were a submarine and you looked through a periscope, and you launched torpedoes at boats and ships.

Related to Battlezone was Red Baron, another vector graphic game. In this one you flew over a landscape and shot at turrets and other planes. And while Battlezone had the constant hum of the engine, Red Baron had not only the engine noise, but also a blurred propeller on the screen.

Looking back, these were more immersive for me because they were the original point-of-view (POV) games. I think that is what would give me so much trouble with other games.

I played several of the other big games, except for Pac Man, I can honestly say that I never spent a quarter or token to play Pac Man or any of the family. They soon got to be too difficult for me with the insane amount of buttons (I'm looking at you Defender), and then the combinations. Of course, the number of buttons then is nothing compared to the number of buttons of the present home consoles.

There were a few games that as I write about them, I'll try to find.

There was a vector graphics game that was two knights dueling in a top down environment and you had to avoid two pits that were in the room... Ah, found it; it was called Warrior.

Then there was another top down vector graphics game where you were supposed to be a jeep with a gun, and you took on tanks and occasionally this helicopter that always would kill me... Wow, that one was harder: Armor Attack.

Next to last is Omega Race. it seems to have less of a point now then it did back then, but it had fun enemies, and a cool and sometimes scary soundtrack.

And finally there was Star Wars. It played the Star Wars soundtrack as you played as well as throwing in various sound clips from the dialogue of the movie. And you got to fight TIE fighters and towers on the death star, and then finally make the trench run for the exhaust port.

And yes, there were other games out there, but these were the ones that I remember playing and enjoying.

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