The early phase of the 80s was home to some very entertaining, arcadey games that left a mark in our memories. By the decade’s end, electronic gaming became a much more complicated affair, sprawled with high dozes of interactivity and sprawling narratives. As intricacy and graphic quality increased by manifold, many influential electronic games were introduced in the 80s. Below is a list of the best releases that a true Eighties kid is bound to remember.
The potable Tomytronic 3D was first introduced in 1983, and the handheld gaming device was purported to be the first “dedicated 3D home video hardware” of that time. It came with a strap so that the buyer can easily carry it around their neck. The device’s two LCD panels also created a 3D effect by lighting up via an external light source that came through the device’s top window. This electronic game company was home to seven game releases: Thundering Turbo, Jungle Fighter, Sherman Attack, Shark Attack, Skyfighters, Planet Zeon and Sky Attack.
A staggering 40+ ‘Game and Watch games” were seeded by Nintendo starting from 1980 and going up to the 90s, and it’s extremely challenging for enthusiasts to pick a favorite title. But if someone had to choose, Donkey Kong would be up there at the top. The storyline and appeal of the game had games worldwide hooked to the console for years.
This company created several wrist-watches (toy-based) during their time, often intriguing the kids who loved characters like the Mario and Ghostbusters. But they became notable in the 80s when they became the first US company to release multi-purpose game watches that worked both as an electronic game and a time-device. Popular titles released by Nelsonic include the popular Legend of Zelda.
Galaxy Invader 1000
Another addictive and popular 80s electronic game saw people battle it out against the weird alien invaders, which made Galaxy Invader 1000 one of the hottest games of the early 80s. In fact, it’s hard to forget that elegant yellow design with a big red button that didn’t break no matter how frequently or hard we tapped it for several hours during gameplay.
Remember the Tomytronic 3D game we talked about earlier? From the list of the 7 games that followed after that electronic game’s release, Thundering Turbo went on to become the most popular. That’s because it was lit to racing cars go up against each other on a racing trip. It was like Need for Speed of the old times. No other game kept people more hooked during the time when Thundering Turbo went on sale.
Electronic Basketball 3 by Entex
Entex released a variety of electronic basketball games during the early 80s, which consisted of red LED lights below a red “diamond-shaped” display as a playing field. The last of the gaming range, Electronic Baseball 3, went on to become the most popular. That’s because sports were a rising gaming genre during that time. Another game, classic Football unit from Mattel, also stayed popular throughout the early 80s.
Tandy’s Hungry Monster
The 80s darling, Pac-Man, was a huge hit, which lead to the release of multiple handheld electronic games that were a copycat version of the title. Hungry Monster can be somewhat classified among those lines, but it become extremely popular on its own. In Hungry Monster, the gamer’s main objective was to eat as many pellets as they could while preventing contact with the ghost-based antagonist, Bogey. It was a fun game to play from start to finish.
Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest
Tiger Electronics released a large range of LCD-based handheld games starting from the 70s all the way up to 2010. While the period spans multiple decades, the 1980s was indeed the golden era of Tiger devices. A major reason for this was the low competition. One of the most popular games from the company’s handheld line was the NES game “Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest.” It featured a rounded form-factor and a white case that any 80s kid is bound to recognize upon first glance.
These were some of the most popular electronic games in the 80s. The incredible thing is that you can still get your hands on a few of these. Tomytronic 3D, for example, retails on Amazon, and a few others are also listed for sale on independent online stores. So, if you have an appetite for nostalgia, fire up the web and search for these games on Google. Who knows, you might be able to get your hands on a limited-edition electronic game that you can later sell for a good price.