Computer Space

The Game: Two ships are locked in deadly deep-space combat, firing interplanetary ordnance at each other. Whoever survives the most confrontations within a set amount of time is the victor. In the game’s one-player variation, the machine controls one ship, and a two-player version was also made. (Nutting & Associates, 1971) Memories: To go all […]

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Pong

The Game: Avoid missing ball for high score. (No, really!) (Atari, 1972) Memories: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? And who hatched that egg (or fried that chicken) first – Atari founder Nolan Bushnell or inventor Ralph Baer, who licensed to Magnavox his concept for a dedicated video tennis game that could be […]

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Space Race

The Game: Two rockets stand ready to lift off for a race into space teeming with fast-moving asteroids and space debris. Collision with even the tiniest piece of space junk sends a player’s rocket back to the bottom of the screen, with a slight time penalty (possibly for repairs) before it can lift off again. […]

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Tank

The Game: Two players each control a fearsome armored fighting vehicle on a field of battle littered with obstacles. The two tanks pursue each other around the screen, trying to line up the perfect shot without also presenting a perfect target if they miss. In accordance with the laws of ballistics and mass in the […]

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Breakout

The Game: You’ve got a mobile paddle and – well, frankly, balls. But you don’t have a lot of balls at your disposal (am I the only one becoming a little bit uncomfortable discussing this?), so you have to make the best use of them that you can to knock down the rows of colorful […]

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Death Race

The Game: Two players control one car each, careening freely around an arena filled with zombies. Faced with zombie-fication at the pedestrian crossing of the undead, the drivers have only one option: run over their opponents! Each zombie that’s squashed leaves a grave marker behind that becomes an unmovable obstacle to zombies and cars alike. […]

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Night Driver

The Game: You’re racing the Formula One circuit by the glow of your headlights alone – avoid the markers along the side of the road and other passing obstacles…if you can see them in time. (Atari, 1976) Memories: Aside from the very cool cockpit cabinet of the sit-down version of Night Driver, there’s a reason […]

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Starship 1

The Game: Climb into the cockpit of Starship Atari for deep space combat duty. Your mission is simple: wipe out every alien ship you see, as quick as possible, while taking as little incoming fire as possible. Take too much damage, and your fighting days are over. (Atari, 1976) Memories: Housed in an imposing cabinet […]

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Dominos

The Game: Up to two players control markers that leave a trail of dominos in their wake. The object of the game is to trap the other players by laying a wall of dominos around them that they can’t avoid crashing into – or forcing them to run into their own walls. Coming into contact […]

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Avalanche

The Game: Watch for falling rocks – because it’s your job to catch them. You control a series of containers arranged in a vertical row, and your task is to catch all of the rocks, without fail, not letting a single one of them hit the ground. The more rocks you catch, the more containers […]

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