Retro gaming still generates a lot of hype to this day.
As modern gamers, choice abounds with the sheer variety and quality of the games that we can play today. We’ve got novel-worthy storylines courtesy of The Witcher franchise, immersive environments to explore outside gameplay in the likes of Red Dead Redemption 2 and all-around addictiveness in the form of Fortnite.
Sometimes, though, it’s nice to step back in time and revisit those classic video games that pioneered the global, multimillion-dollar industry that exists today. These gaming titans paved the way for modern-day video gaming, and some were even the start of franchises that are still going strong now. Here’s our round-up of those arcade classics that you can still play online today.
Oldies but Goodies
Way back in 1981, the gaming world became hooked on the adventures of a carpenter, Jumpman, and his pet gorilla gone rogue, Donkey Kong. This pioneering arcade game was one of the few to have a plot (unlike the various shoot-‘em-ups that were popular at the time), and its jump-and-run format was one of the first incarnations of the classic platform game. The gameplay is straightforward: Jumpman needs to scale a construction site to reach the top and rescue his girlfriend, Pauline, from Donkey Kong. However, it’s as fun to play as it ever was.
Playable online at archive.org, you should give Donkey Kong a go (Jumpman was Mario’s first incarnation) if you’ve got a soft spot for a certain Italian plumber.
Pac-Man has been a staple of retro gaming for almost 40 years.
Pac-Man is the stuff of legend, and rightly so! Ever since appearing in arcades in 1980, this hungry yellow dot has firmly embedded himself into popular culture. Pac-Man gave rise to sequels, spin-offs, and merchandise. For the purpose of this article, though, we’re going to stick to the original arcade game. You can find this game over on playpacmanonline.net. Created by designer Toru Iwatani, Pac-Man is partly inspired by pizza and partly by the Japanese character for the word “mouth.” Pac-Man was also pioneering in its day for appealing to both male and female gamers alike since the game is about eating (and avoiding being eaten), which makes it universally enjoyable for all.
Our third retro game choice is a proper vintage! Space Invaders landed in 1978 and took over the world. Rumors even spread that the game was the cause a shortage of 100-yen coins in Japan. This game, which features those iconic aliens, was another pioneer for the modern video game genre the shoot-‘em-up. It was even the first arcade game to introduce levels of difficulty as the game progressed. However, this was by accident due to a technical glitch that meant the aliens and the accompanying soundtrack sped up. Still, accident or not, Space Invaders was authentically suspenseful and introduced a format that is now a foundation for gameplay.
A Modern Reboot
During the 80s, you may well have been a little too young to play on an authentic arcade slot machine (especially if you hadn’t even been born then!). However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology, you can enjoy this classic approach to gaming online via NetEnt’s Starburst. One of the Scandinavian iGaming specialists’ most popular titles, Starburst has that retro “fruit machine” feel coupled with some exciting graphics and audio. It’s been in the company’s portfolio since 2012 and is available to play across a whole host of casino gaming platforms.
Velocibox is a classic-themed runners’ game with a twist. It asks you to steer a ball around a tunnel course. You can do this by sliding up walls or flipping the course around to avoid obstacles. It may sound simple, but this is a game for the modern generation. As such, it moves at super-fast speeds. Also, after every obstacle collision, the course changes, so there’s no chance of memorizing button sequences when you play. Velocibox is available on the console (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita), but you can also play it online via Steam.
And finally, we have Runner2. Or to give it its full title, Bit. Trip Presents: Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien. Err…we’ll stick to Runner2! This side-scrolling platform extravaganza is the sequel to, you guessed it, Bit. Trip Presents: Runner, and like its predecessor, it’s a “rhythm-music platforming game.” During gameplay, you need to pull off some tricky button combinations to navigate through the levels, and every action you take is mapped to a sound so that you’ll create a dynamic soundtrack. Pretty cool, huh? Runner2 is available cross-platform (iOS, PlayStation, Wii, and Xbox), but in keeping with the other titles in this article, you can enjoy this one online through Steam.