The home computer boom started in the 80s and we all had a favourite format. Whatever your chosen format there were some epic games around. Here are 10 amazing computer games from the 80s
1942 was one of Capcom’s first breakaway hits, eclipsing in popularity the company’s preceding three titles: (Vulgus, Sonson, and Pirate Ship Higemaru). In 1987, it was number-one on Euromax’s UK arcade chart (followed by Wonder Boy at number-two). While not as popular as some of Capcom’s series that would debut later in the 1980s (Street Fighter and Mega Man in particular), 1942 would become one of Capcom’s hallmark games throughout the arcade era. Although not the first game to receive a sequel (with Pirate Ship Higemaru receiving a Japan-only console semi-sequel, Higemaru Makaijima in April 1987) 1942 was the first Capcom title to spawn a successful series of sequels, with five titles in the 19XX line released from 1987 to 2000. Additionally, many of Capcom’s other vertical shooters featured very similar gameplay to the series such as Varth: Operation Thunderstorm.
1942’s longevity has shown through in many re-releases since its introduction, principally in Capcom Generations 1 for the PlayStation and Saturn consoles. It was featured in the Capcom Classics Collection for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox, as well as Capcom Classics Collection: Reloaded for the PlayStation Portable. 1942: First Strike was released for iOS in 2010.
The Dizzy series of computer games, published by Codemasters, was one of the most successful European computer game brands of the late 1980s. The games featured a central figure: an intelligent egg-like creature called Dizzy. The games would typically involve Dizzy trying to save his friends and family, the Yolkfolk, often from the schemes of his nemesis, the evil wizard Zaks.
Most of the games in the series were platform games, with an emphasis on puzzle solving, similar to graphic adventures. Dizzy would roam around various fairytale-like locations, collecting objects, interacting with other characters, and solving logical puzzles. Rather than jumping in the conventional platform-game way, Dizzy would somersault and roll around the landscape; hence the name “Dizzy”. The eight games which follow this style, usually referred to as the arcade adventures, are considered the ‘core’ games in the series; however, several spin-off titles were released, including Fast Food, Kwik Snax and Dizzy Down the Rapids. Four games in the series were included in the Top 50 best games of all time in a special issue of Your Sinclair magazine in 2004.
3. Operation Wolf
The player takes the role of Special Forces Operative Roy Adams. The object of the game is to rescue the five hostages in the concentration camp. The game is divided into six stages. Completion of each stage advances the story. For example, upon completing the Jungle stage, an enemy leader is interrogated and the location of the enemy’s concentration camp is found. This was one of the first shooter games to feature a storyline.
The game utilized an optical controller housed inside a gun assembly scaled after and which bore a strong resemblance to the Uzi submachine gun. This, in turn, was mounted on top of a square base covering the pivot shaft which allowed players to swivel and elevate the “gun”. A geared motor inside the casing simulated the recoilfelt by the player when they “fired” the weapon at in-game targets.
In order to complete each stage, the player must shoot as many soldiers, armored cars, helicopters, and boats as the game requires. Soldiers can throw hand grenades and knives, and vehicles can shoot missiles and launch rockets. The player’s ammunition and grenades are limited, but can be stocked up by shooting barrels and crates or by shooting animals such as chickens and pigs. Occasionally a high-powered machine gun power-up appears, allowing the player’s gun to have unlimited ammo and an increased rate of fire for 10 seconds.