4. Jet Set Willy
Jet Set Willy is a flip-screen platform game in which the player moves the protagonist, Willy, from room to room in his mansion collecting objects. The game is an early example of a nonlinear title since, unlike the screen-by-screen style of its prequel, the player can explore the mansion at will. Willy is controlled using only left, right and jump. He can climb stairs by walking into them (jumping through them to avoid them) and climb swinging ropes by pushing left or right depending on what direction the rope is swinging. The play area itself consists of 61 screens making up the mansion and its grounds and contains hazards (static killer objects), guardians (killer monsters which move along predetermined paths), various platforms and collectable objects. The collectable items glow to distinguish them from other objects in the room.
Willy loses a life if he touches an enemy or falls too far, and he is returned to the point at which he entered the room. This may lead to a game-ending situation in which Willy repeatedly falls from a height, losing all lives in succession. Music on the Spectrum version was Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata for the menu, and If I Were a Rich Man during the game itself. Early release versions played Grieg’s ‘In The Hall Of The Mountain King’ as in-game music.
Lemmings is a puzzle-platformer video game originally developed by DMA Design and first published by Psygnosis for the Amiga, Atari ST and PC in 1991. The game was programmed by Mike Dailly and David Jones, and was inspired by a simple animation that Dailly created while experimenting with Deluxe Paint. The objective of the game is to guide a group of anthropomorphised lemmings through a number of obstacles to a designated exit. To save the required number of lemmings to win, one must determine how to assign a limited number of eight different skills to specific lemmings that allow the selected lemming to alter the landscape, to affect the behaviour of other lemmings, or to clear obstacles to create a safe passage for the rest of the lemmings.
Lemmings was one of the best-received video games of the early 1990s. It was the second-highest rated game in the history of Amstrad Action, and was considered the eighth-greatest game of all time by Next Generation in 1996. Lemmings is also one of the most widely ported and best-selling video games, and is estimated to have sold around 20 million copies between its various ports. The popularity of the game also led to the creation of several sequels, remakes and spin-offs, and has also inspired similar games.
6. Buggy Boy
Buggy Boy, also known as Speed Buggy, is an arcade off-road racing game developed by Tatsumi in 1985. The object of the game is to drive around one of five courses (Offroad, North, East, South or West) in the shortest time possible. Each course has five legs, each filled with obstacles such as boulders and brick walls. Points are awarded for driving through gates and collecting flags. Offroad is a closed-circuit course that takes five laps to complete while North, South, East, and West are each a strict point A to point B style course.
The player could also hit logs and tree stumps in order to jump the buggy over obstacles, gaining extra points while airborne. Extra points are also rewarded for driving the buggy on two wheels. The original, cockpit version of the arcade cabinet had a panoramic three-screen display, a feature previously employed in TX-1. An upright, single-screen cabinet was released in 1986 under the name, Buggy Boy Junior.
7. Atic Atac
Atic Atac is an arcade-adventure video game developed and published by Ultimate Play the Game, released for the ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro in 1983. The game takes place within a castle in which the player must seek out the “Golden Key of ACG” through unlocking doors and avoiding enemies. It was Ultimate’s second game to require 48K of RAM; most of their previous games for the Spectrum ran on unexpanded 16K models. The game was written by Tim Stamper and graphics were designed by Chris Stamper. Atic Atac received praise from critics upon release, mostly for its graphics and isometric gameplay. It was later included in Rare’s 2015 Xbox One retrospective compilation, Rare Replay. The game served as inspiration for the critically acclaimed adventure game show Knightmare.