95 free, classic arcade video games and hours of your life you'll never get back

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First of all, apologies your boss, your sweetie, your children, your dog and your X-Box for what's to follow. You most likely will lose all sense of productivity, responsibility and the need for state-of-the-art gaming and graphics because of this.

If you grew up a child of the late '80s and early '90s and blew more quarters at the arcade than it takes to park 2 hours in downtown Chicago, this is for you. Thanks to the great work of the folks at amog.com, there's now a list of 95 classic arcade video games you can play online. For free. Anytime, anyplace, anywhere.

Poster Tech Mog has gone through and graded each game on a 1-to-5 scale for various criteria: graphics, popularity, difficulty, fun, sound, etc. And you should take some time and read the whole post. Fun stuff and as thorough as Donkey Kong.

But save the reading for your own time. This is about gaming, Old School. For the kids, that's way before 64-bit and wireless controllers. It's about the history - how you got to Madden and World of Warcraft and Call of Duty and the rest. The graphics? They mostly suck. Sound? Garbage. Gameplay? Simplicity itself. But see how many minutes/hours/days you lose once you sit down and crank up a few of these gems.

For the sake of my own misspent youth, here's a couple of my favorites to check out. But with 95 titles, by all means, dive in and relive your quarter-fueled glory days on your own terms.

Thumbnail image for donkey.jpgDonkey Kong

How many new curse words did you learn playing this bastard at 7-Eleven for hours on end? Even better in your friend's basement on Atari!

Tech Mog's take:

You must be from another planet if you've never heard of Donkey Kong. In this game, Donkey Kong makes his [1981] debut as a kidnapper/barrel throwing enthusiast. You play as Mario and the goal is to rescue the girl while jumping over DK's barrels. Bonus points go to anyone who knows the rationale behind naming a gorilla "Donkey."

pacman.jpgPac Man

And yes, that includes the 15 other Pac Man spinoffs. Wakka wakka, baby!

Tech Mog's take:

"Pac-man" is synonymous with 1980s arcade and video games. When the original "Pac-Man" was released in 1980, it ignited a new craze. A relatively simple game with a static screen, it was, and still is, addicting. I'll do us all a favor and not explain how to play. If you've never played, come out of your cave and try it. You'll figure it out right after learning such skills as "not staring directly at the sun" and "how to operate indoor plumbing."


Die aliens, die!

Tech Mog's take:

Galaxian and the sequel Galaga is in an outer space setting, like a lot of games from back then. Your ship is at the bottom of the screen, and you can only move left or right. Like "Space Invaders," the object is to shoot all of the alien ships. But unlike "Invaders," these ships occasionally dive bomb you. "Galaxian" was a pioneering game for many reasons. It was first with multi-colored animated sprites and explosions, a crude theme song, different colored fonts for the score and high score, and more prominent background music and graphic icons that showed the number of ships left and how many rounds the player had completed. How did people play games before this? The graphics are better in Galaga, the sequel to Galaxian, but the game play is really no different. So, if you love Galaxian, then you'll also love ]Galaga.

Game on, people (and work off)!

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    This page contains a single entry by Craig Newman published on April 29, 2009 10:14 AM.

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