With companies pushing out multiple new games and reaching new advanced heights every single day, sometimes we can forget the beautiful simplicity of games that existed in the past. From the good ol’ classic Super Mario Bros. games to the very addictive game of Tetris, these pixel-filled delights were a testament to creativity and imagination. While the visuals and gameplay of these games from the past would make any modern-day game snicker, they definitely had an addictive charm and spirit. So dust off your Atari joystick or fire up your emulator, it’s time for a nostalgic deep dive into five forgotten retro games that will definitely add some vintage flavor to your gaming diet.
1. Jet Set Willy (1984) – Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC
This cult classic from the mid-80s was quite the talk of the playground. In the game, you get to play as Willy, a rich guy with a colossal mansion who just threw the party of the decade. But unfortunately, the darn housekeeper just won’t let you sleep until you clean up every last bit of the mess! As you jump, climb, and navigate through the house, you’ll have to avoid monsters and hazards in this fiendishly tricky platformer.
Why is this game worth a revisit? It’s not just the quirky British humour or the nerve-wracking difficulty, this game stands out among a sea of similar games. It’s an experience unlike any other. Just…watch out for the killer toilets. Trust us on this one.
2. M.U.L.E. (1983) – Atari 800, Commodore 64, IBM PCjr
Economics may not be the sexiest of subjects, but M.U.L.E. definitely knew how to make it fun. Each player (human or computer-controlled) gets to play as an alien settler on the strange planet Irata (which is Atari spelling backward – cute right?). The goal of the game is to make it big by mining resources, balancing supply and demand, all while dealing with unpredictable events like planetquakes and pirate attacks. Yes, pirates.
What was so addictive about this game is that it wasn’t just about maximizing profits or stabbing your fellow players in the back with shrewd business moves, it’s about managing resources, deciding when to cooperate for the greater good, and when to compete. It’s all about strategy here! This game was a testament to the idea of “easy to learn, hard to master” as it still remains an engrossing challenge today.
3. Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship (1990) – NES, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum
This underappreciated gem was the third in the Jetman series, but don’t worry if you’ve never heard of or played the first two; they were pretty obscure, even back then. Solar Jetman is a physics-based space exploration game with elements of action and puzzle-solving. You pilot a small, nimble craft around alien worlds, collecting treasures as you fight off all the baddies.
Though it was infamous for its INSANE difficulty, Solar Jetman was incredibly addictive. It’s one of those games that’s fun even though you’re dying a lot and have to restart. Plus, who doesn’t love the idea of exploring alien planets and lugging piles of treasure back to your mother ship?
4. River City Ransom (1989) – NES
In River City Ransom, two high school students named Alex and Ryan have to fight their way through gang-infested streets to rescue Ryan’s girlfriend. Oh, and bring back peace to the city. It was part beat-em-up, part RPG, and even a bit of a high-school simulator.
What made this game stand out was its incredible depth in gameplay. You could shop for items, learn new abilities, and even sit down at a sushi bar to restore health! The game was challenging, but also charming and funny. Every time you defeated an enemy, they not only dropped coins, but they also gave a hilarious comments. The graphics may be bland and simple by today’s standards, but the gameplay still holds up.
5. Little Computer People (1985) – Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amiga
Before The Sims, there was Little Computer People. If you love simulation games, you’ll love learning about this one. In this game, you were given a little house in your computer where one tiny person lived their life. You could interact with them, but they also had their own agency and went about their day-to-day life, occasionally typing you messages.
This wasn’t so much a game as it was a digital pet or a living dollhouse. Still, it was a fascinating experiment in gaming that was way ahead of its time. It’s definitely a game that paved the road for many beloved simulation games today. If you’re looking for a chill, non-combative experience, it’s worth looking into Little Computer People.
If you’re trying to venture out of your little gaming bubble, these five forgotten retro games are definitely worth a try. Whether you’re in for a ride down memory lane or new to the pixel universe, these games offer a hearty dose of nostalgia and fun. So what are you waiting for? Dust off those consoles and give these games a try!