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3 of the best games of the 80s

The 80s isn’t that far back in the swirly mists of time, but for some people it may as well be centuries ago. Gamers, especially, are now very lucky with the quality of graphics engines and the speed of games. Back in the 80s, things were decidedly different. We thought we would focus on three of the very best games of the 80s. If you were around then, you'll recognise these. If you are not a child of the 80s, you may well find them fascinating, and you may even seek them out. They are still available today if you know where to look.

3D Deathchase

Back in 1983 games were about as basic as you could imagine them to be. This title in particular, while incredibly groundbreaking back then, looks like something you wouldn’t even find on the most basic of phones today. But it was still a huge hit. The premise was simple: ride your bike until you die. It is actually seen as one of the best ZX Spectrum games of all time by many aficionados. Ride the bike. Shoot other riders. Stay alive as long as you can.

And do it all in no more than four colours.

That’s it.

Impossible Mission

A year after Deathchase came Impossible Mission. More colours, and more complexity. Here, the player had to navigate numerous levels with their secret agent character. The character itself even looked like a secret agent, dressed in what (our best guess considering the graphics of the time) looked like a shirt with a waistcoat.

The levels were fiendishly difficult, and the whole thing was topped with an extra level of menace thanks to incredibly innovative (for the time) voice synthesis and atmospheric screams. It became an instant hit, and even today is seen as one of the very best of the early video games.


We doubt any gamer on the planet today hasn't heard of R-Type. And before that side-scrolling shoot’em up there was Scramble. Fantastically manic on screen, and with a learning curve that could easily cause you to lose your mind, this epic innovative shooter was a staple for most video game enthusiasts back in 1981. That's right, in 1981 it was a big thing.

If you liked video games, you liked Scramble. It paved the way for many games to come, including the aforementioned R-Type. And what is best about Scramble was that it had that elusive ‘one more go’ feel that so many video games lack today. It was all about the high scores.

While video games today are sophisticated affairs, with realistic graphics and complex game engines, they still can't really hold a candle to the games of the 80s. These games were carefully thought out, and worked hard with limited resources to provide hours of gaming fun.

We think the game companies of today can learn a lot from this particular genre of games, and their simplistic, additive approach to fun.

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Zeeshan Mallick

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