Retro-gaming is quite often more about misty-eyed nostalgia than reality, but some of those old games really were classics.
Now, thanks to archive.org’s Internet Arcade, several hundred ageing arcade titles are available to play instantly, in your browser.
As ever, there are some caveats. In testing, we found only Firefox is fast enough to cope well with many of the titles, and even then you quite often get choppy sound. Furthermore, classic games don’t always control well when you’re trying to save the universe using your PC’s keyboard.
Therefore, Stuff.tv has heroically combed through the 900 or so titles on offer, to find the select few that are still loads of fun to play and aren’t going for a glitch world record.
You'll find instructions for how to play the games further down the page - don't worry, it's very easy - but for now, on with the list o’ fun…
Long before Diablo was even a twinkle in its developer’s eye, Gauntlet was enabling gamers to crawl dungeons and smack seven shades out of ghosts, demons and anything else unfortunate enough to get in their way.
Gauntlet’s gameplay is timeless - roam dungeons; grab keys; open doors; pilfer treasure; shoot anything that moves - and although it looks and sounds basic in this modern age, you’ll forget all that when your warrior is about to die, surrounded by fire-spitting demons and legions of ghosts.
We used the word ‘basic’ in the previous entry, but it’s clearly more relevant here. Berzerk is the oldest title in this list (from 1980, being released in the USA before even Pac-Man), but it’s also one of the most important.
It was one of the earliest pure action shooters, combining a real-time take on ancient strategy title Robots with a techno-horror dream the developer experienced. It introduced algorithmic maze generation and a surprising amount of speech; to our knowledge, it’s still the only arcade game to blare “Chicken! Fight like a robot” as you flee out of an exit and away from certain death.
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