It’s safe to say that children of the 80s and the 90s (like ourselves) were fortunate enough to have been able to grow up during a generation cusp. We say this because these kids were fortunate enough to have experienced both a time before the technology boom and then during/after. As such, our childhoods are enriched with memories of playing “manual” games (that we still sometimes miss!) as well as the early electronic ones.
When we say “early electronic ones”, we’re talking about everything that ranges from the early default Windows OS ones to little egg-shaped gadgets (oh yes you know which one and what it’s called), to the console types with cassette-tape looking cartridges to handheld games with/without cartridges.
Some of them are of course, obsolete by now, but that doesn’t mean that the original makers of the games didn’t evolve with the times!
Yup, believe it or not, some of your all-time favourite childhood games are now available as apps for your smartphone and we’ve picked out some to share with all y’all. Since, you know, mobile apps are all rage now and will continue to be “all rage” for years to come 😉
*Disclaimer: Not all the apps are free and some of the Android ones may differ from the iOS ones. We found the ones that fit the bill the most.
Fun fact: Tamagotchi were originally designed for teenage girls, to give them an idea of what it would be like to take care of children. Admit it – even if your pet kept dying on you, it was at one point a cool accessory to own. So, you want all the cuteness of the cult Japanese egg-shaped handheld digital pet you remember back in the palm of your hand? The original Tamagotchi game dearly loved from people all around the globe can now be purchased as an app for your smartphone! Smartphone users can now say goodbye to the extra free time that they have on their hands once they’ve got the app.
You remember Minesweeper, don’t you? One of the earliest games that came with the Windows OS. It’s a single-player puzzle game which requires the player to clear a rectangular board containing hidden “mines” without detonating any of them, with help from clues about the number of neighbouring mines in each field. Sometimes, you get past without “blowing” anything up, sometimes you don’t. Don’t look at us, we sole depended on luck for this game when we were younger!
Solitaire typically involve dealing cards from a shuffled deck into a prescribed arrangement on a tabletop, from which the player attempts to reorder the deck by suit and rank by transferring cards from one place to another under some restrictions. Some games allow for the reshuffling of the deck(s), and/or the placement of cards into new or “empty” locations. The object of the game is to build up 4 blocks of cards going from ace to king in each suit, taking cards from the layout if they appear on the table.
4. Space Invaders
Space Invaders is one of the earliest shooting arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and released in 1978. It was originally manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan, and was later licensed for production in the US by the Midway division of Bally. The aim of the game is to defeat waves of aliens with a laser cannon to earn as many points as possible. You wanna play? 😉
Ding ding, it’s the game of “getting really pissed at the flippers”! The one called Pinball. Back in the day, the only access one would have to the machine was via arcades or certain restaurants/pubs. Usually coin-operated, Pinball requires a player to score points by manipulating one or more steel balls on a play field inside a glass-covered cabinet. A drain is situated at the bottom of the play field, partially protected by player-controlled plastic bats called flippers. A game ends after all the balls fall into the drain.
Pac-Man is an arcade game developed by Namco and first released in Japan in 1980. Immensely popular from its original release to the present day, it’s considered a classic and an icon of the 80s pop culture. The player controls Pac-Man through a maze, eating pac-dots (also called pellets). When all pac-dots are eaten, Pac-Man is taken to the next stage. 4 enemies (Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde) roam the maze, trying to catch Pac-Man and if an enemy touches Pac-Man, a life is lost and the Pac-Man itself withers and dies.
7. Sonic The Hedgehog
Because who doesn’t love Sonic, right? Sonic the Hedgehog is the title character and protagonist of the Sonic the Hedgehog series released by Sega, as well as numerous spin-off comics, 5 animated shows, and an animated OVA. Sonic is a blue anthropomorphic hedgehog who has the ability to run at supersonic speeds and the ability to curl into a ball, primarily to attack enemies. Throughout the video games, he has to race through levels, collect power up rings, and survive against a host of natural obstacles and minions to achieve his goal.
For some of us, our first handheld game was a colourful blocks puzzle game called Tetris. The objective of the game is to manipulate the blocks by it sideways and rotating it by 90 degree units, with the aim of creating a horizontal line of 10 blocks without gaps. When such a line is created, it disappears, and any block above the deleted line will fall. When lines are cleared, the game enters a new level. As the game progresses, each level causes the bricks to fall faster, and the game ends when the stack of brick reaches the top of the playing field and no new bricks are able to enter.
Did we leave anything out? Are there any games that you think should’ve been included in the list (provided that there’s a smartphone app for it too)? Let us know in the comments box below!