As a hardcore gamer one of the things I feel is important to do once in a while is to look backwards in time. Nowadays the gaming industry has grown to an extreme size, which has made games very complex and very appealing, both visually and aurally. But, what about gameplay? A game can look and sound great, but may still be so frustrating to play that after 15 minutes you're driving back to the store to return it.
So, Konami recently released Konami Arcade Advanced, which has six very addictive arcade games from the early 80s. Back then people were happy with what we now look at as very basic graphics and sounds. You might be wondering why, and my reply would be the simple yet very addictive gameplay that made teenagers lose their allowance in a matter of minutes.
The first game they included is Frogger; which any gamer with a slight sense of the past should have heard of, or even played. The idea is that you're in control of frogs, which are in dire need of getting to their very own little pond. The problem is that you need to cross a heavily motorized road and a stream where logs and such are floating around. To win a level you need to get five frogs over to their pond, and this can be quite a challenge as you can bump into pretty much anything from alligators to cars, or you can miss your pond and hit the grass next to it. There had been years since the last time I played Frogger, and I found myself saying not-so-kind words to him quite frequently, but after you've played for a little while you get a good feel for the gameplay and less frogs end up as spots on the highway.
The second game is called Scramble, which is a horizontal space shooter. You're in control of an advanced space ship, and your mission is to destroy pretty much any sight of alien activity in space. You move up, down, left and right and fire beams forward and drop missiles diagonally down and to the right. The aliens attack you from almost anywhere, so you need to develop a good aim with both of your weapons. The beams are fired almost in a constant stream, but you can only fire two missiles at a time, so it's imperative that you don't waste them. To make everything just a bit harder, you have a limited supply of fuel and the only way of obtaining more is to shoot missiles at crates labelled fuel. This can be somewhat hard at times, but luckily there are a lot of them so if you miss one then you can usually wait for the next one. As you progress in the game more vicious and nastier ships attack you, so you will always need to find their weakness quickly. Horizontal space shooters have been very popular in the past years, with excellent titles on many platforms. If you're a sucker for blowing up aliens then this is a sure hit.
The third game is called Time Pilot, which is an Asteroid-like game where you're in control of another advanced space ship. Your mission isn't to kill vicious and nasty aliens, but to kill vicious and nasty humans. You start off in the year 1910, where your opponents aren't overly sophisticated, yet you have to remove them. After you've removed a certain amount of airplanes you fight a boss, which is usually a villain who shoots faster than the others. When he's buried you move thirty years into the future, and shoot more enemy airplanes. This time they're have more sophisticated weapons, and can manoeuvre their planes better. After having killed sufficiently in 1940, you fight another boss. And you guessed it, after he's gone you move another thirty years into the future. While this may sound fairly repetitive it actually works very well, and is another game you can easily get addicted to.
The fourth game, Gyruss has the same concept as the previous two games. You're in control of an advanced space ship, with great alien-killing capabilities. However, the controls are again different and instead of moving horizontally etc you're flying inwards, so you move your plane in a circle, depending on incoming enemies or asteroids you need to dodge. In the beginning you have a fairly lousy laser weapon, but after only having played a few minutes you can get powerups, enabling you do wreak more havoc, and who wouldn't want that? Each level has a specified number of enemies that need to be vaporized, but it shouldn't take longer than a couple of minutes to complete one. Each level is set to move you closer to a certain planet, so you always have a goal to reach. While this game is like the others; fun and easily played you may be bored with it since it doesn't "change" very much as you beat levels.
The fifth game isn't a space shooter, it's actually a beat'em up! Yie Ar Kung Fu is one of the earliest in its genre, and I can assume is something later game developers have gotten inspiration from. You control a fellow named Long, and with your excellent Kung Fu skills you enter a tournament with many deadly opponents. Each of the opponents has a specialty, and luckily also a weakness. You will be fighting people who throw chains, use nynchacos (may not be spelled correctly), and even women. This is not the easiest beat'em up I've played; yet it's fun to play a game that is like a grandfather of the genre.
The sixth and final game is called Rush'n Attack, and is a platform game set in a time of war. You, being mr. One-man-army have set out to free prisoners of war. You run around in army installations and pretty much killing anyone moving towards you. The gameplay is very similar to other platform games, so you should be able to get high scores very easily if you've played a similar game before. While this game is decent in many ways I must say I liked the original Duke Nukem games more, because of more variation in the enemies etc. Rush'n Attack is however a real classic, and deserves to be played by anyone who's a fan of the genre, or of action games in general.
While these games don't offer the latest and greatest in graphics and sounds they can be a whole lot of fun for gamers who are looking for a game where you can play for just 5 to 10 minutes and still have a lot of fun. The key ingredient in these games is that they're easily to learn, yet hard to fully master. I was actually surprised at the replay value of this title so it's a game I whole-heartedly recommend.