1983 is the year when it all starts to fall apart. The crash. Caused in part by Atari, its effects ripple through to push hundreds of arcades out of business.
1983 Arcade Games
Despite the closures and loss of many arcade venues, the manufacturers soldiered on, releasing Gyrus, a new revolutionary space shooter game, Mario Bros. which introduced Luigi and cemented the Bros as plumbers rather than the carpenters Mario had been in Donkey Kong, cocktail-cabinet classic Crystal Castles, and Konami’s Track and Field, the first in a long line of sports-themed games.
1983 Atari 2600 Games
As the company collapsed and brought the industry down with it, Atari kept pumping out games of variable quality. Among them were arcade ports of Frogger, Battlezone, Pole Position, Donkey Kong Jr, Moon Patrol, Dig Dug, and Joust. Also notable was Activision’s racing game Enduro.
Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough to save the system.
1983 Apple II Games
Apple found itself facing heavy competition from the C64, ZX Spectrum, and IBM PCs, and tried to compete with the release of the Apple III. However, not even Apple could kill the Apple II, with major releases including Load Runner and the Infocom classic Enchanter.
1983 C64 Games
Without a doubt Commodore’s pricing and marketing strategies were in part responsible for the video game crash, but they came through the chaos relatively unscathed, sales of their machine making up half of the year’s microcomputer market. Despite this success the games themselves – Burning Rubber, Sword of Fargol, Necromancer, Godzilla, and more – remain mere footnotes without significant long-term impact.
1983 ZX Spectrum Games
Across the pond where the Commodore 64 had less market penetration the ZX Spectrum was seeing similarly strong sales with more classic, if regional, titles like Atic Atac and Lunar Jetman.
1983 Dos Games
The IBM PC game market continues to be dominated by garage-crafted “gems” and unlicensed knock-offs like Ario Brothers, Snake and Bert, Catacombs of Nemon, and Spyder.
But fear not, DOS fans – it does indeed get better!