Continuing this series with our first real entry into the golden age of video games, a glorious time that lasts until Atari goes and screws it all up. We see a lot of important “firsts” this year.
Arcade Games of 1980
It truly is the Golden Age of arcades as we see the launching of some of the most popular franchises in Pac-Man, Berzerk, Battlezone, and Rally X. Add to the mix milestone titles like Phoenix – the first game with a ‘Boss’ – and Space Panic – the first platformer – and you can see why this was a banner year.
Atari VCS Games of 1980
Atari sees its own industry firsts with the formation of the first third party company – Activision – made up of former Atari employees who quit because they weren’t getting credit for their work. They went on to produce Dragster, Fishing Derby, Boxing, and Skiing this year.
Another big first was the first developer easter egg in Atari’s Adventure release. The company also released Night Driver and Video Pinball.
1980 Apple ][ Games
Apple’s firsts include the first graphical adventure game from the company that will eventually become Sierra On-Line, Mission Asteroid. We also see the first title in the Zork series and the first release from Infocom, boasting a for-the-time advanced text parser. A third first is Temple of Apshai, the first game in the Apshai series of action RPGs.
1980 TRS-80 Game
The humble TRS-80 continues to chug along, with notable releases including His Majesty’s Ship Impetuous, an interactive fiction work with a very different sort of text parser, Tunnels of Fahad, a reskin of Sega’s arcade driving game Head-On, and Project Omega, a space-station management sim.