1982 is the last year before the crash that brings the console market to its knees, the last year the Atari VCS isn’t called the Atari 2600, and the year the Apple II finally gets a strong contender in the home computer market.
1982 Arcade Games
We definitely see some strong entries in arcades as the golden age continues, notably one of my favorites in Donkey Kong Junior, where we see Mario as the game’s villain. Robotron 2084 gives us our first twin stick shooter, and Joust defeats the competition as the first successful co-op game. Other big releases this year are Popeye, Burgertime, Bump n’ Jump, Moon Patrol, and Pengo.
1982 Atari VCS games
Atari seems some highs – Pitfall – and lows – E.T, the game that perhaps epitomizes the terrible licensed rushed-into-production game that brings the video game giant down. Atlantis is another release popular with video game tournaments, and the console gets competent ports of the arcade hits Wizards of Wor and Venture. Games for the console, with a few exceptions, continue to offer increased gameplay as the programmers learn new tricks to get around the system’s limitations.
1982 Apple II Games
In 1982 the aging Apple II has to compete with some younger competitors with superior technology, but its audience base is still enough of an edge that most developers will target it as their primary platform. Many of the games released this year are largely forgotten, like the adventure games Blade of Blackpool, Apventure to Atlantis, and Caverns of Freitag, but others like Miner 2049er and Choplifter will eventually see ports to more advanced systems.
1982 TRS-80 Games
The TRS-80 has been a trooper, clinging to relevance as a machine largely designed for business applications, forever inferior to the technological specs of the Apple II, competing as a budget alternative. However, as more challengers enter the field – some of them both more affordable and more advanced – its time comes to an end and we’re forced to bid it farewell.
Goodnight, sweet prince, you were too pure for this world of 8-bit sin.
1982 Commodore 64 Games
The C64 would eventually grow to dominate the home computer market through a combination of advanced technology and savvy marketing, but its launch library is lackluster compared to what’s been available for the Apple II. An arcade port of the Midway title Kick is a highlight, along with the surprisingly accurate Night Mission Pinball.
1982 ZX Sinclair Games
Iiiit’s the Speccy! The UK’s answer to the Commodore 64, filling a similar market niche with, perhaps, tighter graphical restrictions and a stronger launch-year library.
The Hobbit is pretty good, at any rate, a text adventure game incorporating real-time elements. What I’ve always loved about the Speccy is the very distinct color pallet.
1982 Dos Games
If you had to guess which of the last three microcomputer systems would have the most longevity based on their launch-year titles alone, PC MS-Dos probably wouldn’t be the safest bet. These games are… well, they’re just awful.