Top 20 Tandy Games
Tetris is an electronic puzzle game that was created by Alexey Pajitnov in 1984, while working in the USSR as a computer programmer. Pajitnov often programmed games to test new equipment using simple tasks, and in his spare time, developed a computer game inspired by his favorite puzzle board game Pentominos. The objective of Pentominos was to fit 12 different geometric-shaped pieces formed out of five squares into a box.
Pajitnov’s vision was to create an electronic game where players arranged puzzle pieces in real time by having them “fall” faster and faster from the top of the screen. Pajitnov designed the game using seven distinctive playing pieces made from four squares. He called it Tetris, after “tetra,” the Greek word for four, and tennis, his favorite sport. After giving the game to his colleagues, it became an instant, hugely addictive hit, and shortly thereafter spread like wildfire throughout the Soviet Bloc’s computer literate. His subsequent friendship with game designer, Henk Rogers, now Blue Planet Software Chairman and Managing Director of The Tetris Company, brought the Tetris game out of the Soviet Union to become one of the most widely played electronic games of all time.
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Arkanoid (アルカノイド Arukanoido) is an arcade game developed by Taito in 1986. It expanded upon Atari's Breakout games of the 1970s by adding power-ups, different types of bricks, and a variety of level layouts. The title refers to a doomed "mothership" from which the player's ship, the Vaus, escapes.
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Sokoban ("warehouse keeper") is a is a classic puzzle game created in 1981 by Hiroyuki Imabayashi, and published in 1982 by Thinking Rabbit, a software house based in Takarazuka, Japan. In 1984 the ASCII Corporation published a version produced by Khaled Bentebal. It was the basis of numerous clones in the later years. It is set in a warehouse. On each level, the player must push crates (from square to square) to get them onto designated spots; once each crate is on a marked spot, the level is complete. Crates can only be pushed one at a time (so two crates next to each other cannot be pushed together), and cannot be pulled--so it's possible to get a crate stuck in a corner, where it cannot be retrieved! By the last levels, you must plan 40 steps in advance.
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Pitfall II: The Lost Caverns is the sequel to Pitfall and was released for a variety of systems during the mid-1980s including the SG-1000 in 1985. It was also ported to Sega System 1 arcade hardware by Sega. Gameplay is similar to the original game, but the levels are more maze-like.
Sega's version of Pitfall II was tweaked significantly from its western counterparts released for the Atari 2600, ColecoVision etc. The gameplay is largely the same, but there are many additions. These include a Lives system, mine-carts, balloons, and a final Demon boss. The increased specifications of System 1 hardware means the arcade version is much more detailed and allows the player to see more of the maze at one time. The SG-1000 version is directly inspired by the arcade game, and though cannot match the same level of graphical quality, it is arguably the nicest looking home port of the game.
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In the game, a player controls RoboCop who advances through various stages that are taken from the 1987 movie. The bonus screen is a target shooting range that uses a first-person perspective. The intermission features digitized voices from the actors.
RoboCop was licenced by UK-based Ocean Software at the script stage, so (fairly uniquely for the time) the 1988 run & gun and beat 'em up hybrid arcade game developed and published by Data East and Nihon Bussan, was licensed from a computer game company rather than the other way around. This is why the arcade game bears a licence credit for Ocean.
Several reworked versions appeared for home computers and video game consoles, most of them handled by Ocean, as well as a NES version ported by Sakata SAS and published by Data East. It has more recently appeared on mobile phones. The IBM and Apple ports were produced by US-based Quicksilver Software. Unlike the other home versions, the Commodore 64 version is a mostly original game that only loosely follows the arcade RoboCop. In addition to a different soundtrack, the boss battles are replaced with a screen where the player must shoot a man holding a woman hostage (without hitting her). The original European cassette tape version was notorious for a huge number of bugs (which were cleaned up in the US disk release).
The games capture the spirit of the RoboCop film to some degree, as it involves killing generic criminals and enemy bosses, like the dangerous ED-209. Being quite popular, RoboCop was followed by several sequels (most of them handled by Ocean), including RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3, and RoboCop versus The Terminator which was developed for, but never released in arcades, and was later ported to several other consoles including the Sega Mega Drive, Super NES, Nintendo Game Boy, Sega Game Gear, and even as a final generation title for the Sega Master System in Europe.