Forgotten Old Game…era
Well, another wednesday without Danilo, so here I am to make our “Forgotten old games” for today (ok, actually it’s already thursday, but let’s ignore this fact).
Considering that the post is in the wrong day and with another writer, I decided to keep things a little wrong and talk about a whole videogame time.
One thing that intrigued me was computer games back in the middle of the eighties. In an age that computers had only a processor working with a clock as low as 1mhz or less and low-tech monitors, every single bit economy was necessary, with some games having only 4 or 8 colors, trying to be easier to run in any PC. Yes, it was even worst than grayscale. You had only 8 hues (counting pure black and white) with no saturation difference, generating games using the 3 primary colors for light (the famous RGB) and a lot of their secondary colors (cyan, magenta and yellow) because they were lighter than the other 3 ones on the screen.
The result of all this? Probably the grooviest and gayest videogame style ever. You could see a lot of magenta and cyan in an absurd saturation projected right in your face.
Let’s start with the examples so you can understand what I’m talking about. First the game that back in those days I found awesome for the great possibility of interaction. “Alley Cat”:
It worked pretty much like Lazy Jones with a different plot. You are a cat in an alley that have to avoid a dog while trying to reach one of those windows that opens randomly, and inside them there is a small minigame to play, where you get your score. Obviously the minigames have the same bizarre color palette, like this one:
Another nice game is “Arcade Volleyball”, that had only 4 colors:
It was like a vertical pong. You could go left, right and even jump to increase the ball speed. Like you can imagine your objective was to avoid the ball hitting the floor. Believe it or not, but it was a highly addictive game. Well, unless I was addicted to it. And I think I saw those guys somewhere later..
Of course I could keep giving a lot of exemples like the first game of the “test drive” franchise, or some with a little bit more colors, but with the same bizarre color palette appearance like “comander keen” but I have to end the post at some point. So I’ll end with a tip. If you want to look for more of these bizarre games, you can try to look at abandonia, the rest home for a lot of abandonware (yep, there is a term for games that are so forgotten that even their makers forgot them and now are free) . You can even find all the games commented on this post!
And to finish in great style, a screenshot of comander keen: