Being born in the late ’80s gave me the opportunity to witness first-hand how the gaming industry evolved from 8-bit games played on handheld devices to the game consoles featuring HD videos that we know today.
Before the era of HD and motion-sensor consoles, however, my sibs and I used to play on either our GameBoys or our Family Computer. When I look back on those days, one game developer resounds in my head: Nintendo.
If you were born, more or less, during the same decade as I am, then you will probably remember these games that made up my childhood:
1. The Super Mario Bros.
Of course, who can forget the lovable characters of Mario and Luigi? With the help of power-ups and extra lives, these brothers overcome challenge after challenge just to rescue Princess Toadstool from the dragon Bowser.
Since I’m the eldest, I always get to play Mario. During that time, there were no memory cards yet. So my sibs and I literally spend hours playing, so we can get to that flag at the end of each stage with the least amount of time falling prey to the enemies.
This is the grandmother of all shape-turning games. Tetris provided another avenue of addiction for both children and adults when it first came out. L-shaped, S-shaped, I-shaped, and squared-shaped Tetriminos fall down faster and faster with each stage. Today, we see hundreds of spin-offs of this game.
Do you remember how much you attempted to fit each falling shape within the screen? How about the amount of anticipation you felt for the I-shaped block to be the messiah of your game? I sure do.
This game gave birth to the popular children’s anime featuring Ash and his friends, as he rises up to the challenge of being a Pokemon master. Before the TV series, however, the Pokemon franchise initially created a series of role-playing games (RPG), which allows each player to become a Pokemon trainer and collect the list of Pokemons on the Pokedex.
When this came out, I simply refused to put down my GameBoy. Yes, I got scolded for ‘bout a hundred times each day, but I needed to get back to that world and, well, catch ‘em all. How I wish I could go back to those days when the only hard decision I had to make was choosing who my first Pokemon was.
4. Donkey Kong
Did you know that Mario debuted in the first Donkey Kong (1981) game? To the young ones reading this, I bet that’s news to you. Provided, of course, that you do know how to play Donkey Kong.
This game is pretty much straightforward, but it did provide harder challenges as the levels go on.
Similar to the gameplay of the Super Mario Bros., Mario has to rescue the princess from the antagonist Donkey Kong. However, that big ape will pound on his big hairy chest and throw down barrel after barrel towards you, so you have to jump and run in perfect timing as you get to the princess on top of each level.
5. The Legend of Zelda
This game developed my love for RPGs, to be honest. Providing a perfect combination of fantasy, action, and strategy, users follow the story of Link as he fulfills his quest to rescue Princess Zelda. Hmm, I wonder why Nintendo seems obsessed with the damsel-in-distress plots.
Anyway, since this is for single players only, I remember taking turns with my sibs as we control Link in solving puzzles and defeating enemies within the dungeons he enters. To this day, the Legend of Zelda franchise still releases games for varying platforms.
Sometimes, it’s good to look back at my gaming history—back when my idea of Nintendo repair was blowing on cartridges and tapping them gently on my palm. Fast forward to today, regardless of how advanced the technology used on gaming consoles are, these games will forever be etched on the memories of ‘90s kids out there.
Jay Manangan is a online marketing strategist for Repair Labs and Fix-iphones, An industry-recognized specialist in computer and gadget repair. He spends most of his time on the internet, reading technology and computer blogs. He’s the axeman of a band called “ManMinusMachine”.
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