6 best retro video games from the ’80s that were featured on ‘Stranger Things’

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best retro video games
best retro video games

To celebrate the second part of Stranger Things Season Four dropping, we’re taking you back in time to 1986 – with retro video games.

With gaming becoming more accessible these days and an abundance of video games to choose from, chances are there are countless games that would intrigue you, whether you’re a casual player wanting something relaxing to do after work, or a competitive one who can’t stand losing.

Although technology wasn’t as advanced in 1986, gaming was still a vibrant industry when the kids of the ’80s found joy in local arcades, as well as on the NES or the Atari 2600. Little wonder then, that the Stranger Things series constantly featured these iconic titles throughout its four seasons.

For old time’s sake, we take a look back on the best retro video games that were being played at the time, and how they have impacted the gaming industry today.

The best retro video games from the ’80s:

Super Mario Bros.

Image credit: Nintendo/Facebook
Image credit: Nintendo/Facebook

Our favourite Italian plumber made his debut in 1983 for the arcade, with its NES port titled ‘Super Mario Bros’ in 1985. The positive feedback, along with the NES dominating the console market at the time, is arguably what has made Mario Bros. the immense franchise it is today. Today, there are countless spin-offs and merchandise, and the characters of Mario Bros. have become one of the most recognisable icons that have emerged from the gaming world.

Their newest addition is now on Nintendo Switch, titled ‘New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe’ or play the OG version on your desktop here.

Space Invaders

Image credit: Taito Corporation/Facebook
Image credit: Taito Corporation/Facebook

Made by Taito Corporation for both Atari consoles and the arcade, Space Invaders is a fixed shooter game that sees the player move along a horizontal axis, firing a laser cannon at creatures they descend to the bottom of the screen. The game is vastly considered to be one of the most influential video games of all time. It became a template for the ‘shoot ‘em up’ genre, inspiring countless video games across multiple genres while making the industry global.

Pac-Man

Image credit: PAC-MAN/Facebook
Image credit: PAC-MAN/Facebook

It’s easily one of the most well-known games of all time, featuring a simple, yet very replayable gameplay. Following its release in 1980, Pac-Man rose to being the top grossing arcade video game of the ’80s, with an estimated billion dollars of gross revenue worldwide. It’s now listed as one of the greatest video games of all time by multiple publications, and is the flagship icon of Bandai Namco Entertainment.

Donkey Kong

Image credit: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash
Image credit: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

In an effort to rival Pac-Man, game designer Shigeru Miyamoto came up with Donkey Kong in 1981. It quickly became a smash hit in Japan and North America, with over 15 million various ports of the game sold. Most interestingly, Donkey Kong is considered the first video game to have a storyline visually seen on screen, depicting Mario jumping over barrels and other obstacles to save Pauline from Donkey Kong. It also broke new grounds in the industry by integrating cutscenes, telling stories over multiple stages of the game.

Duck Hunt

Image credit: Tokens Taproom/Facebook
Image credit: Tokens Taproom/Facebook

Released in 1984 for the arcade, and in 1985 for the NES, Duck Hunt became a major commercial success upon release. Apart from the attractive gameplay, the game earned its legacy for a non-playable dog that appears in the background. Wherever the player fails to shoot any ducks on screen, the dog rises up from the tall grass, and smugly laughs at the player. Because of its notoriety, the dog is still a large reference-able character in gaming, with appearances as both playable character and cameos across many Nintendo games.

Dungeons & Dragons

Image credit: Clint Bustrillos/Unsplash
Image credit: Clint Bustrillos/Unsplash

We can’t talk about Stranger Things and the games its characters played without mentioning Dungeons & Dragons (aka D&D). Without revealing spoilers, Vecna is the new big, bad creature lurking in the Upside Down for the gang to face. It’s an evil force that takes its name from arch-lich present in D&D. And knowing the show’s creators to be fans of the game, its similarities might be more than just the name.

D&D is a table-top roleplaying game. One player takes the role of a Dungeon Master, having control over the game and story, while the other players represent individual players in the game. Together, they solve dilemmas, fight against a common enemy, and keep progressing until the story ends in one way or another.

It’s quite a structured game, yet very open-ended. Each member has their own skills and weapons, and they can basically do anything they want. It is up to the Dungeon Master to decide if the move they choose is successful, and how that move would contribute to the story. Essentially, it’s all up to your imagination.

A campaign can take up to weeks to complete, so get ready and gear up before you embark on a fantasy adventure.

The post 6 best retro video games from the ’80s that were featured on ‘Stranger Things’ appeared first on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

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