Video game

10 Video Games That Were The First Of Their Genre – CBR – Comic Book Resources

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. From the medium’s infancy, many gaming genres have come into creation and changed the industry. Some genres emerged when certain technical limitations became broken with new hardware. Others came from a desire to stand out in an oversaturated market with one type of game.

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While the AAA gaming industry is less inclined to experiment, the independent developer scene has seen several revolutionary titles that flout convention and explore what video games can offer. After all, this medium wouldn’t be the same if it weren’t for the developers willing to tread off the beaten path.

10 Alan Turing And Invasion Allowed Players To Match Wits Electronically

During World War II, mathematical genius and cryptographer Alan Turing was tasked with cracking codes from the Axis powers, saving countless lives in service to the allied forces. His research was instrumental in thwarting the Nazi’s ambitions and paved the way for artificial intelligence to be used in recreational programs.

Turing created a Chess computer game where players would match their wits against a machine instead of another human being. The first commercially sold strategy title was Invasionfor the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. Since the hardware could only render three dots and a line, the rest of the visuals took the form of a TV overlay.

9 Auto Test Was The First Test Drive

Mechanical racing games predate television, with one of the earliest examples going back to 1900: Mechanical Yacht Race. While not precisely a “video game,” per see, it was an early example of mechanical recreation, in which players could experience the thrills of racing from the comfort of their homes.

The first example of incorporating a visual medium was the 1954 electro-mechanical educational title called Auto Test. The game utilized a film projector to give players the feeling of cruising on the road. It helped pave the way for racing titles to follow in its wake, such as the 1968 Japanese title Indy 500.

8 AX-2 Uchuu Yusousen Nostromo Provided The First Fear

Many point to Resident Evil, Alone In The Dark, or even the Japanese exclusive Sweet Home as the first survival horror titles. However, the genre actually goes back even further than the 8-bit days. In 1980, a Tokyo University student named Akira Takiguchi got contracted by Taito to develop a game for the Commodore PET.

Taking inspiration from Ridley Scott’s Alien, the game tasked players with traversing a spaceship inhabited by an invisible alien menace. Players had limited resources, and needed certain items in order to escape with their lives intact. If the warehouse they needed to reach lacked the necessary items for survival, their fate was sealed.

7 Dance Aerobics Set The Stage For Future Rhythm Titles

Years before Sony’s Parappa the Rapper and Konami’s Dance Dance Revolution, Human Entertainment and Nintendo would release the first rhythm-based music game in the form of Dance Aerobics for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The 1987 game utilized a floor mat peripheral known as the Power Pad and tasked players with replicating the in-game dancer’s moves to the song’s rhythm.

The game incorporated digitized speech as the dancer provided players with instructions. In addition to the main game, Dance Aerobics featured different modes, such as a Twister-like mini-game called Ditto. This title set the stage for countless other music games that would release with the advent of CD technology.

6 Heavyweight Champ Was The First To Allow Players To Combat A Machine

The very first video game that allowed players to engage in hand-to-hand combat with an opponent was Sega’s 1976 arcade title Heavyweight Champ. In its original monochromatic release, players were locked into a side view, not unlike the Street Fighter titles that Capcom would release decades later.

A revamped version would find its way to arcades in 1987 that switched to a third-person perspective behind the boxer akin to Nintendo’s Punch-Out! While both arcade releases were well-received, a later Sega Master System port was panned by gaming publications for its limited lasting appeal.

5 BattleZone Was The Debut Of First-Person Combat

Battlezone was played from a first-person perspective as players controlled a tank to seek out and destroy enemy combatants. Designed by Ed Rotberg and developed by Atari in 1980, the game revolutionized the industry with its 3D perspective achieved using vector graphics.

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The original arcade cabinet utilized a periscope to simulate the feeling of an actual tank. Ports of the game found their way to home computers such as the Apple II, Commodore 64, and Atari ST. However, the Atari 2600 version was forced to eschew the arcade original’s vector graphics for raster visuals.

4 Donkey Kong Was The First Platformer To Leap Into Action

Nintendo’s Radar Scope was a space shooter akin to titles like Space Invaders, Galaxian, and the multitudes of copycats that oversaturated the market. In Western territories, the game was a financial flop, leading the company to turn to a young upstart named Shigeru Miyamoto for a fresh idea.

Miyamoto sought inspiration from the Max Fleischer Popeye cartoons, proposing players take control of the aforementioned sailor and attempt to save Olive Oil from the wicked Bluto. However, Kings Features denied Nintendo the rights to use the character, forcing Miyamoto to craft his own cast. The result was the very first platformer – the 1982 arcade title Donkey Kong.

3 Colossal Cave Adventure Penned Gaming’s First Prose

In the late 70s, the idea of a video game telling a story was completely unheard of. 1976’s Colossal Cave Adventure was the first title to demonstrate the medium’s ability to imbue games with narrative, creating interactive tales. In this instance, tasking players with exploring the titular cavern in search of untold riches.

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The game paved the way for several text-based adventures to follow in its wake, such as Infocom’s Zork and Sierra’s Mystery House. They later begat graphic adventure titles such as the efforts from LucasArts as well as narrative-heavy Role Playing Games such as Ultima and Final Fantasy.

2 Jet Rocket Allowed Players To Explore An Open-World

Years before Grand Theft Auto, Elder Scrolls, and even The Legend of Zelda, Sega gave players the freedom to explore a vast world at their leisure. Developed by a team led by Hisashi Suzuki, Jet Rocket utilized aerial video footage to depict a fully explorable 3D world.

Its cabinet mimicked the interior of a jet cockpit with its flight stick and window. The game would later see a release in American arcades in 1970. In addition to providing players with the first open-world, it laid the foundations for other genres such as flight simulators and first-person shooters.

1 Tennis For Two Allowed The Public To Enjoy Video Games For The First Time

Tennis for Two was the creation of American physicist William Higinbotham. After working as the head of the electronics division in the Manhattan Project, he aimed to discover peaceful applications of atomic power. The research facility where he was employed hosted an annual exhibition that showcased brand-new technology to the public.

This event prompted Higinbotham to experiment with an oscilloscope to create a recreational program that allowed users to simulate a game of tennis. This resulted in not only the first sports simulation game, but also one of the very first video games available to the public in 1958.

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