Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn money if you buy from a link. How we test gear. By Glenn Derene Oct 1, They may have been simple, but the first handheld video games turned on a generation of geeks to portable gaming. View Gallery 6 Photos Mattel Auto Race The first handheld electronic game, programmed by Rockwell International electrical engineer Mark Lesser using a redesigned calculator chip with only bytes of memory.
Share Many of the best-loved handheld, video, and arcade games are defiantly old school. We look at 10 such games, from before the 8-bit era and beyond. It maintains the elegant design and simplicity of Pong—the idea is to hit the ball with your paddle—while also adding a few variations, from tennis to football known as soccer to Americans to squash.
The Japanese company Tomy began making Pocketmate games named because they were small enough to fit in your pocket in —the first product in the series was its classic baseball game. In the handheld, you used a spring launcher to shoot a metal ball onto a playing field. As in Football 1, LED Football allows the player to control a tiny light on an electronic field, the object being to avoid other lights en route to the end zone.
An iTunes game that successfully riffs on its arcade roots is Radiant, which is, in essence, Galaxian or Galaga, outer space shooter games played on a joystick.
Galaxian and Galaga, themselves updates of Space Invaders from , were made by the Japanese company Namco.
Among its other achievements, Galaxian was the first arcade game to use full color graphics. This time around, Namco has been selective in its updates.
For example, Radiant retains the same basic user interface as Galaxian or Galaga which was the second-gen version of Galaxian , but it adds a storyline and new graphics that make it stand apart from its forebears.
Still, as someone who went through an obsessed-with-Galaga stage, I got a kick out of playing Radiant.
While many contemporary game apps try to modernize themselves with 21st-century graphics, Pac-Man stays true to its simplistic roots. Frogger Frogger, for the iPhone.
Frogger was first introduced by Japanese gaming company Komani in and has long been one of the classic arcade games.
In , Komani released Frogger for the iPhone and has since updated this popular application. While the object of the game—get the frogs to their homes without being run over by cars or falling into other hazards—remains the same, the graphics in the app version of the game are way better than the original.
Coleco caught a huge break when Donkey Kong on handhelds and console games took off after the company signed an agreement with Nintendo. In the app version of the game, you must avoid barrels thrown by the Monkey and climb ladders to stop Kong from running rampant in New York City.
This app version of Dig Dug Remix has something for both purists and game geeks alike. Made by Namco, which packaged the game with Galaga in and licensed its release outside of Japan to Atari, Dig Dug Remix allows you to play the original arcade version of the game as well as one with new features.
The goal of the game is still to destroy two types of underground monsters. Like in Pac-Man, the protagonist, Dig Dug, must avoid the monsters, which are out to kill him.
Dig Dug can fight back by dropping stones on its enemies or inflating them until they explode. Street Fighter has gone through numerous permutations over the years, the most popular being the Street Fighter II series.
The great original characters Ryu and Ken remain in the app, but also added are new fighters E. Honda and C.