Nibbler

Original version: Nibbler, released in 1982 for arcade

In my Ms. Pac-Man feature I remarked that the 1981 game Lady Bug demonstrated that the “maze chase” genre allows for many different interpretations, and now I’m here to show you that it can be taken in an entirely different direction with Nibbler, a game that makes traveling through the maze steadily more and more restrictive by filling it with a snake. Intrigued? I thought so.

http://futurama.wikia.com/wiki/Lord_Nibbler

Pictured: an unrelated Nibbler.

Continue reading

Tempest and Tempest 2000

Original version for game 1: Tempest, released in 1980 for arcade
Original version for game 2: Tempest 2000, released in 1994 for Atari Jaguar

No, I’m not thinking of the play by Shakespeare, or the painting by Giogiorne, though both were quite good. I’m talking about the arcade game by Atari. Fresh off their success of Asteroids, Atari once again called upon the sexy power of vectors to make their next space-shooty game. In light of Asteroids’ marked success and the countless clones it inspired, just what makes this unassuming twitch game so special? I mean, aside from the awesomely angular cabinet? Let’s take a look. (Seriously, look at that thing. Atari was not messing around when they chiseled those edges and corners!)

Continue reading

Asteroids

Original version: Asteroids, released in 1979 for arcade

In art, throughout the ages, there has been a push towards representing the subject with as much realism as possible. We can see a drastic difference between a work by Cimabue and one by the later Gaddi, who had the benefit of living a century later and thus could start out with knowledge Cimabue and his colleagues had to discover during their careers. Only after the advent of cameras and the quick, realistic “paintings” they could produce did artists adopt a widespread genuine interest in the stylized and abstract. These artists, possibly feeling threatened by the cheaper, quicker photography, founded a movement called Impressionism, in which the likes of Monet and Picasso flourished.

Continue reading