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Added by ape on 23 Oct 2012 06:31
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Games of 1983 - ranked by preference

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People who added this item 16 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Seaquest - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Activision
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Seaquest is easily one of my favorite Atari 2600 games. The gameplay is simple enough - shoot the fish or enemy subs in your way while saving any scuba divers you see swimming around. This alone would be fairly fun, but Seaquest adds in another element, that being the need to rise to the surface for oxygen. That adds just enough strategy to an already fun concept to make this an absolutely great game for its time.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 23 Average listal rating (15 ratings) 7.1 IMDB Rating 0
Donkey Kong - Famicom and NES
Release Date: July 15, 1983 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Platformer

Donkey Kong was, by far, one of the most popular arcade games of all-time. While it had been ported to just about every home console prior to the NES (with the Colecovision version being the closest to matching the arcade), it was only natural that when Nintendo created its own console, that the big ape was one of the launch titles, which no doubt, helped initial sales. This, in my opinion, is the most arcade-perfect version of the game that you can find. It only has three levels to play on repeat until you lose all of your lives, but for its time it was absolutely amazing. It's easy to see why, too. It hasn't aged a bit.
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People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.7 IMDB Rating 0
Dragon's Lair - Arcade
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Cinematronics
Developer: Cinematronics
Genre: Adventure

Let's face it - the 8-bit arcade graphics of 1983 aren't too impressive to many of us today, but back then, they were amazing...Then along came Dragon's Lair, a game with animation the quality of a Disney studio, and that cartoon you were watching WAS the game. It didn't switch over to 8-bit anything. It was absolutely mind-blowing. The gameplay was simple, but most gameplay back then was, so it can be forgiven. Basically, you watch the movie playing on screen. Then at the appropriate time, hit the correct button to dodge or attack and then watch as you either successfully do your intended move or watch one of the various death scenes. When Dragon's Lair reemerged onto the scene when the CD format started to appear in video games, it still looked amazing, but video games had evolved enough where the basic gameplay left much to be desired....But back in 1983, everything about this game was absolutely amazing.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 28 Average listal rating (14 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Q*bert - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Parker Bros.
Developer: Western Technologies, Inc.
Genre: Puzzle - Action

It doesn't look pretty, but it gets the job done just fine. Q*Bert on the Atari 2600 may look absolutely hideous compared to the arcade original, but it plays nearly as good with tight controls and the gameplay almost entirely intact. Younger gamers may not realize it, but Q*Bert was actually a very popular game in arcade right before the video game crash, so having a worthwhile home console release of the game was a pretty big deal. If you start an Atari 2600 collection, this quality arcade port definitely deserves a spot in it.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (11 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Galaxian - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Atari
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Galaxian was a massive hit in arcades, and the Atari 2600 version is one of the few to live up to, or at least close to, the quality of the arcade original. It's a blast to play, and was proof that even as the video game crash was about to happen due to poor quality of games, a few must-buy titles were still slipping through the cracks. If you're a fan of the arcade original, then this version of Galaxian is well worth a purchase.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 22 Average listal rating (12 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Jungle Hunt - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Atari
Genre: Action

Jungle Hunt was Atari's attempt to compete with Activision's extremely popular Pitfall! and it's not bad at all...In fact, it's very good for its time. The game is split into three levels - swinging from vine to vine, swimming while avoiding alligators, and running and jumping over what I always assumed to be logs rolling towards you. The controls are tight and the three-level variety, seen in many arcade games at the time, helped prevent this from getting tedious too quickly. While not quite at Pitfall! quality, Jungle Hunt is still one of the best games Atari released near the end of the 2600's original lifespan.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Pogo Joe - Commodore 64
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Screenplay
Developer: Screenplay
Genre: Action

Pogo Joe is kind of like a Q*Bert clone...Except instead of an orange, cursing turkey baster with legs jumping around, it's a big-headed dude on a pogo stick jumping around. The goal is to jump from platform to platform and make all platforms the same color. Balloons will pop up from time to time and the goal is to pop these immediately. Wait too long, and monsters will pop out and hop after you. Land on a platform that's green, however, and all enemies on the screen blow up. These little differences from Q*Bert help make it more than just a Q*Bert clone and make it a worthy game to play for any fan of the vulgar, orange mascot.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Pepsi Invaders - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Atari
Developer: Atari
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

Pepsi Invaders (or "Coke Wins!" in some circles) is essentially just Space Invaders reprogrammed. The only major difference, aside from the visual aspect, is that Space Invaders had gameplay with limited lives, but unlimited time to play. Pepsi Invaders goes the opposite route, as you've got unlimited lives, but you're limited to a three-minute time limit...Which, I think helps the game rather than hurts it, as you're frantically trying to beat the score you got in the previous three-minute run. Copies today can go for over $2,000 USD, as they are very rare and were only released at an 1983 sales convention where 125 CocaCola sales executives were given a copy.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 5.7 IMDB Rating 0
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Midway
Developer: Midway
Genre: Trivia - Education

Pac-Mania was sweeping the United States in 1983, so it was only a matter of time before the pellet-eating, yellow circle started to star in more games...But Professor Pac-Man? It was kind of ahead of its time. About 20 years before Nintendo made a ton of money with their Brain Age game on the DS, Professor Pac-Man was doing some similar gameplay elements in the arcade environment. Answering logic-based questions as quickly as possible to rack up a score, it was a game where upon getting the high score, you could gloat that you were the smartest bloke (or blokette...if that's a word) that ever stepped foot in that arcade. It wasn't as fun as the original Pac-Man, but Professor Pac-Man still made it an enjoyable experience to put your thinking cap on.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 14 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 3 IMDB Rating 0
Halloween - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Wizard Video Games
Developer: MicroGraphicImage
Genre: Action - Horror

Halloween is not a bad representation of horror films, considering the hardware it runs on. The goal in the game is to find children in the house, take them by the hand, and walk them to safety while trying to avoid Michael Myers as he randomly appears with a giant knife in an attempt to stab you. Some rooms have flickering lights, resulting you in not being able to see exactly where Myers is...But that's ultimately the only danger you face. You can even pick up a knife of your own and use it to make Myers run away for a while. Unfortunately, the very slow pace and general ease that it is to avoid death hinder the game as a whole, but it's still not a terrible game to pick up and play every now and then.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 3 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6 IMDB Rating 0
Journey - Arcade
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Bally Midway
Developer: Marvin Glass & Associates
Genre: Action

Journey is the name of a music band, you know...And that's why this game is called Journey. You travel on a spaceship to various locations to obtain stuff stolen from the band...Like microphones, guitars, etc. Each location plays different - almost like a series of mini games. And each level is played by a member of the band, complete with a black-and-white cutout of their heads plastered on the character models. As ridiculous aas the game sounds, it's not bad and well worth the novelty of playing it if you get the chance.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 2 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Z-Tack - Atari 2600
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Bomb
Developer: Bomb
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

I thought for sure that Z-Tack would be terrible. The name sounds dumb. The box art looks dumb. But the gameplay is anything but dumb. While not mind-blowingly great, Z-Tack is a decent third-person shooter where the screen is basically tilted 180 degrees compared to most shooters at the time since you're shooting down instead of up. If there was a bit more variety, I probably would have given the game a higher score, but unfortunately, despite the initial fun, Z-Tack does get very repetitive very quickly. It's still worth checking out if you're ever lucky enough to come across a copy.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 1 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Developer: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Shooter - First-Person

The Earth Dies Screaming is a little known movie-based video game, and it's actually not too bad for its time. Basically, the game has you in the cockpit of some spacecraft as you try to shoot down enemy ships while also avoiding their fire. It's not perfect by any means, but back in '83, this was actually fairly well done for its genre. If you're into cockpit-perspective shooters, then the Earth Dies Screaming might be worth checking out.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 6 Average listal rating (4 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 0
Crackpots - Atari 2600
Release Date: May 16, 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Activision
Genre: Action

So, you've got a bunch of spiders running around...and a bunch of flowerpots laying around...Sounds like you've got a great weapon to eliminate the arachnids, huh? The folks that made Crackpots thought so, as your goal is to hurl flowerpots at spiders in order to kill them and gain a high score. Or maybe they're crabs?....The box art makes it seem like they should be caterpillars. Well, whatever they are, the game is decent but not great. I'd imagine throwing real flower pots at stuff would be much more fun than this so-so game.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 6.3 IMDB Rating 0
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Llamasoft
Developer: Llamasoft
Genre: Shooter - Third-Person

There are two games on the Commodore 64 that sport the name "Attack of the Mutant Camels." This one, the one created by Llamasoft, is the prettier one, but also the inferior one in terms of gameplay. In this game, you're basically a tiny ship on a task to destroy a group of very large, very dangerous mutant camels that fire bullets of spit (I don't know, I'm trying to find logic here...camels are known for spitting) at you and try to knock you out of the sky. The game itself can be fun...But it's also kind of clunky. It's worth playing for the name of the game alone, but aside from that, there's really not much here for me to recommend.
ape's rating:
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: 20th Century Fox
Developer: 20th Century Fox
Genre: Action

Revenge of the Beefsteak Tomatoes, I guess, was 20th Century Fox's attempt to cash in on Attack of the Killer Tomatoes...maybe? I know sequels to the Killer Tomato film were put out by 20th Century Fox, so maybe they just hadn't obtained the license to use the name yet. If they didn't, why Beefsteak instead of Killer? I dunno. I do know, however, this this is a decent little action game that could be better, but is still decent for what it is.
ape's rating:
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Mattel
Developer: Mattel
Genre: Action

The Power of He-Man is a little hybrid of genres with third-person shooter segments in your ship and action-based segments on foot. Neither one is done particularly well, yet somehow I found myself playing this for long after I should have stopped anyway. Maybe it's because this game has the power of Grayskull...Either that, or I'm just a glutton for punishment.
ape's rating:
People who added this item 42 Average listal rating (27 ratings) 6.1 IMDB Rating 0
Baseball - Famicom and NES
Release Date: December 7, 1983 (JP)
Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Genre: Sports - Baseball

Baseball is Nintendo's original attempt at a baseball game...And it's passable for its time, but that's about all it is. It was an okay launch title for the Japanese Famicom, but in the overall scheme of things, this is one of the worst choices should you want to play an NES or Famicom baseball game - there are plenty of better ballgames out there. But, like I said, for its time, it was passable...But it was really only worthwhile playing while you waited for a better baseball game to come along.
ape's rating:
Release Date: 1983 (NA)
Publisher: Parker Bros.
Developer: Parker Bros.
Genre: Puzzle

You can tell how poorly I feel this game is when a game about rape places higher than it on this list. Strawberry Shortcake: Musical Matchups...I don't even want to call it a game. It's an abomination. Even little children who may enjoy it at first will find out that after ninety seconds or so, they've seen everything there is to see in the game and heard all of the nails-on-a-chalkboard tunes to hear in the game as well. Some folks point to Pac-Man, E.T., or Custer's Revenge as the worst game on the Atari 2600 console, but from what I've played, absolutely nothing on the console can match this turd in the stink department.
ape's rating:

Yes, another branch of my 'ranked by preference' lists...This time, by year.

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Timeline of Games - ranked by preference (37 lists)
list by ape
Published 7 years, 2 months ago 1 comment



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