Space Invaders is an arcade video game developed by Tomohiro Nishikado and was released in 1978 in Japan. It´s one of the most influential and successful video games of all times, as it moved the gaming industry away from Pong-inspired sport games grounded in real-world situations towards action games involving fantastical situations. It has become a pop culture icon.
On May 22nd of 1980, the Japanese game maker Namco installed the first Pac- Man machine in a movie theater in Tokyo. As of today, it keeps being one of the most popular and best known video games in history and is yet another icon of 1980s popular culture. As few people know, the game was created with the ladies in mind in order to “have girls in game arcades.”
The Donkey Kong video game series features the adventures of a huge gorilla called Donkey Kong, created by Shigeru Miyamoto. He made his first appearance in an arcade machine 1981, harming Mario, a carpenter first known as “Jumpman”. The following up Donkey Kong Country series features the gorilla and his friends as protagonists. The Donkey Kong character is highly recognizable and very popular as 40 million units have been sold worldwide.
Tetris was created by a Russian computer engineer named Alexey Pajitnov and released in 1985 by Nintendo. It was the first entertainment software to be exported from the USSR to the US. It was named after the Greek numerical prefix “tetra-” (as all game pieces contain 4 segments) and tennis, Pajitnov favorite sport. With more than 70 million copies sold, Tetris became one of the greatest games of all times. The Tetris theme is a remake of “Korobeiniki,” a 19th century Russian folk song about the burgeoning love between a peddler and a peasant girl.
Sonic the Hedgehog
Sonic the hedgehog is the title character and protagonist of the same- named series released by Sega in 1991. With this series selling more than 80 million copies, Sonic has become one of the world´s best known video game characters. It was created in order to replace its mascot of the time, Alex Kidd, and create a rival to Nintendo’s Mario. Oddly, Sonic actually first debuted in a game called Rad Mobile, not Sonic the Hedgehog, much like how Mario first appeared in Donkey Kong.
Street Fighter II
Originally released for the arcades in 1991, the huge success of the competitive fighting game “Street Fighter II: The World Warrior” was credited for starting the fighting game boom during the 90s. The game was even so popular that players started hacking the game to improve their experience, like the popular mod “Street Fighter II Rainbow Set”. No surprise that Street Fighter holds the Guinness Record (2011) for being the “The Most Prolific Fighting Game Series”.