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Early Video Arcade Games

Computer Space
1971 Nutting Associates

This is Computer Space first arcade video game released. It was made by Nolan Bushnell who later on formed Atari. It was not very popular as most people found it too complicated to play. Using the four control buttons (two for rotation, one for thrust and one for firing), you attempted to outshoot your enemies in a duel between your spaceship and a pair of flying saucers.

Pong
1972 Atari

Nolan Bushnell forms Atari and releases Pong which couldnt be simpler. Two players controlled small white bars on opposite sides of the screen. A ball bounced between the two, and players had to maneuver their paddles up and down to intercept the ball and knock it back to the other side. Much more commercially successful.

Tank
1974 Atari

Two tanks-one black, one white-rolled and turned around a maze of obstacles and land mines, trying to shell each other and not be shelled themselves. Notable as the first video game which used ROM chips to store graphic data.

Space Invaders
1978 Taito

One of the first really successful video games, Space invaders was so popular in Japan that it caused a coin shortage. Entire arcades were opened in Japan specifically for this game. Move your tank back and forth along the bottom of the screen and shoot endless waves of aliens marching towards earth. Shoot the flying saucer for extra points.

Battlezone
1980 Atari

Used wire models on a vector display with a green and red overlay, battle tanks, missiles and the occasional saucer in the first video game to feature truly interactive 3-D environment.The US Armed Forces commissioned Atari to build specially modified and upgraded versions for use in tank training.

Defender
1980 Williams

Designed by Eugene Jarvis. It was the first video game to feature artificial "world" in which game events could occur outside on-screen view presented to the player. Protect the humanoids stranded on the planet from their alien abductors. Features a scanner, smart bombs, hyperspace button and a variety of enemys. Its also infuritatingly difficult. Download our very own PC tribute to defender here.

Pac Man
1980 Midway

Control pac-man around a maze eating dots and trying to avoid ghosts, get one of the four power pills to become invincible and eat the ghosts. The was a huge hit around the world and is still being made for new consoles today. Originally named puck-man it was renamed pac-man to prevent people scribbling out a part of the letter P.....