I was extremely intimidated by Lunar Lander as a kid. Revisiting it today, I see that it’s not really anything to be scared by… but it still puts up a pretty stiff challenge, particularly on its harder levels!
Providing one of the earliest examples of a completely non-violent arcade game — and one with significant simulation-esque elements, at that — Lunar Lander is a game that would go on to influence a wide variety of other computer, console and arcade games. Primarily through that “turn and thrust” mechanic I tend to have such difficulty with!
Oh well. Let’s see if we can touch down safely at least once in my lifetime…
We all know “harder than Dark Souls” is a cliche today. If you really want to show your hipster retro gaming cred, describe something as being “harder than Gravitar”.
Gravitar is indeed monstrously difficult, at least partly because of its “turn and thrust” control scheme, but there’s an undeniably addictive quality that keeps you wanting to play just once more… just once more and you might nail that level you nearly completed… just once more and you might beat that high score…
I may have a problem. And I’m pretty sure Gravitar caused it.
Asteroids is a longstanding classic with good reason: it made a solid impact on the early video games industry, and it has influenced a great many subsequent games over the years ever since.
There’s a beautiful simplicity to the sparse black and white vector graphics of the original arcade game, and it’s still enjoyable and playable today… so long as you can get your head around the whole “turn and thrust” movement system, which is something I’ve always struggled a bit with over the years!
Still, if you want to play early era space games, it’s a mechanic you better get used to pretty quick… and there’s no better place to practice than the original never-ending field of space rocks.