Most Popular Games of the 1980s

The 1980s was a decade where entertainment went through a modern and exciting transformation. Thisperiod was the second decade in the gaming industry and a time of highs and lows for computer games. In addition to that, arcade business giants like Atari weredominating the market since the late 1970s.

The 80s was also the era of board games where family members used to sit together and play. Besides, video games, board games like Chess and Monopoly were popular at that time, and you could find them in most households enjoyed by many people.

These games were a great way to kill time, especially in the long summers. You would probably have played some of these games in your childhood or on the rainy days when you could not go outside.

Popular Games of the 1980s

Video Games

Pac-man

Pac-man

Everyone is familiar with this classic game, released in North America in October of 1980, on the arcade system. It was developed and created by Bandai Namco Studios. It became one of the longest-running, best-selling, and most successful games of all time, grossing over 14 billion dollars worldwide.

The game features a small smiley face type character that eats points to win and progress.

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong is a series of adventure games released in 1981. The game was designed and created by Nintendo’s own Shigeru Miyamoto for the arcade system. This game is considered one of the most popular and influential games of the golden age of arcade video games.

The game features a story similar to Super Mario, except that a gorilla shows up in a maze-typesetting. The gorilla kidnaps the princess, and Mario saves her again but this time, being careful to dodge the hurdles set by a Gorilla.

Raid on Bungling Bay

Raid on Bungling Bay

Raid on Bungling Bay was the first video game designed by Will Wright, an American video game designer. This game was released in 1984 on Commodore 64 and became the inspiration for his upcoming project, SimCity.

The game shows a 2D view of controlling a helicopter, which has to bomb six factories scattered across the islands while defending yourself against gun turrets, fighter jets, missiles, etc.

3D Death Chase

3D Death Chase3D Death Chase is a vehicular combat game that was released in 1983. This game reminds what could be accomplished with a small memory back at the beginning of the home PC.

It is a 3D iconic racing game inspired by Star Wars. In this game, you can weave your bike between the tress while shooting at your enemies, tanks, and helicopter until either nerves or reflexes give out.

M.U.L.E

M.U.L.EM.U.L.E. is a multiplayer game created by Ozark Softscape and released in 1983. It features the ability for four people to play at a time and compete with each other.  The game was initially made for Atari 8bit but later released to other systems, such as Nintendo and Commodore 64.

We can relate this game as a simple economics exercise of demand and supply in which users have to play with the resources carefully.

Lode Runner

Lode Runner

Lode Runner is a 2D platform game that was published by Broderbund in 1983. You can tell by the title that it is a running game. You control the character that collects all the gold pieces in the level.  At the end of the game, he gets chased by the enemies. It is one of the first games to include a level editor.

Many different versions and remakes of the game came out after the original game for other computers and consoles by various developers and publishers. This game is very addictive, and it is a good time pass. Once you start playing it, it will be harder for you to stop.

Contra

ContraContra was a video game released by Konami on the arcade system on February 20, 1987. The game features the story of two commandos, Bill Lazier and Lance Bean, who are tasked with the mission of fighting against the evil Red Falcon organization that seeks to wipe out humanity. It’s a classic two-person shooter game that people remember from their childhood.

Board Games

Monopoly

MonopolyMonopoly,introduced in the 1980s, is a classic game played by a lot of people. It is a fun game to play with your family and friends and can be played by 2 to 8 people at a time. To start the game, you need to put the board on the table. After that, each player will need to select a token placed in the space labeled as Go but remember only when the turn to move comes.

One player can become the Banker who is responsible for distributing the assets from the bank to the players. Only the player in question can use the money. The bankers or players can only lend money. Each player will get cash, which you can divide. All the remaining money and equipment go to the bank.

Battle Ship

Battle ShipBattle Ship is another excellent board game with a classic commercial line to go with it. If you are from the 1980s, you would probably remember thetagline,“You sunk my battleship!”

The game featured various battleships stationed in different sea positions, which are not visible to the opponent. The opponent has to guess where the ships are to cause damage and sink them. The one who first destroys the ships of others wins the game.

If you are into strategy games, Battle Shipis a perfect choice for you as it sharpens your mind. Before Battle Ship was a board game, it was a classic pen and paper game that peopleplayed worldwide. You can still play this game today in your spare time with a pen and paper if you want to.

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is the father of all the trivia games out there and was invented by two Canadians who needed something to play after discovering that their scrabble set was incomplete.

The game sold millions of copies in many countries in different languages because of its popularity right after its introduction. In this game, you can only win by giving correct answers to the general knowledge and pop culture questions.

Moreover, you can move your pieces around the board, and the square you land on will determine the subject or topic you will get a question about. The cardsinclude questions related to six different categories, such as history, science, pop culture, politics, and nature. For each correct answer you give, you will get a plastic wedge that can be slotted in your playing piece.

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders was a trendy game in the 1980s. This game is still around nowadays and is similar to Ludo, based on luck. It is a simple game that you can play with your friends and family. To play it, you need to select the pin of your choice and put it on the board on the place labeled as Start.Then you have to roll the dice and move forward based on the number you get.

There are a lot of snakes and ladders in the game. It would be best to watch out for the snakes as they bring you down towards the starting and prevent you from winning the game. On the other hand, the ladders help you reach the end quickly by boasting your pin upwards, making you reach your goal faster.

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos

Hungry Hungry Hippos is another one of the popular 1980s board game that was introduced by Hasbro. This game is for 2-4 players. It is a marble chopping game that your kids will enjoy while playing with you or their friends.

In the game, each player has a plastic hippo, which is arranged around a plastic arena. When you push the tail, it will eat and trap the nearby marbles in the field and release it through the private player marble gutter. Some of the marbles return to the playing field.

The hippo must eat as many marbles as it can to win the game. It is straightforward and easy to play the game as all you have to do is eat as many marbles as you can.

The Game of Life

The Game of Life

The game was designed and released by Milton Bradley in the year 1860, becoming one of the most popular board games. You can probably tell by reading at the game’s title based on real-life, where you can choose how a person can end up in life. One of the game’s most memorable parts is the spinner that goes up flying in the air if you don’t spin it how it is supposed to be spin.

The game is mainly for mature audiences. It didn’t do well among the youngsters. It features various options regarding a person’s life from college to retirement, jobs, marriage, etc. At a time, 2 to 4 players can play this game.

Candy Land

Candy LandCandy Land is a simple board racing game that was created by Hasbro. This game is suitable for young children as it doesn’t require any fancy reading and counting skills, and because of its design, there is no strategy involved.

The game is simple and straightforward, as the players don’t need to do anything besides following the game’s directions. The shuffle of the cards predetermines the winner in the game. The game is still around and sells about one million copies per year.

The 1980s – The Golden Age of Board Games

The 80s were the beginning of the golden age of board games and video games, becoming the best entertainment source. Some of the most influential games we know were invented and introduced in the 1980s, which still exist today and are enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.