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Saturday, 24th July 2021

1986 in retro gaming: Archon, Karateka, Space Quest

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30 years ago, computer gaming was growing slowly. Computers like the C64 and the Spectrum were the main source of digital amusement among Home Computer owners. Finally after a few disappointing years, in 1986 a handful of interesting games began to conquer the PC public:

  • Archon was an hybrid between an arcade game and chess and balanced the two brilliantly
  • Karateka amazed people like me, stunned by the fluid movement of the main character
  • Space Quest 1 was the first adventure of a successful series
  • Starflight didn't became immediately popular; today is a cult
  • Alter Ego Male and Alter Ego Female were so unique that no one managed to do something similar for years

1986 produced some of the finest interactive fiction games: Amnesia, Ballyhoo, Leather Goddesses of Phobos, Moonmist, The Pawn, to name a few.

Cinemas were full of testosterone: Platoon, Highlander, Big Trouble in Little China, Aliens (female testosterone?), Top Gun, but also Stand By Me and Labyrinth (rest in peace David).

The billboard top 10 for 1986 was... well... disappointing:

1"That's What Friends are For"Dionne and Friends (Dionne Warwick, Gladys Knight, Elton John and Stevie Wonder)
2"Say You, Say Me"Lionel Richie
3"I Miss You"Klymaxx
4"On My Own"Patti LaBelle and Michael McDonald
5"Broken Wings"Mr. Mister
6"How Will I Know"Whitney Houston
7"Party All the Time"Eddie Murphy
8"Burning Heart"Survivor
9"Kyrie"Mr. Mister
10"Addicted to Love"Robert Palmer

Want more games published in 1986? Abandonware DOS has a few available for download.

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