The Nintendo Entertainment System forever changed what being a kid meant when it was released in 1985. Yes you are correct, it was not the first video game console, but it was, and in many people’s minds still is, the greatest console ever. It forever changed children. No longer would kids look to books for entertainment… we could PLAY books! Not only did we no longer need to read but the NES really taught us how to problem solve… when a game didn’t load we didn’t just send it back, we used our heads, we blew into the cartridge! When the clip that held the game down into the system broke we shoved another case on top to hold it down! Children these days miss out on these great opportunities as well as missing out on some of the greatest games a generation of children could ever wish for.
Bases Loaded– One of the greatest baseball games on the NES. Simply choose your team, attempt to figure out what in the heck was going on with the different batting stances and try to break the buttons and time your swing just right to put it in the spot where the slowest runners in the world could never reach it in time. The best part was this game was so realistic it took longer to play than an actual baseball game in the 90s!
Excitebike – Motocross came to videogames in one of the greatest bike games of all time. Simply hold down the button until it embeds in your finger and press up and down to pick the best lane. Also you have to press the right buttons on the jump and move your guy to land properly or you will roll your bike and then in a stroke of miracle your guy would pop up, clearly injured and barely able to run he would get back on his bike and ride to victory!
Adventures in the Magic Kingdom – A game for kids whose parents were too poor to take them to the actual magic kingdom but who were rich enough to buy a game about the magic kingdom. In this game your character traveled the park in search of keys. You obtained these keys by completing mini games based on rides in the park. The stress of trying to pick the right track on big thunder mountain was enough to cause a 5 year old years of emotional damage.
American Gladiators– It’s a simple formula, take one hit tv show of the 90s and make it a game on the popular system of the 90s. American Gladiators was great because you could play your favorite events: Assault, Powerball, The Wall, and of course run the Eliminator. American Gladiators was also great because it allowed you to play in the contest you were never fit enough to play in in real life and never would be because you play video games.
Marble Madness – Simple yet challenging could be the best way to describe the joy of marble madness. The goal was simple, control a marble through a course and make it to the finish before time expired… sound to simple? OK add vacuums and acid and hammers and impossibly small tracks and now you’re talking. If little children were not having panic attacks before, they certainly were after the third level. I don’t really think there was a level 5 because level 4 was dang near impossible.
Punch Out!! – Bald Bull, Don Flamenco, Glass Joe, Great Tiger, and King Hippo; what do these all have in common? All their children were threatened to be eaten by Mike Tyson while he was on his way to be champion of Punch out!! This clearly is not ok… so your goal in this game is take Little Mac and lead him all the way to the championship bout… where in the best version you faced off with none other than the child eater himself.. Mike Tyson.
Paper Boy – The gateway game to hard core grand theft auto… While most would consider Paper Boy to be a harmless game, take a deeper look and see what is really going on here. A random boy becomes paper boy (this is such big news we announced it in the paper). He then wreaks havoc on a neighborhood. Getting bonus points for hitting dogs with papers, breaking non-subscribers windows, and throwing a paper at a little old lady who was using her rolling pin to try and stop this menace. Little known fact is that the paper boy grew up to be the main playable character in Grand Theft Auto.
Spy Hunter – drive… blow up cars.. and then drive your car into the back of a moving semi… nuff said.
Techmo Bowl – one of the most confusingly fun football games of all time. 90 percent of Techmo bowl was luck. Could you guess if it was going to be run or pass… guess correctly and you were likely not to get scored on, guess incorrectly and the LA running back is going to run right past your little guys who are conveniently diving the wrong way and run 250 yards to the end zone. (I am well aware the field was only 100 yards, but for how long and narrow Techmo bowl made the field it might have well been 500 yards long.
World Class Track Meet – The best part of world class track meet was the POWER PAD!
Who wants to control a character with buttons when you can put a giant controller on the floor and actually “run” (run in place and try not to slip and break your arm on the ground). This game never had huge success but the Power Pad would rear its head again in the Dance Dance Mat and again with the Wii balance board. I just wish one of the events in this game was javelin catching, now that would be a fun game to play!
There you have it.. if these games don’t make you want to go back to when you were a child then it’s a good thing time travel isn’t around yet… or is it.
Did I miss a game you like to play or that was your childhood? Leave a comment below letting us know which NES game makes you want to be a kid again.