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Discuss Intellivision, Atari, Colecovision, Nintendo, and More! » The Classic Gaming Section » The Classic Gaming Forum » Tech Demos

Tech Demos

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1 Tech Demos on Sat 18 Aug 2012, 8:29 pm

sloan

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Can you recall the 80's arcades and some of the ground-breaking titles? For many, they were nothing more than slick technical demos, offering eye candy and occasionally some good gameplay in not seen before technology.

Zaxxon - Nothing had been seen like it before. The isometric scrolling effect was a new gimmick in video games, and Zaxxon raked in the quarters because of its visual appeal. I will say though, that as a game it was rather run of the mill to me.

Tempest - Though not the first vector graphics game, you have to admit that Tempest commanded your attention the first time you saw it in the arcades. You also have to admit that Tempest was an abstract gaming premise, one that had not seen before, and most likely not since.

I, Robot - 3D polygons floating in space. Who could have foreseen this? Wow. the gameplay was challenging as well. Yes, it hasn't necessarily aged well, but I was awestruck by it in mid 80's arcade land.

Dragon's Lair - Who would have envisioned actually being able to play a cartoon? Dragon's Lair delivered that, although the loading times were a drawback. For many arcade gamers, it was a dream come true.

Crystal Castles - A 3D adventure with a cute bear main character, and track ball controlled to boot. Wow! I remember this game being so popular at my arcade that there was almost a waiting line. Even so, I just loved to hang back and watch the action, it was such a visually pleasing masterpiece.

Darius - This has to be the arcade tech demo to top them all for me. Unsuspecting, I walked into Aladdin's Castle around 1985, seeing this, and my jaw nearly hit the floor. Three overlapping screen wide, a beautiful space shooter, and who could have imagined fish in space? Oh my! I still wish to this day that someone had come up with a true home port of this game, one that used three TV's side by side.

Any more that I might have missed?

2 Re: Tech Demos on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 9:28 am

TrekMD

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That's a pretty good list. I can' t think of others that were unique enough to make it to the list. Interesting, though, that the gameplay mechanics for Dragon's Lair weren't as successful as the others. After Dragon's Lair, some of the other games did not do as well even though they expanded on the premise. I'm not sure if that was because the novelty of it ended or because the games themselves weren't as attractive to people.

I do have 3 titles with this type of gameplay on my Jaguar: Dragon's Lair, Space Ace, and Brain Dead 13. Each is very different and each requires a different level of skill to play.


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3 Re: Tech Demos on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:24 pm

sloan

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One more I might add to the list, although it probably was not a tech demo per se, Qix.

Qix was just as abstract as Tempest, and I pumped many quarters into this one. Nothing like it before or since, and for Qix fans like myself, it was a great game for its time.

4 Re: Tech Demos on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:33 pm

TrekMD

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sloan wrote:One more I might add to the list, although it probably was not a tech demo per se, Qix.

Qix was just as abstract as Tempest, and I pumped many quarters into this one. Nothing like it before or since, and for Qix fans like myself, it was a great game for its time.

Have you played any of the home adaptations of Qix?


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5 Re: Tech Demos on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:49 pm

sloan

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I have Ultimate Qix for Sega Genesis. It is pretty sweet with updated backgrounds and scenery.

6 Re: Tech Demos on Mon 20 Aug 2012, 7:52 pm

TrekMD

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Cool, the only home version I have is for the Lynx. It is a nice port. Smile


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