It’s not all space rangers and super soldiers when it comes to video game heroes. Sometimes it’s about the ordinary guy, doing their job against all the odds, whether it be battling greedy ants or attempting vainly to satisfy a legion of impatient customers. Here are Antstream Arcade’s finest retro gaming stars of the everyday occupation, performing their daily grind just for your entertainment. If you enjoy the article, please check out our Facebook page or join our mailing list to get more great retro game content!
Game: Wanted: Monty Mole
Poor old Monty. This cute little fellow is freezing his little toes off, and all because he can’t actually do his job. It’s the winter of 1984, and the miner’s strike is in full swing, meaning Monty has to stage a daring heist beyond the picket line in order to pinch a bag of coal. Giant crushers, drills and talpidae-eating fish (!?) all stand in our hero’s way – can he swag that bag and warm up the mole family?
Who ever knew suburban America could be so dangerous? Swinging in on his BMX, laden with copies of The Daily Sun, each road presents hazards both strange and lethal to our brave paperboy. Skateboarders, masked robbers, fighting neighbours and inconsiderate drivers; it’s all part of the job for this hip kid. Oh, and don’t forget to deliver those papers to its subscribers, or you’ll be front page news for the wrong reason...
Occupation: Short-order Chef
Flipping burgers and fast food for a living is a heated environment and it’s ten times worse for Chef Peter Pepper: his ingredients have come alive and are stalking him around the kitchen! Fortunately, he’s got his pepper spray handy, but the tubby chef’s still gotta flip those burgers, or those virtual customers will soon be off elsewhere for their junk food fix.
Game: Root Beer Tapper
Looking like a grizzled veteran rather than a student paying their way through college, this bartender has his hands full over a series of four hectic bars. The cowboys and punk rockers are bad enough; but those aliens are thirsty critters, and should you drop one glass it’s one enraged drinker and goodbye tips. And woe betide a ‘tender who lets a customer reach the end of the bar without a cold one touching their lips…
Game: Crazy Taxi
Occupation: Taxi Driver
Well we suppose the clue is in the name: should you be one of the unfortunate fares of this daredevil cab, you’ll be in for a helluva ride. In the time-honoured fashion, the driver delivers their customers to their destination. However tips are not earned by knowing the best restaurants or shows, but by performing as many madcap stunts as possible. Hold on to that door handle!
Occupation: Bin Man
Like the paperboy, the humble bin man must brave the kerbs of suburbia in order to perform his task. Vicious canines, careless drivers and cyclists, and an ever-moving dust cart are just some of the hazards to combat, with brief respite offered inside a friendly greasy spoon. However, over-indulging on the bangers and sugary tea slows him down, and that truck must be kept up with and those bins emptied if he wants to keep his job.
Game: Park Patrol
Occupation: Park Ranger
Litter. Ugh. We can imagine a park ranger’s job is varied and rewarding at times, but for this park life it’s all about the litter. Careless park-goers have left their rubbish strewn all around the lake and its shoreline. From the safe refuge of the wooden ranger cabin, the parkie ventures out to gather it. Sounds ok, right? Well, apart from the killer snakes and turtles, errant swimmers and pesky ants. Blur never mentioned that in the song.
Occupation: Delivery Truck Driver
Lorry driver is another occupation that while not glamorous in any way, is particularly valuable to society. Juggernaut gives you the chance to slip into that padded seat and deliver commodities such as timber, coal oil and fruit. Unfortunately, this being the Eighties, there’s no such as thing as satnav, but there’s still a harsh deadline to stick to. Sharp bends, narrow roads and roundabouts also pepper this town – better sharpen up those reversing skills!
Game: Skool Daze
Occupation: Schoolkid. Or Skoolkid, if you must.
OK, not a job as such, but not exactly the happiest days of your life either, at least not in this school. You see, Eric is in trouble. There’s a school report sitting in the staff room safe, and being the generally-not-exactly-well-behaved-type, Eric’s in hot water if the headmaster reads it. There’s only one solution: strike all the ornamental shields in the school so the teachers dazedly reveal the combination to the safe, pinch the report and relax. Well, until next term…
Game: Harvest Moon
Ever wanted to be a farmer? Well now you can, all from the comfort of your own home. Grab your hoe, clear the fields, plant the crops, buy cows, then milk the crops and fertilise the cows. Or something like that. Oh, and there are five lovely ladies from which to choose as your wife, and you’ve only got three years to turn this dustbowl around. Where’s an EU subsidy when you need it?