• Graeme Mason

The Antstream Arcade Years: 1982

With the Antstream Arcade search facility capable of narrowing the selection of retro games by year, there’s a great way to discover all the particular releases from a time you remember especially fondly. In the first of a regular series, we take a look back at one such year and the noteworthy games that make it a fantastic time worth travelling back to on Antstream Arcade. This month, we pop into our retro time machine and zip back to 1982, a period when the arcades and Atari ruled while in the UK, we first caught sight of the marvellous little machine known as the ZX Spectrum micro computer.


BurgerTime

We head to the arcades first, and one of the most fiendish platform games ever devised. BurgerTime is the original instalment in the frantic life of Chef Pepper, a short order cook who’s feeling the heat! Pepper’s ingredients are coming to life and are doggedly pursuing him around his kitchen – can he dodge the deadly foodstuffs and still get those burgers out in time to the hungry and impatient customers?



Bump N Jump

We stay in the arcades for the next game from Antstream Arcade’s 1982 vault, and while it may not be quite as well known as BurgerTime, it’s just as much fun. In Data East’s Bump ‘n’ Jump, the action is viewed from top down as the player drives their racing car up the screen. The aim is to get to the finish line as swiftly as possible, bumping opposing cars out of your way and leaping over them with a helpful power jump. As the title says, bump and jump!


Gridrunner

Jeff Minter’s Llamasoft were one of the early shining lights on the Commodore computers in particular, and this fast shoot-‘em-up is one of our favourites. Originally released for the Vic-20 in 1982, on Antstream Arcade we have the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum ports of this quick-fire game where nothing stands between the robotic alien horde and Earth’s survival except you!


Dig Dug

In 1982, the arcades were the natural second home for many a teenager, and it was games such as Dig Dug that inspired this devotion. In Dig Dug, the player must tunnel into the earth and use their bike pump to inflate the deadly Pookas and Green Dragons until they explode. Hey, we never said it made any sense! Even more fun is dropping a rock on their heads, and it yields more points, too. No list of games from 1982 is complete without this Namco classic.


Haunted House

We travel back to the home now and evergreen console the Atari 2600. In this spooky maze game, the player infiltrates the infamous mansion of Zachary Graves, searching the pitch black house for the pieces of his magical urn. With only a handful of matches to light your way, can you survive this early example of the survival horror genre?



Horace Goes Skiing

It’s Speccy time! Released in April of 1982, the Sinclair computer defied its creator’s hopes of a business-like use in the homes of people worldwide to become the premier gaming computer in the UK. By the end of ’82, software was still in short supply, but at least we had Horace, a popular early mascot for the computer – even though we couldn’t quite work out what it was supposed to be. Guide this strange fellow across the road to the ski shop before darting back and taking to the piste.


Xevious

From the very start arcade games have been all about shooting, dodging and shooting some more, and Xevious is an iconic shoot-‘em-up from an era when many arcade games still took place on just one screen. Commanding the spacecraft Solvalou, it’s your job to repel an alien menace (the devious Xevious) that threatens to take over the world. With its dual-level shooting and huge bosses, Xevious is a true legend of arcade games.


Arcadia

Finally for the year of 1982 we have Arcadia, a feverish shoot-‘em-up from Liverpool’s Imagine Software. Armed with dual plasma disruptor guns and powered by an ion thrust drive, it’s time to repel the aliens once more, although these are some odd-looking invaders! Each wave releases another strange manner of foe – how many can you discover? Challenge accepted!

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