Video Games Day Reflections: Four Comic Strip Console Classicsby Caleb Goellner
Video Games Day is one contentious holiday in terms of where it falls on the calendar. Some say it's in September, others argue that it's in July. For the sake of showing you some classic games based on your favorite GoComics series, we fall into the latter camp. I mean, we don't need a reason to walk you through wild relics of the early gaming era that was the 1980s, but it sure does help brace you for playthrough videos that are equal parts painful and pleasing.
Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal
Garfield Go may be all the rage at the moment, but 30 years ago there was only one Garf game in town: Garfield: Big Fat Hairy Deal. And it was a big, fat, and also hairy deal! It was the very first computer game to feature Jim Davis's cast of cats, dogs and humans. Released on the Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and the Amiga, G:BFHD saw Garfield search for his girlfriend Arlene -- mostly in sewers. The gameplay looks pretty unforgiving and the music is fairly repetitive, so I personally prefer Towa Chiki's 1989 Japanese exclusive, A Week of Garfield (but only because Garfield faces down alley cats with knives).
Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular
Like with Garfield, there are a TON of Peanuts games -- principally starring Snoopy. 1988's Snoopy's Silly Sports Spectacular (A+ alliteration) wasn't the first to exist, but it was the first one that's much fun to play. The first game, the 1984 Commodore 64 title Snoopy is notable for being full of skulls, which is cool but not enough to cover for its lackluster entertianment value. The second game, Snoopy and the Red Baron, is kind of a typical licensed Atari 2600 mess. Though SSSS had the benefit of simply reskinning a successful Japanese Donald Duck NES game (itself a port of a 1987 game called Alternative World Games), its graphics and straightforward gameplay represented a major leap from previous titles. Besides, who can resist beating Snoopy's cousin Spike in sack races or pushing out of a gondala? Four-year-old Caleb G., that's who.
B.C.'s Quest for Tires
Dropping on PC's and essentially every other gaming console that was around at the moment in 1983, B.C.'s Quest for Tires is a little before my time... I suppose you could say the "B.C." stands for "Before Caleb," even. Nonetheless, it looks like a pretty solid release for the time period, capturing creator Johnny Hart's art about as well as that era's pixel density could. Its gameplay takes advantage of B.C.-specific lore, with players taking control of protagonist Thor as he cruises around prehistoric Earth on a B.C. Wheel AKA an "Impossible Wheel" in search for his kidnapped girlfriend. Though more of an animatic than a proper action-based game, Quest for Tires was popular enough to get a sequel in 1984 dubbed B.C. II: Grog's Revenge.
Andy Capp: The Game
They made an Andy Capp game and his health is represented by a, that's right, "Alcometer." That's all you really need to know about this Blitter Animations title, which dropped around Christmas in 1987 for the Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, and ZX Spectrum.