Pong: The game that was never meant to be

Pong pongwas the video game industry’s equivalent of the Big Bang. Without it, it’s impossible to know where – or if – things would be today.

That makes it all the more remarkable to hear that Pong was never meant to be seen by the public.

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Missile Command record falls after 31 years

If missile-command-recordEarth ever comes under alien attack, we can rest easy knowing that Victor Sandberg is on our side.

Sandberg came out of nowhere this weekend to apparently shatter one of gaming’s oldest records: the 31-year old high score for the coin-op classic Missile Command.

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New Space Invaders champ doubles previous record

If Earth is ever attacked by waves of slow-marching aliens, Richie Knucklez might be humanity’s greatest hope.

While he’s been playing Space Invaders since he was 11 years old, the Flemington, NJ arcade owner had the best game of his life earlier this month. The best game, in fact, of anyone’s life.

Read more at Yahoo! Games

‘Frogger’ turns 30

After years spent dodging countless cars, hopping across millions of floating logs and gobbling an untold number of flies, Frogger has made the jump into his 30s.

Yup, it was this day in 1981 when the coin-op classic first leapt into gamers’ lives, inspiring plenty of clones and a legacy of sequels that’s still going strong today.

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App Review: Blobster

A game inspired by the BP oil spill may not sound like a good time, but Blobster resists the urge to be preachy and focuses instead on fun. It’s not a perfect game, but it ticks off enough checkmarks to be worth your time. The graphics are cute and draw you in. The puzzles are challenging, but not too difficult, and it even gives clever nods to the kings of the genre — Angry Birds and Doodle Jump. The lack of a musical soundtrack is a bit curious, though. And the storyline feels forced, even though most players will skip right past it to start playing. There’s plenty of variety among the levels and there are 40 to enjoy.

Read more at Common Sense Media

App Review: Roboto

While Roboto has some control issues that might have you pulling out your hair from time to time, there’s no denying this is a very well done platform game. Graphically gorgeous, this app offers some truly fun twists (like areas where gravity is reversed). The game’s late ramp up in difficulty is a bit unexpected, though, and actually detracts from the pleasure of playing — especially when coupled with less than responsive controls. Still, there’s plenty to do in each level and the game certainly doesn’t rush you through it, boasting 30 levels. It’s not perfect, but it’s  darned good.

App Review: Hungry Chicks

If you’ve grown wary of any game that hints at “birds” in the title, you’re hardly to blame, but Hungry Chicks isn’t a knock-off of Angry BirdsIt’s actually a fun, though ultimately forgettable, bite-sized gaming diversion. The game, tailored for the iPhone and iPod Touch, is more complex and challenging than it seems at first glance, adding a second bird to the mix after a few levels, which forces players to collect the right number of worms for their specific nests. The controls are a bit odd and take some getting used to, but work well enough. And avoiding the obstacles can be a fun brain-teaser. It’s not a game you’ll find yourself raving about, but it’s one you may find yourself playing to pass the time — and since it’s cheap, it’s a safe investment.

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App Review: Pocket God: Journey to Uranus

While the original Pocket God was an amusing experiment in cartoon torture (and a terrific guilty pleasure), Pocket God: Journey To Uranus falls a bit short. There are a few new ways to torment the pygmies who stare in awe at the worlds you drag them to and, once again, there’s an infinite supply of them, but the real thrust of the game is the three mini-games — clones of the arcade classics Joust and Tempest as well as a remake of the “flick the pygmies into the volcano” game from previous installments. They’re fun remakes, but there are plenty of other clones of those games about. And with a series this popular, you’d expect the fun factor to be ramped up — or at least for there to be more to do in the game. It’s a buck well spent for enormous fans of the series, but easily bypassed by others.

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App Review: Jet Car Stunts

Like some of the best arcade games of the 1980s, Jet Car Stunts is an over-the-top joyride, filled with ridiculously loopy tracks and jumps that no sane man would ever attempt in the real world. Then again, most real-world cars don’t come with a jet pack strapped to the back. It’s a game that might take a short while to master, but one that big-air/racing fans will find themselves playing again and again to rack up high scores. If you’re having trouble in the early part of the game, though, do yourself a favor and walk away, as the game only gets harder, ultimately reaching a point where it seemingly wants to frustrate you.

Read more at Common Sense Media