In the begining of the video game age you had games like Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Defender and many others. Many smaller game developlers released copies or clones as we call them of the popular games that were out at the time. Like Pac-Muncher(Pac-Man), Empire Strikes Back on the Atari 2600(Defender) and Arkanoid(Breakout). Are they better games? Lets have a look.
Double Dragon (Technōs) cemented what side scrolling beat’em ups should be like. I’ve always loved the slow down in the game once too many enemies are on screen. I thought it always added that special charm.
Then you have the clones and to be honest it’s not a word I like using as some of the games mentioned have there own style of play but the core is still derived from the main games presented.
Final Fight (Capcom) added the nice touch giving the enemies a power bar. It was nice knowing how long they had left for you to kick their ass. Three different players were able to be chosen with their own special abilities.
Crime Fighters (Konami) One of my fav’s, Was just awesome that you could just pick up a gun and shoot away. This was also a 4 player game and was released the same year as TMNT. Due to them realesing the same year Crime Fighters hardly got noticed. It’s sad that this game never got a home port.
TMNT (Konami) Who dosen’t want to play as the Heroes in a Half Shell? Some More 4 player fun.
Golden Axe (Sega) Beat’em up’s are not just about Street Fighting. Magic and Barbarian’s is where this is at. Golden Axe also had three different characters to choose from with each of them with special magical powers.
Undercover Cops (Irem) Who needs knives and swords when you can use a piller to knock people out? Sweet 3 player game but can get very hard. The Japanese were lucky enough to get a Snes home port but the western world was left out (Are you surprised?)
Super Sprint (Atari) is a successor to Gran Trak 10 but also paved the way for multi-player racing fun. Weather your playing on a arcade cab or the C64 version it’s a game that still brings so much pleasure to play.
Ivan “Iron Man” Stewart’s Super Off Road (Virgin Games) Much in the same vain as Super Sprint but with upgrades and turbo boosts!
Super Cars (Gremlin) Has the same feel of the above, but tracks are a lot bigger seeing the screen isn’t fixed on the whole track. I recommend playing the Amiga 500 version.
Badlands (Atari) Is a futuristic spiritual successor to Atari’s previous racing games Super Sprint and Championship Sprint. This game was released on all Pc’s back in the day like the Dos, Commodore and Atari computers and most are faithful ports.
I will cover more genres in future. Just because a game is a clone dosen’t mean it can’t be any good!