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Forums - Gaming Discussion - 1970's, Game of the Decade


Which game is the 1970's "Game of the Decade"?

The Oregon Trail (1971) 5 8.77%
Pong (1972) 11 19.30%
Breakout! (1976) 4 7.02%
Colossal Cave Adventure (1976) 1 1.75%
Combat (1977) 0 0%
Zork (1977) 1 1.75%
Space Invaders (1978) 24 42.11%
Asteroids (1979) 7 12.28%
Galaxian (1979) 3 5.26%
Other (please specify) 1 1.75%

Official voting has now ended (but people can still vote unofficially if they like).

The 1970's game of the decade is Space Invaders (1978).
The runner up is Pong (1972).
The master thread for all of these contests can be found here.

What do you believe to be the "Game of the Decade" for the 1970's and why?  Also, vote on what you believe to be the "Game of the Decade" for the 1970's.  

The Oregon Trail (1971, Minicomputer)
Edutainment is older than Pong!  The Oregon Trail was originally a text-based game designed to teach 8th graders about this period of American history.  Since then it has seen many different versions and has been ported to many different formats, most of them computer platforms.  The Oregon Trail also happens to be the most fun way to watch all of your friends die by a deadly disease.

Pong (1972, Arcade)
The game that launched the video game industry.  Nolen Bushnell founded Atari after working one summer at a carnival.  He got the idea to take video games like the types he saw on mainframe computers and make them accessible to everyone by putting them into coin operated machines like the mechanical ones he oversaw at the carnival.  However, it was his first employee, Al Alcorn, who developed the game Pong.  Bushnell told him to make a ping pong game, but he secretly just thought of it as a practice assignment.  Alcorn did such a good job with the assignment that Bushnell changed his mind and decided to see how it would do as an arcade game in a local pub.  The next day, the pub contacted Atari stating that the game was malfunctioning.  When they went to fix it, they found that the problem was the machine was overstuffed with quarters.  After taking all of the quarters out, the game worked fine again, and Atari saw that they had an unexpected hit on their hands.  The next several years of the game industry are largely defined by Pong arcade revenue, Pong clones and home versions of Pong.  The video game industry had officially begun.

Breakout (1976, Arcade)
A single player version of Pong.  However, this is also the game that created the home computer.  At one point Bushnell had assigned the design of this game to a young Atari employee named Steve Jobs.  For every microchip that he could remove from the design, he'd get a $100 bonus.  Jobs had his friend, Steve Wozniak, work on the design and Wozniak managed to remove 50 chips giving Jobs a $5000 bonus!  In working on this design, Wozniak also got the idea to create the first home computer, which lead to founding the company known as Apple.  Also Jobs lied to Wozniak about the exact amount of the bonus (telling him it was something like $500 instead of $5000), and he only game Wozniak a small amount as his cut.  Not only was Steve Jobs the most influential person of the past 50 years, but he was also kind of a dick.

Colossal Cave Adventure (1976, Mainframe)
This text-based adventure game was a favorite among people who had access to mainframe computers at the time.  It inspired many other games in the Adventure genre.

Combat (1977, Atari 2600)
This game was actually a collection of many minigames where two people fight each other in a tank, a biplane, or a jet.  It was bundled with most versions of the Atari 2600.

Zork (1977, Mainframe)
Zork is a text-based Adventure game originally developed from mainframe computers in 1977.  Eventually it grew into a popular series of Zork games that were sold on home computers.

Space Invaders (1978, Arcade)
In 1972, Pong became hugely successful in the US and started spreading to other countries like Japan.  In 1978, Japan returned the favor by invading the US with their own game, Space Invaders.  Space Invaders because a huge success, even surpassing Pong.  By 1982 Space Invaders had grossed $3.8 billion ($13 billion adjusted to 2021 dollars) making it the highest grossing entertainment product of any kind up to that point in time.  It also was ported to the Atari 2600 in 1980 selling over 6 million copies.  Most importantly, the release of Space Invaders marks the beginning of the Golden Era of Arcades.  There was a 6-year gap between the release of Pong and Space Invaders.  However, once Space Invaders released there were a whole string of hit games released from both American and Japanese game publishers during the late 70's and early 80s.

Asteroids (1979, Arcade)
Asteroids is the next hit arcade game from Atari and it also uses vector graphics.  It was later ported to the Atari 2600 where it sold over 3 million copies.

Galaxian (1979, Arcade)
This highly profitable game was Namco's answer to Space Invaders.  Unlike Space Invaders the game comes in full color.  The sequel to this game is Galaga.

Other (please specify)
If you think another games deserves to be "Game of the Decade" other than one of the 9 I listed above, then please vote other and say your game in the comments.  If the "Other" category takes at least 2nd place and no other game gets at least 50% of the vote, then I will do a runoff vote including the most mentioned game(s) from the comments.

This is the first of several "Game of the Decade" and "Game of the Year" threads I plan to do.  The next one will be "Game of the Year" for 1980.  The 70's are pretty sparse on games overall though so I started with this "Game of the Decade" thread.

(Also, I must have missed the "close poll" option when making this thread.  Whichever game is leading at the end of Monday Sept 4, EST is the game that I will declare the winner.)

Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 08 September 2023

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Thats a tough one. I mean Pong kinda started it all, but I voted for Space Invaders. I think that title just gave alot of people the idea of what gaming could be.

Also it made Japan have a Yen coin shortage because of it. Thats crazy.

Pong. It defined it's decade of gaming.

Astroids is still fun. I played it a fair bit on a Vectrex in the 80s. Pong is the most important. Oregon Trail didn't become what we know it to be until the 80s on an Apple II-E

Bite my shiny metal cockpit!

Hmm, this is tougher than I expected now I see a list. Pong, Breakout, Space Invaders, Asteroids, and Galaxian are all pretty even for me.

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Asteroids is probably one of the few games of that time that are still relatively enjoyable to play.






Space Invaders is the most iconic to me and now I really want to play Space Invaders Infinity Gene again!

Have to say, that I never thought Asteroids would this popular. Interesting results so far.

Wow didn't know Oregon Trail came out that early! Hard not to say Pong, but Breakout was pretty great as well.

I would like to vote for Colossal Cave Adventure, since it spawned so many computer adventure games in 80s, and that is what I liked to play the most back then, but I can't deny the importance of Space Invaders (although I prefer Galaxian way more) for what it was - so, Space Invaders is my pick.