Official voting has now ended (but people can still vote unofficially if they like).
The 1984 game of the year is Duck Hunt.
The runner up is Punch Out!!
The master thread for all of these contests can be found here.
What do you believe to be the "Game of the Year" for 1984 and why? Also, vote on "Game of the Year" for 1984.
This Pacific-set, WWII shmup was the first arcade game released by Capcom in the US. Considering that the developers of 1942 were Japanese, it is ironic that the plane is supposed to be a US plane on a mission to attack the Japanese fleet (allegedly). 1942 went on to be a hit in the arcades and had many ports including an NES port that sold over 1 million copies.
Marble Madness (Arcade)
Mark Cerny dropped out of college to work for Atari at age 18. At 20, he was the lead designer for his first hit game, Marble Madness. This trackball game was ported to many home computers in the mid 80’s (and eventually to several home and handheld consoles), but the quality of controls varies wildly from one version to the next. For example, the Amiga version was very well reviewed, but the Amiga was also one of the earliest computers to adopt the mouse as a common technology.
Punch Out!! (Arcade)
The beginning entry in another one of Nintendo’s long-running beloved franchises. Genyo Takeda was the designer, but the artist on this game was Shigeru Miyamoto. It was also the debut project for music designer Koji Kondo. Punch Out!! was the top performing arcade game of 1984 in the US. It also had a sequel Super Punch Out!! which released the same year.
Bruce Lee (Home Computers)
Play as Bruce Lee in this platformer for home computers. Bruce Lee was included in the ZX Spectrum compilation “They Sold a Million II” implying that the game had sold at least 1 million copies across all platforms.
Elite (BBC Micro/Acorn Electron)
A pair of British developers created this 3D space trading game. It’s initial success was on the BBC Micro was so good that it lead to a bidding war among publishers to bring the game to other platforms. Exact numbers are uncertain, but it is estimated Elite sold around 1 million units across all platforms. Elite was also a huge influence on games like GTA, Eve Online and No Man’s Sky, and it is commonly ranked highly among Greatest PC game lists and Greatest Retro game lists including #1 “Top Retro Game” by Retro Gamer in 2004.
Activision started making games for computers after the console market cratered including this game based on the hit movie from the same year. Ghostbusters, the video game, went on to sell over 3 million copies across all platforms.
King’s Quest (PC/Apple II)
Roberta Williams designs the first title in her long running Adventure game series. King’s Quest was ported to many home computer systems, but was conspicuously left off the C64, the most popular computer at the time, because its graphical capabilities were too limited. Exact numbers are unclear, but the entire King’s Quest series is estimated to have sold 3.8 million copies.
Duck Hunt (NES/Arcade)
In 1973 Gunpei Yokoi developed the Laser Clay Shooting system where targets could be shot using a movie projector and a light gun. In 1984, Yokoi had developed a light gun that could shoot targets on a TV screen. Several light gun games were released in 1984, the most notable of these being Duck Hunt. An arcade version was released shortly afterward where it was actually possible to shoot the damn dog in a bonus stage if you really felt like you had to. Duck Hunt proved to be hugely popular (both at home and in arcade) and became a common pack-in game on the NES selling 28.3 million copies total.
Shigeru Miyamoto develops a racing game which ends up being a long running series for Nintendo. Like Duck Hunt, Excitebike was developed for the home and then ported to the arcade shortly thereafter. The side-scrolling game engine in Excitebike later inspired the game engine for Super Mario Bros. The arcade version of Excitebike was very popular and the NES version went on to sell over 4 million copies.
Other (please specify)
If you think another games deserves to be "Game of the Year" 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.
The winner of this vote will be decided Thursday, Sept 14 at 11:59 EST.Last edited by The_Liquid_Laser - on 15 September 2023