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Forums - Gaming Discussion - 1985, Game of the Year


1985, Game of the Year

Gauntlet 1 1.82%
Gradius 2 3.64%
Paperboy 0 0%
Space Harrier 1 1.82%
Tetris 10 18.18%
The Bard's Tale 1 1.82%
Ultima IV 0 0%
Carmen Sandiago 0 0%
Super Mario Bros 40 72.73%
Other (please specify) 0 0%

Grudgingly giving it to Mario, despite the Sega fanboy I am. I do love my Hang On.

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Yeah, thats Super Mario Bros. Just a very important game. Shout-out to Tetris though.

Voted for Space Harrier since I enjoyed it the most and its one of the first 16bit arcade games. Plus, it's one of the earliest games that has a really memorable soundtrack. Hang On is a close second for many of the same reasons.

Obviously, SMB kills the competition here. It was such a refined platformer. My second choice is gradius

Even though I think Tetris is the better game, I have to pick Mario, simply because Tetris became big years later, whereas Mario was a killer app from the get go.

You know it deserves the GOTY.

Come join The 2018 Obscure Game Monthly Review Thread.

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Yeah - NES Mario is probably the only game that could beat Tetris!

Super Mario Bros easily lol

I have to give it to Tetris as that made it all the way to VR!

I also played Tetris a lot more than SMB. First on PC, later on Gameboy, and so many different versions played. I also made a version myself which actually got sold as part of the Widget leisure pack for the Ericsson MC218 in 1999.

It was just me doodling on Friday afternoons after the work on Streetplanner (which we later turned into TomTom Navigator) for Psion Series 5 was done. My boss liked it, made the background with the company logo back then (Palmtop software, hence Palmtris) and I recorded some sound samples from Laserdisc movies at home to use as sound effects. Fun to find it again, although I don't have the hardware anymore.

Of course SMB is just as influential and not losing any steam. Can't wait to play Mario Wonder!

Biggest Cultural Impact: It's a relatively close call here between the original Super Mario Bros. and Tetris, like so many are saying. Tetris gave us the matching-based puzzle game genre that has since transformed innumerable people into gamers (and also wound up being my mom's favorite title back around the turn of the century when she finally discovered it). That said, Super Mario Bros. wins in this category for me in that, frankly, it's the game that saved console gaming in North America and invented the scrolling platformer, both of which I can't help appreciating even more. And oh yeah, also launched best-selling video game franchise in history. That minor accomplishment too.

My Favorite Game: My favorite game from this year is unrelated to the above though, honestly. It's a little, oft-forgotten title called A Mind Forever Voyaging, which was the first environmental simulation game (or "walking sim" if you prefer the pejorative) ever made. A Mind Forever Voyaging was a text-based game that was very much the creation of Steve Meretzky, who was given full liberty to do whatever he wanted with his next project after the success of Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and this stark sci-fi commentary on Reaganism and where it might ultimately lead was the result. It would be impossible to communicate to someone much younger than me just how much of a grip Reaganism and neoliberal economics used to have on American culture before the 2008 financial crisis, but it was absolutely pervasive to the point that contemporaneous film parodies like Robo Cop felt like only mild exaggerations of where it could lead to me, and those of us who felt that way were decidedly in the minority. The game, set in 2031, has you taking on the role of the world's first sentient computer, who is tasked by its creator to run a simulation of an influential senator's "Plan for Renewed National Purpose" projecting what the results would look like at various ten-year intervals in the future and, through some legitimately interesting twists and turns, your efforts ultimately disgrace the senator and yield a rejection of the plan. A Mind Forever Voyaging proved to be a commercial flop and Meretzky and Infocom returned to making more conventional games in the years that followed. It's too bad because it was among the most powerful games of its time and holds up strikingly well all in all, especially for its format. It's one of my favorite games ever.

Other personal favorites of mine released in 1985 included the Cold War simulation game Balance of Power and the "Satanic panic" response PR game Ultima IV for its innovative and meaningful game play that rendered it my favorite entry in the Ultima franchise. Although the American launch of the NES is usually what people think of when they first think of gaming in 1985, the merits of contemporaneous computer gaming are not to be underestimated for my taste!

Last edited by Jaicee - on 15 September 2023

Tetris for me, never been a big Mario fan. Paperboy was nice too.