Although new video games are still hyped up in today’s society, recent events have led to a renewed interest in nostalgic board games and decades-old concepts. In fact, the legendary game console maker Atari has recently announced its groundbreaking initiative to launch some of its most famous games on the blockchain platform — talk about mixing the old with the new.
Along with the rise of vintage fashion trends and vinyl records, a desire to return to the good old days have enabled these offerings to be introduced to new generations and take their well-deserved position in the spotlight:
Games like bingo are becoming more trendy with the Millennial generation, as they are revitalized with new terminology and fun themes. Take for instance the reimagining of Lotería, a card game, sometimes described as Mexican bingo. In a fun parody, creative director Mike Alforo has updated traditional cards like ‘La Calavera,’ the skull, with tongue-in-cheek references, like ‘El Gluten’. For a more traditional take on the game, Cheeky Bingo describes how the 75-ball variant is one of the most popular versions in America, consisting of a 5x5 grid of numbers. In contrast, 90-ball bingo is more well-known in the United Kingdom, made from a 3x9 grid. Either way, this retro game is growing in popularity once more and is guaranteed to bring out everyone’s competitive nature.
The little yellow monster known for munching little dots actually turned 40-years-old on May 22 of this year. Created by Toru Iwatani for the Japanese game-maker Namco, Pac-Man eventually became a resounding success when it was released in America in 1980. From arcades to gaming consoles, cereal boxes, and toys, he allegedly was the first pop-culture character to be derived from any video game. Unlike many violent or overly complex games nowadays, its cute characters and simple graphics make it a welcome change for new and old gamers. Contributing to its widespread popularity, Namco recently offered Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 for free over several weeks to encourage people to stay at home during the pandemic.
A timeless classic that’s probably in everyone’s board game stash, Monopoly’s never really left the gaming scene. There are over 1,000 versions of the game, paying tribute to television shows like ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Stranger Things’. They even have a ‘Cheater’s Edition’, which encourages you to break the rules to live that capitalist dream. From newer card game variants like ‘Monopoly Deal’ and even ‘Monopoly for Millennials’, they’re clearly masters of appealing to niche audiences and the universal human need to accumulate land. More recently, the ‘Ms. Monopoly’ version has been surrounded by controversy, with some female-centric rules such as female players starting the game $400 more than males, and also get $240 for passing “GO,” while men receive the typical $200.
At 35-years-old, Super Mario’s iconic character spawned over 200 video game titles. With racing spinoffs like ‘Super Mario Kart’ and the party classic ‘Super Smash Bros.’, Nintendo’s creation is one of the most beloved in gaming history. With the cheerful premise of the plumber saving the princess and having to do battle along the way, it’s pretty much all about timing and speed. Unlike some highly challenging games today, it starts you off at a manageable level and makes you feel good about yourself as the difficulty is ramped up little by little. You also don’t have to read a lengthy instruction manual to start with, because it’s incredibly intuitive. Whether it’s trying out the original version in all its 8-bit glory, or marveling at the newest 3D offerings, Super Mario will always have a place in our hearts.
At the end of it all, the retro gaming movement is probably here to stay. Revisiting your childhood favorites and introducing them to your kids is something that’s never going to get old. The good news is that reboots, new versions, and faithful recreations of old games are constantly being released so you’ll never run out of content.