The development of console games and of mobile gaming may make many forget about some of the classic games of yesteryear, but that is such a shame. Especially when you consider that many popular games of generations gone by have improved and modernised throughout the decades.
In this article, we pay homage to some of those classic old gaming staples, whilst also showing you how they’ve evolved to appeal to a younger demographic of players. Be sure to use the comments section below to let us know which classic games you used to spend your evenings playing.
This classic casino card game has been enjoyed by players all over the globe for centuries. Many historians believe that the game had already been played for well over a century by the time of its first recorded mention in 1602.
The game which is either known by the names “blackjack”, “pontoon” or a linguistic variation of “twenty-one” appears to have originated either in England or Spain, from where it quickly spread across the European continent.
When European colonists moved into the Americas they brought their customs with them, including the popular game of blackjack. By the time of the Declaration of Independence, blackjack had become one of the most popular card games in North America.
Nowadays it remains incredibly popular, not just in casinos throughout North America but in casinos all over the world. In the last 15 years or so the game has enjoyed a new period of popularity with online blackjack services proving popular with remote gamblers.
In 1884 several Republicans turned their backs on James G. Blaine to set up their own political party known as the Anti-Monopoly Party. Led by the congressman and amateur scientist Ignatius L. Donnelly the party sought to put forward its aims of fair trade to prevent rampant capitalism from monopolising world markets.
One of their most ardent followers was Lizzie Maggie, the woman who created the game “Monopoly” as an educational tool to highlight the destructive impacts of monopolies and unfettered capitalism.
Rather counterintuitively her game became a hit with players who relished the idea of monopolising the fictional market and owning as much of the board as possible. Within forty years of the game’s 1903 inception it had become a global sensation.
In the 90s, the board game was bought by Hasbro who have, in recent years attempted to adapt the classic game to the modern market. There is now a Monopoly app available on both Apple and Android devices which has been downloaded by millions of players across the planet.
Plans for an improved Pokémon GO style app are also in the offing for Monopoly, so watch this space for future advances to the long and storied game.
It wouldn’t be right to reference this classic game in the last section without paying homage to its modern comeback.
The very first Pokémon game was created in 1996 by Satoshi Tajiri, Ken Sugimori and Junichi Masuda and was in fact, originally known as “Pocket Monsters Red and Green”.
Initially launched in Japan, the game’s success was enough to persuade decision makers to expand into overseas territories. Within just a few years Pokémon mania had taken over the world, there was a cartoon spin-off and a movie in the offing.
In the 5 years following the game’s initial release, it became the second-best selling video game of all-time, selling 380 million copies worldwide. Ten years after the release of the first GameBoy game, the mobile game Pokémon Go was launched.
This augmented reality game was an instant success with fans and remains popular to this day with an estimated 100 million plus active, monthly players as well as a total revenue of $6 billion. Talks of an improved re-release of the original game have got the pulses racing of Pokémon fans all over the planet.
If you stepped into a time machine and set the destination for 1960s northern England, you would step out of your transtemperal vehicle into a very different country to the one that you live in today.
Through the coal-fuelled smog, you would make your way down the high street, passing independent electronics shops selling FM radios and newsagents advertising pop and sweets for a fraction of something called a ‘D’.
If you explore further you would find a throng of people queuing up to get into the hottest spot in town – the local bingo hall. Believe it or not, in the 1960s more people visited their local bingo hall each weekend than attended all four divisions of the English football league.
By the turn of the Millennium, the game’s popularity had dramatically waned, but in recent years it has made a comeback thanks to the success of online bingo sites. In the UK there are now an estimated 2 million active bingo players, with the figure expected to grow significantly in the years to come.
The exact origins of chess are a cause for debate, although most agree that the modern game took its inspiration from the ancient Chinese game Xiangqi.
The game as we know it though took its form in the 15th century in Southern Europe from where it spread northwards into the rest of Europe.
The glory days of chess were in the 20th century when the game became a theological battleground between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The Soviets largely dominated the game, although the US did produce several world-class players.
In the 1990s the invention of several AI programs capable of beating the world’s best players adversely affected the popularity of the game. Efforts to bring chess to an online audience went some way to restoring the game’s appeal though.
Netflix’s incredibly popular series “The Queen’s Gambit” sparked a renaissance for chess last year, helping to sell hundreds of thousands of chess boards around the world and boost online playing numbers.
Do you have fond memories of any of the games mentioned above? Is there a better game that you think we’ve missed out on? Let us know below!