l: ‘space panic’, 1981 r: ‘pac-man’, 1980 -81

platform games arcade game producer universal (not the movie studio) gives birth to one of the most venerable categories in gaming history with ‘space panic‘, the first platform game, released in 1981. platform games generally deal with the player climbing ladders and running across platform levels, avoiding bad guys and other life-ending objects. in ‘space panic’, the enemies are little evil space-apples intent on taking a bite out of the hero’s backside. luckily, the protagonist is armed with a shovel that seems to be able to dig through solid brick, allowing him to trap the aliens in holes that can then be filled in, dispatching them. he must, however, keep an eye on the oxygen level, which will asphyxiate him if it runs out. this game is the basis for about a million console games.