Games we loved as kids
This week the gaming community lost a true asset. Nintendo's President, Saturo Iwata, passed away, leaving behind an incredible legacy that impacted on so many of our childhoods. Not only was Iwata a figure of humility and humour, but he genuinely loved games, and a journey through the many 'Iwata Asks' interviews reveals secrets and anecdotes about some of Nintendo's most-loved games and consoles of all time.
This got us thinking about our most memorable early gaming experiences. A quick poll around the office revealed some surprising entries and unearthed a lot of childhood nostalgia.
Whether it was spending quality time with a Game & Watch or being besotted with a ZX Spectrum, most of us have fond memories of video games.
Those of you under the age of 20 can use this as a history exercise, or even a guide to games you should emulate, so you can look much cooler in a few decades when others are getting misty-eyed over memories of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
1. Puck Monster
I cut my fingers on the ill-advisedly rippled joystick on "Puck Monster", a handheld Pac-man ripoff. And I stole a Game and Watch from someone at school and played that. I also stole some kind of handheld Galaxians ripoff from someone else at school. I was a kleptomaniac as a child, basically.
Duncan Bell - Wearables editor, TechRadar
2. Commodore Amiga 500+
My earliest gaming moment was Bart Versus the Space Mutants for the Commodore Amiga 500+ in 1991. Its clever intro was the first time I'd ever seen video rendered on anything other than a TV, which was mind-blowing. I was five. The game itself was an insanely punishing side scroller - I don't think I ever made it past the second level.
Kane Fulton - Computing Editor, TechRadar
3. Binatone Master M8
Mine was the Binatone TV Master Mk 8 (the pic actually shows the M6 because we couldn't find an M8 so maybe Patrick has one tucked away), but also strong is Thru the Wall (a breakout clone that came on the included tape) on a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. And the genuine belief of someone at school that if he could hum the noise the tape deck made when it loaded a game then he wouldn't need a tape.
Patrick Goss - Global Editor-In-Chief, TechRadar
4. Commodore Vic 20
My earliest gaming memory was playing a Pong clone on some wood-panelled machine, which had three different game modes, but it was when my Commodore Vic 20 appeared on the scene where it got serious. Coding Death Race 2000 into it from a book so me and my big brother could get in on some pixel-smashing, pre-school GTA vibes will always stay with me.
Dave James - Home Tech Editor, TechRadar
5. Bart vs Space Mutants
Got the Amiga A500+, my first computer, for Christmas which came with a number of cartoon-inspired games, including Bart Simpson vs The Space Mutants. On the first day back at school after the holidays I excitedly told my classmates about this game, which amazed everybody as we'd heard about The Simpsons being this awesome cartoon from the US, but no one had actually seen it. These were the days when everything from the US was instantly cool. I was talk of the classroom that day. The game itself was ridiculously difficult, and I finally completed the second stage about 13 years later.
Matthew Hanson - Phones and Tablets, TechRadar
6. Western Bar
Game and Watch 'Western Bar' by Nintendo. Standard gaming consoles were far too expensive in Mauritius so had to fall back on G&W. Spent hours playing on that one despite it being a fairly linear, thumb numbing game.
Désiré Athow - Editor, TechRadar Pro
7. Sim City
My first ever computer game was Sim City. I remember the box it arrived in, an old fashioned TV made up the artwork and the sheer excitement of popping in the floppy disk and booting it up for the first time was incredible. It had moving cars (read: tiny white rectangles), awesome disasters and those graphics… well, I was in love.
John McCann - Phones and Tablets Deputy Editor, TechRadar
Playing masses of Civ on our first family PC. Get absolutely wrecked, Napoleon, I am making the Manhattan Project.
Sarah Ditum - Production editor, Tech content team
My first memory has to be playing Track and Field for NES at a friends house when I was about 5 years old. It was a blast, especially after realizing we could slap the play pad way faster than we could stomp on it.
Joe Osborne - Senior editor, TechRadar
10. Duck Hunt
Mine was Duck Hunt in a local department store in 1989. I loved it so much - I got a NES that Christmas with Super Mario and Duck Hunt on it, and I can still feel that sense of wonder now when I think about it. However, my Mum got addicted to Mario too and when it came to me buying another game for my birthday I had to check she would like it too. I ended up with Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles in the end, because I had the handheld and loved it.
Gareth Beavis - Phone and Tablets editor, TechRadar
Trying to beat Legend of Zelda with my mother rooting me on. It was a major bonding experience for us. I never thought I'd get beyond the burning shrubs, but she was really invested in my progress and I wanted to make her proud.
Juan Martinez - Senior Editor, TechRadar Pro
I was actually lucky I got into gaming. My mom and dad bought my sister and me an original Game Boy as a surprise gift. Around that time, my three-year-old hands could barely hold the hulking device, but I vividly remember playing Tetris and Spot: The Cool Adventure (based on 7-Up's then mascot) and having a blast. Now, I play video games every day. Thanks mom and dad!
Cameron Faulkner - Assistant Editor, TechRadar
It's hard to pinpoint my very first gaming memory - Star Wars: Dark Forces, Pokemon and the SNES all mix together as one nostalgic cluster of childhood happiness - but I think my fondest was getting the original Game Boy and playing Kirby's Dream Land. It was the first Kirby game and HAL Laboratory's most successful title at the time. A little bland compared to most modern day platformers, given, but the gameplay was fun (Kirby could FLY), the protagonist adorable as hell, and the music absolutely wonderful. The Green Greens tune is an earworm that's never really gone away.
Hugh Langley - Associate Editor, TechRadar