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Unearthing Gaming’s Hidden Gems: 20 lost games that made a significant contribution to the industry

In this post:

  • The genres of games like Colossal Cave Adventure and Body Harvest which we are aware of today were the fundamentals of the games themselves.
  • In contrast with all the major names that survived the test of time, games like The Manhole and Neverwinter Nights were able to generate gameplay mechanics that are still used by modern developers.
  • The game heroes such as Herzog Zwei to Infiniminer whom no one writes about had a significant role to play in the creation of the gaming structure that we now know and love.

The videogame history books quite frequently are overflowing with great era-defining testimonials, like the icons of the past or the revolutionary titles that for a long time have shaped the industry. And although there is a lot of noise around these cluttered known games, there is a rich store of hidden gems, the forgotten titles that, regardless of the fact of their obscurity, made a significant contribution to the gaming landscape we are familiar of. 

Colossal Cave Adventure (1976/1977)

Run by the title Colossal Cave Adventure, it was the first to use the way of gameplay that is open-ended, and introduced such things as cheat codes, which meant that following its success, some games were now computer RPGs and adventure titles.

Death Race (1976)

Even though the game depicts debatable content, Death Race was a remarkable issue at the time which contributed to debates on violence and also influenced the setup of the ESRB and the creation of similar games such as Mortal Kombat.

NATO Commander (1983)

Simultaneously dealing with both the intricacies of warfare and diplomacy, the game became the progenitor of the game mechanics that are prevalent in later titles, such as Civilization.

Tower of Dragogue (1984).

An early example of action RPGs, The Tower of Druaga was indeed the pioneer of real-time combat mechanics that would ultimately lead to well-known games like The Legend of Zelda which was instrumental in shifting the genre’s direction.

Little Computer People (1985)

The Little Computer People looks like a simple game, but it changed the way we think about serious simulation and the interaction of the players in gaming. Thus, The Sims was ‘inspired’ by Little Computer People.

Starflight (1986)

As the predecessor to the Mass Effect series, Starflight was the first videogame that permitted players to travel through a substantial sci-fi universe for exploration, breaking the grounds for trendsetting narratives and world creation in the gaming industry.

Power Drift (1988)

This undisputed first installment in the genre of kart racing paved the way for future genre games while being seconded by the later releases of Super Mario Kart.

The Manhole (1988)

Myst’s heart, indeed, The Manhole has brought up the experience-rich, atmosphere-saturated games that have become the adventure genre, showing up before their later magnum opus.

Herzog Zwei (1989)

Although Herzog Zwei is an underground figure for some RTS players, it inspires the lore of the RTS and MOBA game development and thus remains in the genre’s genealogy.

Sweet Home (1989)

The precursor to Resident Evil, Sweet Home, combined JRPG components it with classical horror, and this way paved the road for the development of survival horror games and narrative-driven experiences.

Catacomb 3-D (1991)

iD Company’s Catacomb 3-D has opened up the way for other FPS titles by introducing the necessary technology and gameplay mechanics.

Neverwinter Nights (1991)

Usually inadvertently, Neverwinter Nights blazed the MMORPG trail, providing immersive gaming full of graphics, and social factors that set the standards for future online adventures.

Shariki (1994)

An unsung ancestor of Bejeweled, Shariki’s addictive puzzle game was truly the pioneer that laid the foundation for the genre’s types.

King’s Field (1994)

The predecessor to the Soulsborne saga, King’s Field caught my attention with its highly enjoyable combat and exploration mechanics that would inspire modern action RPGs.

Body Harvest (1998)

Although visibly a less-known game, the version of the open world and vehicular combat game of Body Harvest inspired the world-famous Grand Theft Auto series, which dominated the direction of genre.

Alien Resurrection (2000)

First title to introduce standard FPS controls, Alien Resurrection established a way-point for console FPS and has been defining use of dual analog sticks since then.

Kri: Takht (2002).

A trailblazer in melee combat mechanics, The Mark of Kri introduced innovative targeting systems that influenced subsequent action titles like Batman: Arkham Asylum.

Kill Switch (2003)

Kill Switch was the precursor that introduced the modern third-person shooter genre, Gears of War was one of the games shaping the current state of the genre.

Geometry Wars: Back to The Beginning (2005)

The game that was published digitally did not only prove how entertaining and vibrant downloadable titles were but it also opened the door for now widely popular Indie games.

Infiniminer (2009)

The Infiniminer was the inspiration for the Minecraft. The block style sandbox gameplay introduced by Infiniminer was the foundation on which the modern gaming history was shaped.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decision.

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