Video Games in the 1970s

1970s Video Games

Please raise your hand if you weened your video game playing skills at the arcade in the 1970s?

Thought so. In the early 1970s, you had to go to the arcade for the good games. Home video games were far behind. Grab your quarters, hop on your bike and waste a few hours having the time of your life bouncing a square “ball” that is a few pixels off a rectangle that you control.

Now that’s real gaming.

I’m not going to act like you should play these games all day because you are a video game purist or something. Compared to games in the ’80s, these games are very basic and child-like.

But the fun wasn’t confined to the arcade. There was a revolution going on in the household as well. Suddenly, people had a whole new option when it came to home entertainment.

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People of all ages and pay grades were getting in on the fun. Game systems weren’t overly expensive. The average console was about $100 ($400 in today’s money), so the average middle class family could afford it.

Many folks thought it would be a fad, that video games would pass because, honestly, they weren’t that much fun to play. Few could have predicted that it was a start of something that would change everything.

Top Ten 1970s Arcade Games

  1. Space Invaders
  2. Pong
  3. Galaxian
  4. Asteroids Breakout
  5. Tank
  6. Computer Space
  7. Anti-Aircraft
  8. Death Race
  9. Lunar Lander
  10. Star Raiders

List of 1970s Video Games

1971 — Galaxy Game, Computer Space, Empire, Star Trek, The Oregon Trail, Baseball
1972 — Pong, Hunt the Wumpus, Star Trek ; launch of Magnavox Odyssey
1973 — Gotcha, Space Race; BASIC Computer Games book
1974 — Tank, Maze War, Spasim, Gran Trak 10, Speed Race
1975 — Colossal Cave Adventure, Gun Fight, Indy 800, dnd, pedit5; launch of Magnavox Odyssey Series
1976 — Artillery, Breakout, Blockade, Death Race, Sea Wolf, Night Driver, Sprint 2, Microchess; launch of Coleco Telstar and Fairchild Channel F
1977 — Empire, Combat, Space Wars, Super Bug, Zork; launch of Apple II, Atari 2600, Bally Astrocade, Color TV Game, Commodore PET, Compucolor II, and TRS-80 Model I
1978 — Space Invaders, Atari Football, Beneath Apple Manor, MUD1; launch of Magnavox Odyssey and Exidy Sorcerer
1979 — Galaxian, Asteroids, Head On, Adventure, Star Raiders, FS1 Flight Simulator, Temple of Apshai, Lemonade Stand; launch of Atari 400/800, Intellivision, and Microvision

List of 1970s Video Game Consoles

Telstar (Telstar, Classic, Deluxe, Ranger, Alpha, Colormatic, Regent, Sportsman)
Odyssey (300,2000,3000)
Radio Shack TV Scoreboard
Unisonic Sportsman/Tournament
Philips Tele-Spiel ES2203 and ES2204
Zanussi/Seleco Play-O-Tronic
Videomaster (Strika, Strika 2,ColourScore 2, SuperScore)
APF TV Fun (Model 401)
BSS 01
Telstar Colortron
Telstar Marksman
Telstar Galaxy
Odyssey 4000
Philips Tele-Spiel ES2218
Videomaster Sportsworld
Philco/Ford Telejogo II
Philips Tele-Spiel ES2208
Telstar Combat!
Telstar Gemini
Telstar Arcade
Commodore TV Game 2000K/3000H and Colorsport VIII
National Adversary
Philips Odyssey 2001
Videomaster (ColourScore, VisionScore, ColourShot)
Philco/Ford Telejogo
Philips N30
Philips Odyssey 2100
Indy 500 system (Video Action 4)
Sears/Atari Speedway e Speedway IV
Interton Video 2800
MBO Tele-Ball VIII
Tele-Match 3300R
Ricochet Super Pro (modello MT-4A)
Venture Electronics Video Sports VS-5
Atari PONG
Atari PONG Doubles
Atari/Sears Super PONG
Atari Super PONG Ten
Atari Video Pinball
Color TV Game 6
Color TV Game 15

1970s Video Game Videos

Rare 1972 Magnavox Odyssey Promo Video

1976 Coleco Telstar TV Spot

1978 Atari Commercial w/ Pete Rose, Pele & Don Knotts

1970s Video Games Print Ads


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2 thoughts on “Video Games in the 1970s

  1. John Warchol

    I have Sears Tele-Game console, model # 99747 which I think is from the 1970’s.
    It is a Demolition Derby / Hockey console. I am trying to find any info on it , such as when it was sold through Sears and if it has any value.
    Thank you.

  2. Tim

    Iv been looking for 20 years for a game i played in the early 70s at our ELKS club. The board was high on the wall so you can see it anywhere in the club. It was lit up with two boys throwing would get a black box with nothing more than a red button. You simply press the button and hold it down until you wanted the boy to release the would take turns. The boys even had names (Frank&Izzy).The control box was wireless. Can anyone help with name or Make????


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Last modified: Aug 29, 2015 | Written by Paul Phipps