THE BEST 1980s

From Atari to Chuck E. Cheese

From Atari to Chuck E. Cheese

Great Big Story presents a short interview and documentary about Nolan Bushnell, the man who not only gave birth to the video game industry, as founder of Atari, but who also founded numerous other companies, including Pizza Time Theater, home to Chuck E. Cheese.

WhatsApp in the ’80s

WhatsApp in the ’80s

Squirrel Monkey’s alternative past video series looks back at how WhatsApp might have worked if it came out in the late 1980s – using an MS-DOS computer, a dial-up modem, and a pager to deliver messages to its users.

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The Oregon Trail Handheld Game

The Oregon Trail Handheld Game

You can play The Oregon Trail on your phone and even in your browser. But Basic Fun’s port adds a fair amount of nostalgia with its chiptune music, retro case and large buttons. It’s officially a Target exclusive, but you can also order it from Amazon.

AI Plays Galaga

AI Plays Galaga

Galaga is one of our favorite ’80s arcade games. We still load it up on our MAME cabinet and play it. Now, it turns out our high score is threatened by artificial intelligence. Watch as LearnFun and PlayFun’s AI figures out the game’s tactics, and becomes an expert player.

Halycon Days

Halycon Days

Along with Don Bluth, game designer Rick Dyer created 1980s classics like Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. He would later design a radical (and expensive) game system called “Halcyon.” Polygon explores the tale of the failed console that foretold today’s voice-based AI systems.

Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl

Namco Museum Greatest Hits Vinyl

A limited-edition record packed with music and sound effects from classic Namco arcade games like Pac-Man, Dig Dug, Rally-X, Mappy, Galaga, Xevious and more. Each disc is pressed in sweet “pixel explosion” vinyl, and comes with an 8-page booklet about the games.

The Legend of Zorba

The Legend of Zorba

Kevin Lieber of Vsauce2 got his hands on a vintage 1980s Telcon Zorba, an early “portable” CP/M-based PC, and demonstrates just how far we’ve come in the last 30 years, along with a little round of ZORK, still considered to be one of the greatest adventure games of all time.

LSD Does Take on Me

LSD Does Take on Me

We love the way that Lake Street Dive incorporates the trumpet and swinging rhythms into their cover version of the 1985 A-ha classic, which we’re so used to hearing played on synthesizers. We’re also impressed with vocalist Rachael Price’s ability to hit that high note.

Land of Confloption

Land of Confloption

The men of steel, the men of power are losing control by the hour… The mighty Floppotron takes on one the ’80s biggest hits, Genesis’ sociopolitical commentary wrapped in a pop song, Land of Confusion. It’s perhaps even more relevant today than it was 30 years ago.

Yamaha DX7: The Synth of the ’80s

Yamaha DX7: The Synth of the ’80s

If there was one new sound that turned up more than any other back in ’80s music, it was the Yamaha DX7 and its cutting-edge FM synthesis. Polyphonic explores what made the DX7’s sound and tech unique, and some of the many artists who incorporated it in their music.

Africa: Bluegrass Edition

Africa: Bluegrass Edition

We’ve heard a few interesting cover versions of Toto’s Africa, but we’re particularly enamored of the jangly and twangy country sounds of Doug and Cletus as their band turns in a catchy bluegrass arrangement of the 1982 pop hit.

DJ Cummerbund: I Will Jump

DJ Cummerbund: I Will Jump

Gloria Gaynor and David Lee Roth have a beautiful musical baby in DJ Cummerbund’s latest mashup masterpiece, which manages to blend two of the most iconic tracks of the ’70s and ’80s into an insanely wonderful disco-rock cocktail.

Avengers: Infinity War Retro Trailer

Avengers: Infinity War Retro Trailer

Mashup maker Darth Blender chopped up bits and pieces of classic sci-fi, superhero, and fantasy footage to create an awesome retro take on the Avengers: Infinity War trailer, had the movie come out sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s. I-ron Man is the best.

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Penn and Teller’s Best Trick

Penn and Teller’s Best Trick

Back in 1986, magicians Penn and Teller turned up on an episode of Saturday Night Live and pulled off an a series of tricks which poked fun at other well known magicians, and culminated with a big surprise at the end.

Totally Awesome

Totally Awesome

Whether He-Man, Thundercats, Inspector Gadget, or TMNT was your jam, Andrew Farago’s 160-page book has got you covered with a great retrospective of the best that Saturday morning (and other days) had to offer back in the decade of big hair.

8-Bit Knights of Cydonia

8-Bit Knights of Cydonia

8 Bit Universe presents an amazing chiptune cover version of the Muse classic Knights of Cydonia that sounds like it could have come straight out of a late ’80s side-scrolling shooter. We’re thinking something like R-TYPE could have easily used this as its soundtrack.

Cheers… or Not?

Cheers… or Not?

For anyone who grew up watching TV in the ’80s and ’90s, the Cheers theme song will immediately bring back fond memories. But let this version play, and things get a whole lot less cheerful. We don’t care if everybody knows our name. There’s no way we’re going to this bar.

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of Disks)

Sweet Dreams (Are Made of Disks)

The Floppotron plays a song which feels like it was tailor-made to be performed on old floppy and hard disk drives – Eurythmics’ 1981 classic Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). The synth sounds just work perfectly on the computer hardware, and who are we to disagree?

Halloween: Reznor + Ross Edition

Halloween: Reznor + Ross Edition

Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross recorded a fantastic tribute to John Carpenter’s theme from Halloween, adding their own haunting style, while preserving the synth sound that made it a classic. From the upcoming John Carpenter’s ‘Anthology: Movie Themes 1974-1998.

VFXcool: Back to the Future (Pt. 1)

VFXcool: Back to the Future (Pt. 1)

The always educational Captain Disillusion takes a break from debunking viral videos and questionable crowdfunding to kick off a new series about the masters of visual effects. The first episode looks at the ahead-of-their-time visuals in the Back to the Future trilogy.

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Metal Africa

Metal Africa

Musician Leo Moracchioli of Frog Leap Studios turns in another fantastic heavy metal cover version – this time putting a razor-sharpened edge on the 1982 Toto pop hit Africa. This time, he’s joined by vocalist Hannah Boulton and guitarist Rabea Massaad.

Documentary for the Recently Deceased

Documentary for the Recently Deceased

Director Fred China and his team are currently raising funds for a documentary about the creation of Tim Burton’s 1988 classic Beetlejuice, which features amazing, never before seen archive footage of production of the film’s clever visuals. (Thanks John!)

Def Leppard: Hysteria 30th Anniv. Ed.

Def Leppard: Hysteria 30th Anniv. Ed.

Celebrate the peak of glam metal with the 30th Anniversary Edition of Def Leppard’s fourth album. It’s available on vinyl and CD, as well as a deluxe set that comes with B-sides, remixes, two DVDs, and four books.

CES 1987

CES 1987

An awesome tech time capsule from the 1987 Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago. Art Vuolo of Videoholic Returns posted this 4 part video which shows us just how far we’ve come in 30 years. That remote control was insane. And that bar code VCR LOL.

How to Send an E-Mail

How to Send an E-Mail

If you’ve ever gotten mad that your smartphone took an extra second or two to send a message, just watch this 1984 video from the Thames TV program Database, which should serve as a reminder just how good we’ve got it with today’s technology.

Breakfast Time 1980s

Breakfast Time 1980s

Follow your nose to this campy assortment of old breakfast cereal commercials from the 1980s, from Frosted Flakes to Froot Loops to Cheerios to Pac-Man. And we always thought Little Chocolate Donuts were a fake thing.

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