Awesome 1980s

California Games: 30 Years Later

California Games: 30 Years Later

If you never played the 1980s computer game California Games, load up a copy today. French creative studio ELMØ decided to reimagine the game for the 21st century, amping up the intensity to 11 for today’s crowd with extra zombies, gore, and garbage.

Visit the Chopping Mall

Visit the Chopping Mall

Looking for a movie to watch with your pals this Halloween? Look no further than Chopping Mall – a cult classic from the 1980s about a group of horny teens hang out in the mall after work, only to be stalked by killer robots. In Praise of Shadows explains why you need to watch.

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Yahoo! Answers in the ’80s

Yahoo! Answers in the ’80s

Squirrel Monkey imagines what Yahoo! Answers would be like if it existed in the 1980’s. Aside from the graphics, it doesn’t seem too different from what we have today. You’d still get lots of stupid questions, lots of stupid answers and lots of trolls.

80s Song Ragtime Versions

80s Song Ragtime Versions

Pianist Jonny May asked his subscribers what 1980s songs should never be played in the ragtime style, then went ahead and did it anyhow. Listen and enjoy his unique and shockingly good covers of Don’t Stop Believin‘, Livin’ on a Prayer, and Africa.

Airwolf: Banjo / Mandolin Edition

Airwolf: Banjo / Mandolin Edition

Banjo Guy Ollie goes back to the ’80s once again, with another great cover version of a classic TV theme song. This time out, he performs the synthtastic opening title track from Airwolf on banjo, mandolin, accordion, and various other instruments.

The Sound of ’80s Movies

The Sound of ’80s Movies

Julian Palmer of The Discarded Image takes a look back at the unique sound textures found in movies from the 1980s. While some of the highly-synthesized soundscapes feel dated or shallow, others were pioneering and perfectly suited the content on screen.

Knight Rider: Banjo Edition

Knight Rider: Banjo Edition

We like to imagine David Hasselhoff pulling up in a rusted out old jalopy (with an LED light bar on front) as the visual accompaniment to Banjo Guy Ollie’s awesomely bluegrassified cover of the familiar theme from Knight Rider.

How to Play Thriller

How to Play Thriller

With the right synth patches, bass, brass section, and recording talent, Doctor Mix shows us how its possible to replicate the distinctive sound of Michael Jackson’s 1984 mega-hit Thriller incredibly well. Even with the King of Pop’s vocals gone, it’s an amazing performance.

Prince: Nothing Compares 2 U

Prince: Nothing Compares 2 U

More than three decades ago, Prince & The Revolution recorded Nothing Compares 2 U – a song that would later top of the charts for Sinead O’Connor. Now, the Prince estate has released the original, accompanied by never-before-seen footage of 1984 rehearsal sessions.

Fingerstyle Kids’ TV Show Medley

Fingerstyle Kids’ TV Show Medley

Musician John Tracey presents a medley of some theme songs from classic kids TV shows from the 1980s and 1990s, performed with a smooth fingerstyle vibe on his acoustic guitar. We can still never get enough of those DuckTales and Inspector Gadget themes.

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.

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.

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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
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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.

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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.

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
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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.

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