Publisher: Tengen.  Developer: Tengen, Platform Shooter, 1 player 1989.

Despite skinnier characters, less colorful graphics, and lack of two-player alternating mode, Rolling Thunder is an excellent port of Namco’s 1986 arcade classic.  On a mission to rescue the beautiful Leila, the player, as a secret police agent, must run, jump and climb through treacherous passageways, using a handgun to blow away hooded thugs, ninjas, ape men, flamers (when hit twice, they break into four and attack), and bats with human faces.  Entering specially marked doors grants players bullets and machine guns, and unmarked doors sometimes harbor extra time.  The game is action packed, but players must progress carefully (including ducking under enemy fire), making for a substantial challenge.   Includes password feature.  Unlicensed.  Followed by: Rolling Thunder 2 (arcade, Genesis) and Rolling Thunder 3 (Genesis).

Check out more of the rich history of the industry in Brett Weiss’s books Classic Home Video Games 1985-1988  A Complete Reference Guide and other great books available at his web site and make sure to sign up to get Old School Gamer Magazine for free by clicking here!

Brett Weiss Brett Weiss (44 Posts)

A full-time freelance writer, Brett Weiss is the author of the Classic Home Video Games series, The 100 Greatest Console Video Games: 1977-1987, Encyclopedia of KISS, and various other books, including the forthcoming The SNES Omnibus: The Super Nintendo and Its Games, Vol. 1 (A–M). He’s had articles published in numerous magazines and newspapers, including the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Game Informer, Classic Gamer Magazine, Video Game Trader, Video Game Collector, Filmfax, Fangoria, and AntiqueWeek, among others.  Check him out at