Etymologically, nostalgia is a portmanteau of two Greek words, i.e., nostos, which means return and algos, meaning suffering. Doctors coined it in the 17th century to describe homesickness that haunted war-trodden souls of Swiss soldiers. However, the reminiscence of the old days often leaves us with a longing to time travel and relive those moments.

Netflix’s documentary, The Toys That Made Us, take us on a joyride with our erstwhile heroes and heroines. The series encompasses the minds that made some of the most iconic toys in history like He-man, Barbie, and Ninja Turtle.

Psychologists believe video games trigger more nostalgia than toys as our brain functions more in playing them. We did not need any cheat codes or eft hack. Video games offered a sense of heroism, belongingness, and mastery. You cannot physically go back but re-create the magic. All you need is to surf through an auction site and get your hands on the ancient hardware of a perfect arcade game.

Clay Routledge is an assistant professor of psychology at North Dakota State University. He acknowledges that the impetus for playing old games is strong to remind ourselves of the emotionally fulfilling times we had. Here are some games that will take you to take a stroll down memory lane.

Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is based on a movie of the same name. The game was published by Atari Games in 1985. The game was the first of its kind to include digital clips of Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones from the movie and Amrish Puri as Mola Raam.

The player was to penetrate the Lair of Thuggee cult. A joystick-controlled the movement to use the whip. The player had to release the captive children, protect Sankara Stones, defeat the cult leader and escape before the temple falls. The game has a skull-like entrance guarded with red snakes from the theme. They depict the three difficulty levels.

The Legend of Zelda

The Legend of Zelda was launched after the Indiana Jones game. Nintendo published it. The third-person shooter game is set in the backdrop of the Age of Decline. Link, the protagonist, is a half-elf boy that has to comb the land of Hyrule for eight fragments of a larger force called Triforce of Wisdom. His mission is to rescue Zelda from the evil Ganon. The series was first released in Japan on Famicom Disk System. The latest spin-off from the original game was released last year as Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity.

Pac Man aka Puck Man

Namco published this game for arcades in 1980. The thrilling and traditional maze action-adventure was released in Japan. The player eats all the blips on the screen within the confines of an enclosed maze. Suppose he eats any of the four coloured ghosts; it’s game over. There was a way to turn these ghosts to blue colour by swallowing the power pellets. The Pac Man could eat the blue ghosts for bonus points. The developer of the game, Toru Iwatani, with his nine team members, wanted to create a game that was relevant for both men and women.


Nintendo was a charmer when it came to releasing arcade games. Another feather in its cap is Popeye, released in 1982. An arcade game named Popeye was released by Nintendo based on popular comics Popeye, the sailor man. The character was a result of the creative genius of E. C. Segar. Atari licensed the game.

The object was the same as that of the comics, i.e., to save Olive from Brutus and Sea Hag. In the game, Popeye had to collect clues dropped by Olive. There was a clue in every level: a number, heart, musical note, or alphabet. The players could control the movement of Popeye through a joystick. He could go forward, backwards, upwards, and downwards in the maze. Brutus could jump down to hit Popeye in the maze. But, Popeye could not jump. Instead, there was a punch button which came in all handy.

Mario Bros

Nintendo Entertainment System published this holy grail of arcade games in 1983. The brain behind the development of the Italian duo was of the chief engineer of Nintendo, Gunpei Yokoi. The American brothers of Italian descent were plumbers who ensured that no monster was clogging the sewer lines by exterminating them. Mario and Luigi’s mission was to defeat all monsters of New York sewers. The difficulty increased with each phase. Oh! How we miss the flipping of enemies and their changing colours with that unique background music!

These video games were once a heartthrob of the entire world—those who know their price still long for them.


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