On Sunday, the Nintendo video game Ice Hockey celebrated its 30th anniversary. Debuting on January 21, 1988, Ice Hockey was released as part of Nintendo’s Sports Series – a collection of games that included baseball, tennis, golf and volleyball.
Ice Hockey first hit the shelves as the NES began widely outselling its primary competitors (Atari, Sega Master System). The game introduced a countless number of children to the sport of hockey (and may have also given fat kids unrealistic hopes that they could one day be the best player on their country’s Olympic hockey team).
The teams in the game include the United States (USA), Sweden (SWE), Czechoslovakia (TCH), Canada (CAN), Poland (POL), and the Soviet Union (URS). The gameplay was similar to a normal NHL game, but there was some wackiness introduced to spice things up and reward strategic players.
At the beginning, two opposing players from each team face off in the middle of the rink. There are three kinds of players – the first is fast, weak, and feeble, but is good at the face-off; the second is average in all qualities, and the third is slow and poor at the face-off, but very powerful, both in body checking and shooting strength.
If two opposing players fight for the puck for a certain amount of time, other players join into the fight, resulting in the player from the losing team in the fight to be put in the penalty box for a period of time.
The soundtrack and sound effects of the game were addicting.
Ice Hockey was the first of several iconic hockey games to come along over the next five years including Wayne Gretzky Hockey, Blades of Steel, Pro Sport Hockey, and NHL 94. It was the first hockey game I ever played.
Which game was your favorite and why? Let us know in the comments.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.