Targ

If you glanced at Targ on your way to Qix or some other more popular game, you might have seen a boring green car driving around a boring blue screen broken up by boring yellow boxes and boring red triangles. However, those willing to look a bit deeper learned that the yellow boxes are a place called Crystal City, and the red triangles are, in fact, angry Targs. The green car was none other than the world-famous Wummel, who was locked in an eternal struggle to destroy the Spectar Smuggler and bring peace and tranquility to Crystal City. As you can see, appearances can be deceiving. Targ may look simple, but there's nothing boring about this game.

Gameplay: To bring justice to the Spectar Smuggler and its Targ ramships, you need to successfully drive the Wummel around Crystal City, which is laid out in a 9x9 grid. Each level begins with ten Targs, and if you blast them all, you'll advance to the next level, where they return, in faster, deadlier form.

Wummel isn't particularly advanced: you're limited to speeding up and slowing down, and though you can come to a complete stop and turn around (just like during couples' skate at the roller rink) you're almost guaranteed to be blown up by a Targ if you do. You're better off speeding ahead, making four right turns, and attacking them from behind. And always be ready for the rare appearance of the Spectar Smuggler! If you blow it up, you'll be rewarded with some bonus points, and be one step closer to bringing peace to Crystal City.

Could be mistaken for: Dodgem, Armored Car, an SVGA monitor calibration pattern

Kids today might not like it because: Though it was advanced for 1980, with such innovations as the announcement "Get ready, player" and sound effects like "Spectar siren" and "explosion effect," in 2005, Targ seems a little, well, two-dimensional.

Kids today might like it because: Targ requires quick reflexes and Zen-like mastery of living moment-to-moment. A potential glimpse of Nirvana for just a quarter is a pretty sweet deal.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: Targ was simple, but a lot of fun, so Exidy followed it up the same year with the sequel Spectar, which combined several elements that appeared in Rally-X and Pac-Man. Rip-off? Coincidence? Lazy way to fill up this space? It's one of gaming's enduring mysteries.

Wil Wheaton had a Targ at home when he was a boy.