Triple Punch

In the early 1980s, as the arcade gold rush exploded, games could be broken into three categories: A-listers like Pac-Man and Q*Bert, B-list bootlegs like Crazy Kong and Caterpillar, and C-list crappers like Minky Monkey, Shark Attack, and Triple Punch.

Gameplay: You're a carpenter. Your job site is a building filled with squares of varying sizes. Your job is to walk around the squares, dropping little blocks. When a square is surrounded with blocks, it will fill in, giving you some points. You complete a level by filling in all the squares.

But this isn't your average carpentry simulator! An evil hammer-wielding gorilla called Gorigon, a paintbrush-like "Erazer," a ball of fire, and a naked pink ghost called Ottobake have joined forces to disrupt your hard work. The Erazer will, um, eraze your blocks, while the rest of his buddies just try to kill you. Because you're much smarter than the average carpenter, you've brought a giant boxing glove to work, and all it takes is three punches to knock out all of your enemies. (Except fire, which is, of course, invincible.)

Could be mistaken for: Amidar, Make Trax, Qix.

Kids today might not like it because: The whole thing just doesn't make any sense. A naked pink ghost? A carpenter with a boxing glove? An eraser that looks like a paintbrush? And where the hell did that gorilla get a hammer?

Kids today might like it because: When they punch out an enemy, a little ambulance drives the vanquished foe away, and at the end of each level, they're rewarded with a Pac-Man-style animation and a jaunty little tune.

Enduring contribution to gaming history: Triple Punch was initially marketed as a conversion pack, which was supposed to give arcade owners a chance to easily swap out an unpopular game and replace it with an equally unpopular but different game. Unfortunately, the trend caught on and continued until the end of the decade.

 

Wil Wheaton can't find his keys.