Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Kart, and Colossal Cave Adventure inducted into World Video Game Hall of Fame
What names come to mind when you think of iconic video games? Probably titles like Doom, Tetris, Civilization, Donkey Kong, and others. As of this week, that list should grow; Windows Solitaire, Mortal Kombat, and Super Mario Kart, and Colossal Cave Adventure were recently inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame.
Solitaire first debuted as one of many pack-in games that came with Windows 3.0. Along with many of its companion titles (Minesweeper, et. al.), Solitaire was designed to expose users to controlling software with a mouse. Up to Windows 3.0’s release in 1990, many users were still accustomed to terminal-style interfaces that only used text input. Solitaire was introduced with Windows 3.0 to secretively train users on how to use click-and-drag, double-click, and other mouse inputs.
Mortal Kombat is perhaps most famous for its violent gameplay and the controversy it caused. Released in arcades in 1992, the fighting game used rotoscoped character models and copious amounts of digital blood to portray (at the time) realistic violence and gore. The game sparked so much outrage that the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), which is the organization responsible for rating the age-appropriateness of games, was formed as a result. Mortal Kombat recently released its 11th mainline installment.
Super Mario Kart single-handedly spawned the kart racing sub-genre. By mixing the recognition of classic Mario and Nintendo characters with cartoonishly fun racing-style gameplay, Super Mario Kart also created a massive franchise that has sold over 100 million units in total. A console's Mario Kart release is often considered one of the best titles for that system.
Colossal Cave Adventure may be unknown to gamers under 35, but the text-based adventure was once the most popular computer game in the world. Released in 1976, Colossal Cave Adventure could often be found on university mainframes and other shared computer systems. More akin to a choose-your-own-adventure book than a traditional video game, Colossal Cave Adventure is nonetheless one of the most influential computer games of all time and directly impacted the creation of future titles such as Zork and Adventureland.