Another Sunday means another episode of 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die, the (hopefully) weekly series where I play through all of the games listed in the book - 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die. If I played the game before, then I will share my memory of the experience. If I haven't played the game before, then I find an online version or an emulator and I play the game (for at least 30 minutes). This is a book every gamer should have in their library, and if you're interested in purchasing it, you can find it here.

Last week was Sokoban, a creative and entertaining puzzle game that on the surface seemed fairly easy until you get a few levels in, and then you realize it's brutishly evil. I was somewhat surprised to find the game in the book since it was an obscure title and not that popular in the United States. But this week's game...this week's game is quite popular and very likely known by most.


Tron is a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. It is based on the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. The game consists of four subgames inspired by the events of the science fiction film. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)

I/O Tower

This segment of the game mimics the scene from the motion picture in which Tron enters the Input/Output tower. In the arcade game, the player must destroy large numbers of Grid Bugs with Tron's disc and clear a path to the flashing circle, which must be entered before a timer runs out to complete the section.


MCP Cone

This area imitates Tron's final battle against the MCP. The game's interpretation has the player destroying a multicolored wall in front of the MCP cone and getting by the wall, into the cone. A 1000 point bonus is awarded for completing the level, and an additional 1000 points is given for destroying all blocks of the wall.


Battle Tanks

The player must guide Tron's red tank through a maze and destroy several blue tanks or red recognizers controlled by the computer. This must be done without taking any hits from enemies. If the player drives into the purple diamond in the center of the maze, the tank is warped to a random area of the maze.


Light Cycles

This game is well known and associated with the Tron franchise. The player must guide a blue Light Cycle in an arena against an opponent, while avoiding the walls and trails (walls of light) left behind by both Light Cycles. The player must maneuver quickly and precisely in order to force opponents to run into walls. The enemy cycles have a fixed behavior pattern for each level: if the player can find it, the opponent can be defeated every time on this level.


I have most certainly played Tron. It is one of my all-time favorite arcade games. I had no idea it was released in I really that old? I can remember spending countless quarters on Tron back in the day. Of course what helped the game was the movie of the same name. There were similarities between the two, but the game was just such a great game. As silly as it might sound, one of the things I liked best was the controller. The Tron arcade game used this stick that looked like it belongs in the cockpit of a star fighter. When you stepped up to the cabinet and grasped that identifiable blue control stick, you felt powerful.

As mentioned above, Tron included four different stages. I absolutely loved one of the stage, hated one of the stages, and was kind of meh on the other two. I didn't like the MCP Cone. I'd watch some players destroy the whole cone and get bonus points, but I could never do it. No, I would try and shoot out a narrow path, just wide enough for me to squeeze by and beat the level. Unfortunately, it would  expand before I could get by it, and kill my guy. The I/O Tower and Battle Tanks were okay as far as levels go. But by far, my favorite part of Tron was the lightcycles. I can remember being a kid, playing Tron, and wishing there was a Tron game that just let you play the light cycles. I was never very good at it - I think I could only make it through two levels (it gets progressively more difficult). You had to have quick reflexes and a sound strategy to beat the bad guy light cycles. This was perhaps my favorite part of movie too.

There have been some sequels and ports of the game, but the truth is, I've never played any other version than the original Tron arcade game. While I know 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die is just a book by a group of gamers/authors and their list of games, Tron is definitely one I fully support being included on a list of this nature.

Tron is just the latest game I've been able to mark off the list of 1,001 games I have to play before I die. And while I don't need to play it again now since I've played it before, I would definitely love to step up to that blue stick one more time and see how I do now. I'm not sure what game is up next week, so be sure to check back and see if it is something you've played or not. Until then, enjoy the rest of your weekend and have a great week.


Previous Episodes:

Episode 1: 01 - 05 (here)

Episode 2: 06 - 10 (here)

Episode 3: 11 - 15 (here)

Episode 4: 16 - 20 (here)

Episode 5: 21 - 25 (here)

Episode 6: 26 - 30 (here)

Episode 7: 31 - 35 (here)

Episode 8: 36 - 40 (here)

Episode 41 (here)

Episode 42 (here)

Episode 43 (here)

Episode 44 (here)