The Challenging Stage
Hey fellow nerds and gaming elitists. Looking for a chance to prove your trivia prowess? Or maybe just a way to prove that all those years in front of a screen haven't turned your brain into a fine, textureless mush? The Challenging Stage from Arcade Aid is a single-screen puzzle game in which 56 video games are represented as abstract images populating a large city. Your job is to figure out what games these pictures are supposed to be. Click on one to bring up a text box, and type in your guess; if you're correct, you'll get a little check mark. You can use the map at the left side of the screen to instantly pop all over the city, and you can finish the game in any order you wish. You can play without an account, but if you want to save your progress, you'll need to sign up for a free account.
The games on display here are all over the place in terms of popularity and recognition (and even platforms). Most of the most recent titles are blatantly obvious, but some of the older games will probably confound anyone who either didn't live through the eighties, or has managed to block that baggy-sweater-and-leggings wearing period and its big, stiff hair out of their mind. I actually grew up during that time and still find more than half of these things to be impenetrable. (Perhaps because I admittedly didn't catch on to gaming until after the fourth time or so Zelda needed rescuing.) Some of them will probably click instantly, while others will require a bit more ruminating to decipher.
There's only the one stage, and the only real reward besides the lovely retro art is the knowledge that your brain still works. Although, I guess, if you wanted you could print out the completed results and take them down to the game shop and find the guy who always acts like he knows so much more than you and shove them in his stupid face. (You know the one. I hate him, too.) Not only is it challenging, but it's also a great stroll down memory lane.