In our series Old Games for New Kids, we suggest a great past-generation game to play with your new-generation children.

Rampage (1988)
by Data East – NES (and more, see below)

The beauty of old Nintendo games is that the two-button limitation kept games simple. In Rampage, you play as either Lizzie the giant lizard, George, the King Kong clone, or Ralph, a giant warewolf. You’re presented with a couple of blocks-worth of cityscape per level, and in the simplest of terms, you destroy it. You climb buildings and punch holes in them, often discovering food and traps inside. You can also smash the cars, tanks and helicopters that chase you as you move city to city.

What’s great about this game for kids is that the cities basically destroy themselves if you take too long. If your child can simply climb to the top of a building, eventually the little Army guy with dynamite scuttles by and blows the building you’re on. Otherwise, kids are fairly good at mashing buttons, and that’ll take you a long way in Rampage. The simple satisfaction a kid gets from destroying a building as a big monster isn’t found in a lot of games today. And the two-button system (later, more, ugh) makes it easy for players of any age and skill to join in.

Here’s TEN MINUTES of the game if you’re still not convinced:

Rampage started as an arcade game, but could be found on basically every old system, including iterations on the NES, Sega Master System, Commodore 64, Atari (older models and later on Lynx), Nintendo 64, Gamecube, Xbox, PlayStation 1 and 2. It also appeared on ultra-nerdy old systems like the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, and Amiga. But if you’re total geek, you’ll get the arcade emulator MAME running on your computer and play it in its original glory there. Or, if you want to really kill the vibe we got going here, it’s also in Midway’s Arcade app on iOS for $1.99.