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Old-School LCD Games Get Resurrected on the Web

Old-School LCD Games Get Resurrected on the Web (photo)

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I’m going to sound like an old fogey here, but I’ve got enough years under my belt to remember Nintendo’s pre-history. Before the NES invaded American homes, it churned out these little handheld obsessions called, rather didactically, Game & Watch systems. They offered up very basic, LCD-digit-based graphics on pre-rendered playing fields where you’d basically have to move a character from one part of the screen to another. Gameplay for these gadgets was almost always about reaction time and twitch reflexes, which, if memory serves made them all the more addictive. Of course, time and technology marched on and the LCD handhels of yesteryear became naught but fond memories.

You can revisit those memories now, though, thanks to the efforts of an industrious coder named Hipopotam. He’s assembled 17 of the once-ubiquitous handhelds on Pica-pic, where they’re playable in Flash. I remember spending nearly whole days on the Donkey Kong, Jr. game and it’s just as much of a ball-buster as I remember. As always happens when you look back through the history of a medium, cycles and trends become really apparent. So, for the people who decry licensed property tie-in games as a new abomination on, there’s a (surprsisingly fun) Terminator game by Tiger. That clamshell, multi-screen “Legend of Zelda” game stands an early precursor to the kind of thinking that gave us the Nintendo DS, leading to its latest descendant the shiny, out-this-weekend Nintendo 3DS. Overall, the minimalism inherent to most of these games serves as a reminder as to how little you need to make electronic fun, a tenet that’s resurgent in the current wave of light-mechanics casual and mobile games.

Either way, if you’re an ’80s baby like me, chances are you’ll go tripping off heavy nostalgia at the sight and feel of these games.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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