Joust was a very popular arcade released in 1982 by Williams Electronics. This game continues to be one our favorites and we remember a quarter lasting a long time with mediocre skills. The object of the game was relatively simple, albeit strange, whereby the player controls a knight, who rides a flying ostrich, and must joust enemy knights that are also flying around on ostriches. Two players could play at once, which was a bit of a unique feature of the time. The second player would control a Knight on top of a stork instead of an ostrich.
The player used a joystick to fly left or right, and a button for flapping the bird’s wings. The faster the player flapped the wings, the faster and higher the bird would move, and vice versa. There was a lava pit at the bottom of the screen, and various platforms from whence the enemy knights would materialize. Enemy knights were jousted off of their ostriches if attacked from the appropriate angle. Once they were knocked off, they turned into little eggs, and their ostriches would fly off. If the eggs were not collected in a timely manner, they would hatch into knights again, and their ostriches would come back to pick them up. There were different skill levels of enemy knights, and also a pterodactyl that would try to attack the player from time to time.
Based on the popularity of Joust, a number of sequels, spin-offs, and home console versions were released. There was a pinball version released in 1983, an arcade sequel in 1986 (Joust 2: Survival of the Fittest), and versions released for the Atari 2600, NES, and many more. In later years, complication games for modern consoles like the GameCube, Wii, Xbox, and PlayStation were release: Williams Arcade’s Greatest Hits, Midway’s Greatest Arcade Hits, and Midway Arcade Treasures.