Game Ads of Yesteryear

All the editors at GamesRadar are huge nerds and have been since birth. For example, during the holiday break we visited our parents and dove into the closet to read our old comic books. What we found was both disappointing and exciting. Even though the ROM comics were embarrassingly made and much worse than we remember, the ads for video games inside were also much worse and poorly made than we recalled, but in a good way.

So we scooped up our memories, took them on the flight home, scanned them over several hours, and share them with you now. Hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

Special thanks to Chris Antista for his amazing additions.

Above: No game has ever made anyone that happy


Above: You had a “helped wanted” ad for your secret Death Star mission? No wonder the Emperor saw it coming


Above: But then Larsen realized his life was a hollow lie based around games and riddles. His body was found in his studio apartment this morning


Above: That’s right kids, to get strong like Popeye play Atari and punch glass bottle every day


Above: We prefer Kool-Aid points to Microsoft Points. And yes, those are controllers they’re holding


Above: Battlezone trained child soldiers the world over


Above: "Simply remove the cart from all eight of your consoles"


Above: A future with lasers, but they never improved on the helicopter


Above: Is this an ad for a game or the Yellow Submarine?


Above: This ad proposes that being on the moon is just like an arcade. A bold stance indeed


Above: One word says more than a screenshot ever could


Above: Live your dream of riding a jet ski while extremely close to a sci-fi Christ figure


  • JosefMotley - July 4, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    "double-teaming shredder's 700 foot soldiers"?? gulp
  • NottaFanboY - May 14, 2009 8:08 p.m.

    I have that kool-aid game on intellivision 3! now I wanna also Iron sword is a good game
  • lawless77 - March 6, 2009 2:13 p.m.

    Flashback! I've been trying to remember the name of that game for years. Man, I loved that one back in the day. Thanks, guys.
  • noofer7 - February 8, 2009 11:05 p.m.

    shoulda included tv commercials so u coulda shown that awesome OoT ad
  • RazorBladeDream - February 5, 2009 10:15 p.m.

    Ye Gods I owned that Qwirk game AND the Punisher game. The Punisher game was ridiculous, Spider-Man literally swung in for two seconds complete with a ridiculous *dooOOOO!!* noise. The Qwirk game wasn't all that bad, the puzzles were okay for what it was. I did own the dreaded Spot game for Game Boy which was more or less Othello.
  • Sash - February 5, 2009 1:35 p.m.

    And lol @ "This isn’t a basketball game, it’s a lynching"
  • Sash - February 5, 2009 1:25 p.m.

    Lol "Zonked out"
  • phoenix_wings - February 5, 2009 8:11 a.m.

    "We Saved Breakfast!" lol
  • Red - February 5, 2009 3:37 a.m.

    I loved how one of them actually went as far as advertising free pizza coupons from Pizza Hut if they purchased the game.
  • - February 5, 2009 3:10 a.m.

    I lol'd at the Mario breakfast and Decapattack ads
  • zymn - February 5, 2009 2:36 a.m.

    when that one ad said Gary Larsen, i thought they meant Gary LARSON... you know, the guy who made The Far Side... it was a comic strip in the 80s/90s? never heard of it? then go die.
  • HungryBeaver - February 5, 2009 midnight

    Kool Aid game? I wanna play that. Holy crap cool!
  • PCG_Evan - February 4, 2009 10:22 p.m.

    Good stuff. I like when Robocop strangled the dragon to grab his book of the shelf.
  • lava_lamp - February 4, 2009 10:10 p.m.

    >Is this an ad for a game or the Yellow Submarine? lmao i love that movie
  • ssj4raditz - February 4, 2009 9:16 p.m.

    FABIO! I just knew Iron Sword had to be in this.
  • babo_u_da - February 4, 2009 8:04 p.m.

    i can't choose which one is my favorite out of these the mario ad or the final fantasy mystic quest ad..
  • Crashdown1 - April 30, 2009 4:33 a.m.

    This article reminds me of the first video game system (I use that term lightly) I had. It was a Texas Instruments system with riveting games like Math-Man, which was a Pac-Man rip off that required you to do math problems before moving to the next level of the game. At the time it was the shiznit, now it just seems sad...
  • noofer7 - February 8, 2009 11:06 p.m.

    shoulda included tv commercials so u coulda shown that awesome OoT ad
  • thochaos - February 7, 2009 6:31 a.m.

    Awesome. I remember 95% of these. I used to buy a ton of comics in the mid 80s to mid 90s. Then I realised I could buy games with that money. Oh man. That was bad for my wallet.
  • theatticusera - February 6, 2009 5:25 p.m.

    Holy cack i had one of those turtles handheld green plastic dealies!! I loved it as a kid. Ah gamesradar you bring back fond memories! :)

Showing 1-20 of 38 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000