Released in 1975, Gun Fight was the first arcade game to incorporate a microprocessor, and the expanded processing capabilities allowed for graphics and gameplay much more advanced that Pong or even Tank.
Set in the Old West, the game set up a classic duel between two cowboys with itchy trigger fingers. Facing off on opposite sides of the screen, the gunfighters moved up, down, left and right with the four-way joystick, firing off rounds at the enemy.
Cacti and covered wagons blocked the path, forcing the gunfighters to use a little bit of strategy to pick off their opponents.
Ammo was also limited, but it would replenish once the other guy had fired off all his rounds as well.
A direct hit yielded a dramatic “GOT ME!” from the fallen cowboy, but no permanent harm was done. The old fella just dusted himself off (not literally) and entered the fray once more.
Once time ran out, the player with the highest amount of hits won.
Dual joysticks allowed two players to square off against each other, but the microprocessor-enhanced technology also made the computer a worthy opponent. At the time, it was the next best thing to actually being at Dodge City, and Gun Fight was a big hit in arcades and bars.
Several young upstarts followed in its wake, including Atari’s Outlaw and Midway’s own Boot Hill, but Gun Fight will always be the true Western pioneer.