Remember the Nintendo high days? Playing Super Mario at our neighbours’ house during sleepovers? But what came before Nintendo? And how did we arrive at the games we love today – but more importantly, who were the master brains behind the hours and hours we (still) spend playing video games? Then, High Score will have you in all the feels.
Recently, I got back into gaming – thanks quarantine – mostly out of boredom, but also because that drive to be better and better each time you play was just the challenge not only I needed, but also the rest of the 9Lives team as we got super heavy into… wait for it… Dota 2. We’ve been spending nearly every afternoon over the last few months crusading together as our favourite heroes.
So when Netflix announced this brand new series focused on the origins of gaming, I immediately knew I had to take a sneak-peak. What I really like about this series, except for the fact that they blend their documentary-style storytelling with the cutest 8bit animations, is that they interview the actual creators of all the games that we know so well – think Sonic the Hedgehog, Doom, Super Mario and more. I never realised the deep and profound impact that the Japanese had, and still have, on the video gaming industry.
For us Millennials, this is definitely a trip down memory lane. I hadn’t thought about game cartridges for years, but as soon as they popped up on the screen, I remember playing them at my crush’s house on the living room floor. This High Score journey takes from the earliest Atari days and the arcade culture, to the dawn of the internet and the rise of EA Games (which were the games I primarily played as a teen). The series is beautifully shot and the interviews are so engaging that before you know it, you’ll be six episodes down the line.
What I would have liked the series to also touch on (fingers crossed for a second season), is a continuation of the story up until today. The final episode shows the jump from 2D gaming to 3D with the game, Doom, being featured prominently, while I was still on the lookout for other unique gaming experiences that changed my life; like The Sims, Grand Theft Auto, and World of Warcraft.
If you grew up in the 2000s, this series will warm your Millennial heart and have you in tears for not keeping your first edition Nintendo box set to break-out again today.
Click here to view or watch the trailer below: