Trendsetters: 7 Games Responsible For The Common Gameplay Mechanics We Have Today

7) XP

Temple of Apshai

First seen in: Temple of Apshai – TRS 80 (1979)

XP, Exp, Experience Points, Level Up juice – call it what you will, but it’s the stuff that no game can any longer be without, from dungeon crawlers to racing games. Doing better will no longer mean you just get real life experience, but also an on screen representation in the form of points to confirm it. For a long time it was the reserve of the nerdlingers, using experience points to make their crappy dwarves into mighty wizards or something. I never played Dungeons and Dragons. Technically, that’s where it all began you see, leveling up over the tabletop card game. But the first videogame to include the recording of player statistics was Temple of Apshai, and the format has changed very little since.

It’s amazing it could do anything at all, running on such a staggeringly primitive computer. The TRS tech highlights include a 1.7 MHz processor and a barely believable 48 KB memory. To put that into context, it would take the rough equivalent of 1,043,478 of these computers to match one iPhone 5. But run it it did, and it’s a legacy that’s endured. The rush of leveling up is something other entertainment mediums can’t hold a candle too, and there’s no better way of making you work to unlock more goodies. A book, for example, can’t withhold better paragraphs until you’ve read re-read the intro three times, as much as the author would like to.