Do you think you’re a seasoned video game veteran? Have you been playing games since your earliest days on this planet, or perhaps retro ’90s and early 2000s games are your guilty pleasure? If any of that applies to you, then we challenge you to a duel.
And by a duel, we mean a one-sided challenge where the stakes are really low and the prize is literally just a few minutes of pride that most people won’t really care about if you bother to tell them. Sound appealing? Let’s-a go!
Here’s What To Do
It’s simple – all you have to do is guess the video game characters based only on their primary colors, which are arranged in stacked blocks. Except it’s really quite difficult, actually. The only other clue you have to go on is the height and width of each block which will tell you roughly how big the character is (at least, in relation to one another). So no other info about clothes, weapons, or any other contextual clues are given.
This cool test of video game character knowledge comes courtesy of a blog post by UK-based secure IT disposal company, Computer Disposals Limited, which primarily concerns itself with safely retiring and recycling outdated IT assets. They boiled down 15 of the most iconic characters from legendary video game and arcade game franchises, and turned each of them into a stack of color blocks, ready to be guessed.
Why did they do that? Well firstly, because “Why not?” Secondly, because it’s the perfect excuse to recall with fondness the characters dating back to previous generations of consoles which we grew up with, before ushering in the new console generation with the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S releasing next month.
So, now that you have context, let’s get to it. Below are the 15 characters for you to guess. If you click on each of the figures, the answer will pop up with an accompanying pic of the character, and a list of the answers will be given at the end of this post too. Just try not to peek at them until you’ve given them all a fair chance!
The Most Recognizable Video Game Character
The folks at CDL who created this test of retro gaming aptitude evidently included a healthy balance of super-easy and somewhat more obscure. I myself went in purposively looking for old Mario, and my colleague similarly mistook Link – at number four – for the Italian ex-plumber. But just to mix it up, CDL threw in his peers Goomba and Princess Peach instead (although the latter was certainly one of the easy ones).
CDL surveyed 1000 people asking them to attempt their little brainteaser. It was found that the most recognizable character of the bunch is Kirby – star of Nintendo’s obscenely successful franchise of the same name, started back in 1992. Gamer or not, chances are you would have come across the lovable pink alien blob thing at some point in your journeys. It turns out that a good 90% of the participants could correctly identify Kirby given just two strips of pink to go off of. Good job yet again, Nintendo!
It’s interesting that the world-renowned dot-munching Pac-Man (number 12, made up of literally just one solid block of yellow) didn’t take that top position, though.
The beauty of these classic video game characters lies in their simplicity, which is what makes them so memorable in the first place. The fact that 90% of the people surveyed by CDL could guess at least one character correctly based only on a few bars of colors is proof itself of that.
And don’t worry if you couldn’t get all of them – you’re definitely part of the majority. Only 40% of CDL’s survey participants could correctly identify all 15 iconic characters. But for those who did get most or all of them correct, you can safely call yourself a god amongst humankind. Now go forth and revel in your few minutes of fame!
How many did you get right? Leave a comment – we’d love to know!
Here are the answers for each numbered characte:
- Kirby (Kirby)
- Ryu (Street Fighter)
- Popo and Nana (Ice Climbers)
- Link (The Legend of Zelda)
- Donkey Kong (Donkey Kong)
- Princess Peach (Super Mario)
- Bulbasaur (Pokémon)
- Miles “Tails” Prower (Sonic the Hedgehog)
- Mega Man (Mega Man)
- Simon Belmont (Castlevania)
- Falco Lombardi, Slippy Toad, Fox McCloud, and Peppy Hare (Star Fox)
- Pac Man (Pac Man)
- Samus Aran (Metroid)
- Goomba (Super Mario)
- Ray-Man (Ray-Man)
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