In the early days of home video games, there unfortunately were not a lot of great, realistic boxing games. But in 1981, Intellivision came out with a game simply titled Boxing that was quite realistic.
The graphics for Boxing were only fair, but they were still better than some other boxing games of the day and at least they weren’t awful graphics. The sounds, too, were decent.
Where this game truly shined was in its realism.
Yes, despite sub-par graphics and sound, this was still a relatively realistic game.
First off, you had your choice of six different boxers, each with different strengths and skill specialties.
Also, you played a total of 15 rounds, each round being 90 seconds long. That’s pretty real for a sports video game from 1981.
Another piece of realism here were the controls. The player used the disc on the Intellivision controls to move his or her fighter around the ring on the screen, but more importantly the number pad (with an overlay) was used to spectacular effect by offering multiple different types of attacks and defenses.
The match is won the traditional way. The player has to either knock out the opponent or win by scoring more points. The computer, of course, decides upon the points, but it always seemed pretty fair to me.
Boxing has proved popular enough over the years that it has been re-released for today’s gaming audiences on the Intellivision Lives! game and in Microsoft’s Game Room.