Platform games

I was watching TV the other day and saw a commercial that got me thinking. It had nothing to do with the commercial, but something that linked the commercial to old-school platform games, ie. Mario bros. Why is it that they were always designed so that the object of the game was to move from the left to the right? Sure, there were games where you could do whatever you pleased (like run back and forth), but the goal of the level was to reach the end, which was almost always on the right hand side. Why not right-to-left?

Wasn’t Pitfall! for the Atari one of the first of that genre? I believe it went right to left, but I have no idea why.

I thought in Pitfall you could go either way, since it looped on itself.

Isn’t this a Cafe Society thread?

Kung Fu Master used to alternate - starting with right to left, then left to right, for each level.

WAG: perhaps it’s to do with the fact that in the West, we read from left to right.

If I remember, Pitfall was pretty freeform. You started out going left-to-right, but it didn’t lock out the already-passed screens, so you could go back. Also, once you got underground, which way you went depended on which level of the cave you were in. It was more of a boustrophedon type thing.

In Tonight Show - The Game you moved from right to left.

Ninja Gaiden was another back and forth, for the most part, since on many levels you were going up through a building.

Though, WHY you go left to right, I don’t know.

The first games with levels and bosses (Space Invaders) didn’t start this trend.

Colecovision had an early game where the jet/attacker/player flew left to right in all levels.