It’s a peculiar feeling one gets when encountering a project that seems so inside your wheelhouse, you start to wonder just who the hell else is hiding in that wheelhouse you thought was yours. I felt this when I stumbled across this website, which appears to be dedicated to documenting every instance that a Volkswagen Beetle has appeared in a video game.
This really sounds like something I would have done, but, well, I didn’t. This other guy did.
The page is pretty simple and perhaps even crude in layout and design, and appears not to have been updated since 2008, so it’s hardly a fully comprehensive list.
It is, however, a fantastic start, and includes screenshots from all kinds of games with Beetles somewhere in them, from arcade classics where they just appear in the background, like in the arcade classic Double Dragon, which is documented in nearly all its various ports and conversions:
I liked seeing the odd two-tone one from Atari’s Paperboy:
And, of course, we all remember the many, many Beetles of Sega’s OutRun, buzzing all around you:
I’m pretty sure the earliest example, which is mentioned on the page, of a Beetle in a video game is Atari’s 1977 arcade game Super Bug.
Though it appears that the actually nicely-rendered (you know, for like a 16 x 16 matrix) is yellow, it’s not really, since it’s using a little colored transparency over the Beetle, which always remains centered on the screen.
There’s a lot of games I’ve never heard of, like 1997’s The Streets of Sim City, which features some nice low-polygon 3D Beetles:
I’m not sure who made this little archive, but I suspect they’re German, from the .de URL and some of the Käfer references on the page. It’s not fancy, but I’m pleased this exists. There’s something oddly soothing about scrolling through this simple page of screenshots of pixellated or polygon’d Volkswagens.