Great article over on spyrestudios about the usability techniques that the 80's video games of our childhood employed, within the constraints of limited resources:
- Use lack of colour to create atmosphere - Super Metroid
- Use vibrant colours and shapes to convey futuristic themes - Mega Man 3
- Use unconventional concepts to capture the imagination of the user - Super Mario 2
- Use colour to convey status changes - Mega Man 3, Super Mario
- Define a clear pathway of how the user progresses through the system - Super Mario
See the SOURCE link below for the full article.