NHL Hockey (titled "EA Hockey" outside North America) is an ice hockey game by EA Sports.
It was released in 1991 for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and is the first game in the NHL series.
The first version of the game was released in August of 1991 in North America for the Sega Genesis. It was developed by Park Place Productions, North America's largest independent development company owned by Michael Knox and Troy Lyndon.
This version of NHL Hockey is the first game to include the EA Sports logo.
The game uses a vertical top-down view, which was unique at the time since most previous hockey games used a horizontal or side-on view. It also features a NHL license, so all of the league's team names and logos are used.
However, lack of a license from the NHLPA results in all players being referred to by their numbers rather than names. Although the game has all of the NHL teams that existed at the time, the only competition present in the game is the Playoffs, decided in either one or seven matches.
Outside of North America the game was released as EA Hockey and features international teams and no NHL license.
A component of the game which added to the game-play is the fact that fights break out in the event of a bad body check. Players fight with a computer player (or a friend in 2 player mode) which continues until one player falls down or until approximately thirty seconds has passed and normal gameplay resumes.
During the fights the crowd cheers and team mates and officials stand in close proximity. No advantage or disadvantage is gained from winning or losing a fight.
- Stanley Cup Playoffs: Single Game Series
- Stanley Cup Playoffs: Best of Seven Series
Mega placed the game at #2 in their "Top Mega Drive Games of All Time."
According to Maximum: "A previously under-exposed and almost unheard of sport this side of the great divide, the original NHL on the Megadrive was a benchmark title and thanks to the reputation of John Madden Football and an excellent review in Mean Machines, it became an instant classic."