Whac-A-Mole

Whac-A-Mole

Tough day at school? Siblings giving you a hard time? What you need is little cathartic activity to make things seem all better. All can be cured with a trip down to the local Chuck E. Cheese (or Showtime Pizza, if you prefer) where a plastic mallet and a field of unsuspecting rodents await your assault. The game is called Whac-A-Mole, and it's been delighting kids for decades. Continue reading...

Paperboy

Paperboy

Space hero, cowboy, mythic warrior…all pale in comparison to Paperboy, the arcade game that allowed the player to work his own virtual paper route. It’s a game that might very well have been boring if it wasn’t for the fact that the main character wielded newspapers like lethal weapons, just perfect for launching through a glass window. Released by Atari in 1984, the game consisted of players earning points by being a good paperboy and delivering the papers safely and on target, right in front of each subscriber’s house. But not everyone was a paying customer and those houses were designated by muted colors, making them fair game for the paperboy and his deadly morning edition. The game actually awarded […] Continue reading...

BurgerTime

BurgerTime

To create a successful video game, one must provide both a unique premise and a certain level of frenzied excitement. Combine the two successfully and people will part ways with every quarter in their pocket. One such game was the quirky and fast-paced BurgerTime, which pitted the player against a variety of fast food objects and edible enemies while they raced against time to build the perfect burger. Continue reading...

Tetris

Tetris

Call it the Russian Revolution… In 1987, software company Spectrum Holobyte, Inc., released a PC game designed by Russian programmer Alexey Pazhitnov. Dubbed Tetris (from the Greek word for "four"), the game was deceptively simple: Using seven differently-shaped bricks-each made of four blocks-players tried to build complete rows at the bottom of the screen. But what might have appeared an easy task at first glance, proved to be a little more maddening once the pressure was on, which made this one addictive video game. Continue reading...

Centipede

Centipede

The male-dominated video game industry was injected with a woman’s perspective in 1980, when Dona Bailey became the first woman to help design an arcade game. Alongside the legendary Atari programmer Ed Logg, who had unleashed Asteroids on the public a year earlier, the pair created a masterpiece called Centipede, one of the first games to appeal to both men and women alike. The result was one of the most successful titles in arcade history. Continue reading...

Missile Command

Missile Command

Would you like to play a game? Back in the 80s the Cold War was still a very real threat so naturally, the whole global thermonuclear annihilation thing made a fantastic subject for arcade games. Missile Command, released by Atari in 1980, took advantage of the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. standoff to create a virtual world where missiles were indeed flying fast and furious and only you and your quarters could save the country. Continue reading...

Air Hockey

Air Hockey

Greatness is often found in simplicity. And when it comes to arcade games, there is no greater embodiment of simplicity than Air Hockey, a game that can be learned in less than a minute and is still played, over 40 years since its inception, all around the world. It came upon the scene in the early 70s, and soon after, the distinctive click-clack sounds of two players battling it out could be heard in every arcade across the country. Continue reading...

Space Invaders

Space Invaders

Backed by a thudding bass beat, dozens of invaders from another world descended on our planet in 1978. Within months, Space Invaders was one of the hottest fads on the globe, helping propel the video arcade into a multi-billion dollar industry. Let's take a look back and trace this history of this beloved game. Continue reading...