Afterburner

Afterburner

At the tail end of the Cold War, and with films like Top Gun and Iron Eagle enjoying enormous popularity, it only made sense to make the thrill of air combat available at the local arcade. Perhaps one of the most technologically advanced of these games was Sega’s Afterburner, released in 1987. Offering thrills like no other in its class, there were actually versions of the game that required the player to strap in for safety purposes. Now, that’s some serious gaming! Continue reading...

Berzerk

Berzerk arcade game

Battling herds of enemy robots was an interesting enough premise for a video game. And without any sound effects, Berzerk, released in 1980, would likely have still been popular simply for being an action-packed shooting game. But add in a talking robot voice and suddenly the game stands out from all the others surrounding it and it beckons one to play. Continue reading...

Pac-Man

Pac-Man

It’s a yellow circle with a wedge missing that goes around a maze eating dots and dodging ghosts. That, in a nutshell, is the most iconic, legendary video game ever to hit the arcade. Ask anyone with access to electricity to identify Pac-Man and they’ll get it right 99.999% of the time. Created by Toru Iwatani of Namco in 1980, the game had an inauspicious release in Japan but enjoyed a far better welcome in the United States (where it was distributed by Midway). Overtaking the popular Space Invader, Pac-Man became a staple of arcades across the country and spawned a veritable media empire that is still thriving today. Continue reading...

High Impact Football

High Impact Football

Football fans had something to cheer about in 1990 when proven programming whiz Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron: 2084) matched wits with the soon-to-be legendary programmer, Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat). The result of their collaboration was a particularly intense arcade version of the beloved pastime called High Impact Football. Sportsmanship would take the back seat, in favor of trash talking and crushing the bones of anyone who stood in the way on the field. Continue reading...

Dragon’s Lair

Dragon's Lair

It was enough to make your toes curl and clutch your quarters tightly in your pocket. In a sea of arcade games featuring bitmap characters and crude backgrounds, Dragon's Lair looked like a full-fledged animated movie. Released in 1983, its innovative gameplay would earn it a rightful place in arcade game history, fondly remembered by anyone who ever shelled out 50 cents to see how the enchanting story of knight versus dragon played out. Continue reading...

Crazy Climber

Crazy Climber

Crazy Climber brought to mind the ancient myths of poor mortals cursed to repeat the same quest over and over again with no end in sight. That's not to say it wasn't fun. In fact, it was addictively so, enough to lure arcade aficionados to spend their hard-earned quarters ascending skyscraper after skyscraper in this endearing (and enduring) game, released by Taito in 1980. Continue reading...

Canyon Bomber

Canyon Bomber

The names of early arcade games left little doubt as to what the player’s responsibilities would entail. Lunar Lander meant sheer frustration as you tried to set down on the moon’s surface. Asteroids put you in deep space, shooting madly at the rocky obstacles bent on destroying you. And with a name like Canyon Bomber, your mission was crystal clear – you were going to bomb some canyons. Let's take a look back at this 1978 offering from Atari. Continue reading...

Foosball

Foosball

Not just for video arcades, Foosball has been a staple of bars, restaurants and friendly neighborhood living rooms for the better part of a century. Developed in Western Europe in the early 1900s, the game really took off in America in the 70s - where people could be found spinning their players with reckless abandon on tens of thousands of foosball tables scattered across the land. It remains a wolrdwide pub favorite to this day. Continue reading...

Indy 800

Indy 800 arcade game

When Atari released their first attempt at a racing game in 1974, called Gran Track 10, the response was somewhat underwhelming. Undaunted, they forged forward the following year with the much more ambitious Indy 800. This time around, the game allowed up to eight players to compete simultaneously against each other and the notorious clock. A steady stream of quarters would soon follow, making this one of the most popular racing games of the 70s. Continue reading...

Gauntlet

Gauntlet arcade game

Roleplay and dungeons gained much popularity in the 1980s and naturally, arcade games cashed in on the trend. Being one of the first games to accommodate from one to four simultaneous players, Gauntlet featured a sprawling set of mazes through which the characters wandered and slew monsters. The arcade community embraced the game with open arms and filled each machine with a steady supply of quarters. Continue reading...