Pong

Pong

Pong wasn't the first commercial video game but it sure was the most successful, ushering in the first generation of electronic arcade games. Developed by video game guru Nolan Bushnell, Pong became the foundation for Bushnell's legendary Atari company and ground zero for an industry about to explode. Continue reading...

Skee-Ball

Skee-Ball

Oh, to hold that wooden ball in your palm and ponder the possibilities. You've studied the prize case carefully. You've smudged the glass and maybe endured a weary eye-roll from the arcade attendant. No matter. Be it the candy necklace or the magic card trick or the baton or the kazoo, you know how many tickets it will take to claim your prize and you know what you have to do. Roll up your sleeves, say a little prayer to the aiming gods and take a deep breath. It's time to roll some Skee-Balls. Continue reading...

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 arcade game

Berzerk

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 and 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 Invaders, 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...