Defender

Defender

Williams Electronics made their living with pinball machines but when the time came to break into the blossoming field of video games, they gave the task to Eugene Jarvis, designer and programmer of many groundbreaking and popular game platforms. He came up with Defender in 1980, a horizontal scrolling shooting game that was harder than it looked, and plenty addictive. Continue reading...

Frogger

Frogger

For those who didn't necessarily want to wage their arcade battles in the far reaches of space, there was once a game called Frogger, which allowed us to help a member of the animal kingdom traverse obstacles both natural and man-made, and find his way safely to his preferred habitat. This journey, both daunting and surprisingly addictive, made Konami's Frogger an instant hit among the masses, and one of the most beloved video games to emerge from the 80s. Continue reading...

Joust

Joust

If you only had the name to go by, one might assume that a video game called Joust would be a pitting of two knights, sitting atop their respective trusty steeds, engaging in an effort to successfully skewer their opponent. A reasonable assumption, but one that completely undersells this quirky and popular endeavor. No, Joust, released by Williams Electronics in 1982, offered a much more entertaining challenge, one that focused on a delightfully strange competitive arena. Continue reading...

Battlezone

Battlezone

In the early days of arcade games, truly immersive experiences were few and far between. Battlezone was a welcome exception. Thanks to realistic controls, which made up somewhat for the simple, green wire-frame vector graphics of the day, and a viewing scope that kept the surrounding real world from view, players of Battlezone enjoyed a unique experience that made this a must-play arcade game. Continue reading...

Bozo's Grand Prize Game

Bozo’s Grand Prize Game

While working on the Chicago-based Bozo the Clown show in 1962, producer Don Sandburg had a great idea for a contest. Called the Grand Prize Game, it soon became apparent that every kid in the area wanted in on the action. The stakes were high – a silver dollar and a Schwinn bicycle for any youngster who could meet the challenge. Continue reading...

Baseball Games

Baseball Games

More than a half-century before anyone would ever know what a video game was, pinball games reigned supreme in the local arcade and enjoyed a long and colorful history that continues today. But another game emerged back in the 30s, one called a “pitch and bat,” which led to a series of wonderful pinball-esque baseball games that are still fondly remembered to this day. Continue reading...