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...

retroland_intellivision

Intellivision

The video game console wars of the early 80s were reminiscent of the video format wars a few years earlier, where VHS won the popularity contest hands-down, yet Betamax still boasted a better quality. In this arena, the Atari 2600 played the role of the VHS tape and underdog challenger was Mattel’s Intellivision, a fine little video game system that never quite captured the same spotlight, but will forever be remembered by many from that era as the superior system. Continue reading...

Bio-Rhythm Machine

Biorhythm Machines

When the 70s arrived, the old fortune-telling machines of yesteryear seemed a little quaint and outdated. Realizing that Zoltan wasn’t earning a fair share of quarters any more, it was time to pull out the big guns and display the amazing technological leaps that had occurred in the fortune prediction industry. It was time to unveil the Biorhythm machine. 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...

Apple II Computer

Apple ][

The year of 1977 was one filled with numerous events to get all nostalgic about – Elvis Presley died, Roots first aired on television, Fleetwood Mac released Rumours, Star Wars premiered on the big screen, and the Atari 2600 home gaming system was released. The event that perhaps had the most significant impact on the future, however, was the release of the first personal computer. 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...