Biorhythm Machines

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When the 70s arrived, the old fortune-telling machines of yesteryear seemed a little quaint and outdated.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 advanced games of the genre was Sega’s Afterburner, released in 1987. Offering thrills like no other, 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

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

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, beckoning 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 reason to cheer in 1990, when programming whiz Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron: 2084) matched wits with the soon-to-be legendary programmer, Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat). The result was a particularly intense arcade version of the beloved pigskin 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...