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...

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Bros.

In his first two video game appearances, Mario had to play second banana to two starring gorillas, Donkey Kong and Donkey Kong Jr.. The mustachioed carpenter-turned-plumber finally got top billing (and a twin brother, Luigi) in 1983's original Mario Bros. arcade game, but the future King of All Things Nintendo didn't really ascend to the throne until 1986. In that watershed year, Super Mario Bros. hit the arcades in Nintendo's Vs. cabinets, jumpstarting both Mario's career and the future of side-scrolling platform video games. Continue reading...

Fire Truck

Atari Fire Truck

Where's the fire? Well, there was no fire, just a fire truck that had to be steered around roads full of obstacles in the 1978 Atari game. The player(s) had to steer a fire truck through the winding streets, accumulating points and--hopefully--earning extended play with a high enough score. Continue reading...

Scramble

Scramble

A rocket ship on a course for danger and destruction, Scramble was an action game lover's dream come true. There were no princesses or hostages to rescue, no treasures to recover, no object other than the entire destruction of the "Scramble Defense Systems" and the base they protected. Let's look back at the memorable arcade game, released by Stern Electronics in 1981. Continue reading...

Alpine Racer

Alpine Racer

There once was a time when, if one wanted to experience the thrills of downhill skiing, it meant a considerable investment in equipment, lift tickets and hotel accommodations. This all changed in 1995, when Namco offered a trip to the Alps for the mere price of a quarter or two. And, while playing a video game might seem a pale comparison to the real thing, Alpine Racer boasted a virtual experience that offered thrills on the slopes, without any danger of frostbite or a trip to the emergency room with a broken limb. Continue reading...

Zaxxon

Zaxxon

Jaws dropped when Sega released Zaxxon in 1982. Oh sure, gamers had flown spaceships into strafing raids and interstellar dogfights before, but Zaxxon placed these battles into a never-before seen 3D environment, complete with shadows. These innovations changed the course of action games and secured Zaxxon its rightful place in arcade history. Continue reading...

Area 51

Area 51

As any conspiracy theorist can attest, deep in the confines of the Nevada desert lies the super-secret Area 51, a hotbed for extraterrestrial activity unlike any other in the world. Atari took arcade gamers to this mysterious locale in 1995, as a highly trained marine from STAAR (Special tactical Advanced Alien Response, of course) whose mission was to rid the base of a gaggle of unfriendly interplanetary visitors and (for good measure) their human zombie cohorts. The result was a hit in arcades around the globe. Continue reading...