Atari

Atari

The granddaddy of all platform and handheld game stations, the Atari Video Computer System remains a classic. In the tradition of trench warfare and bayonets, Atari maintains its appeal despite its antiquity. And, like Kleenex or Xerox, the word itself became synonymous with the activity it represented. In the late 70s and early 80s, nobody played video games at home; they played Atari. One had to go to the arcade or to the corner of the local sandwich shop to play video games. Atari, on the other hand, offered a comparable selection of games, required no quarters, and could be played at all hours from the comforts of your living room. 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...

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...

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When the 70s arrived, the old fortune-telling machines of yesteryear seemed a little quaint and outdated.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...

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...

Breakout

Breakout

For all of the mass frenzy created by the introduction of Pong in 1972, the excitement began to wane four years later, as the public was eager for new and exciting arcade games. As a result, future Apple computer creators Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak put their heads together and the result was Breakout, the newest chapter in coin-operated game history that was destined to sweep the world. Continue reading...

BurgerTime

BurgerTime

To create a successful video game, one must provide both a unique premise and a certain level of frenzied excitement. Combine the two successfully and people will part ways with every quarter in their pocket. One such game was the quirky and fast-paced BurgerTime, which pitted the player against a variety of fast food objects and edible enemies while they raced against time to build the perfect burger. Continue reading...

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...