Gauntlet arcade game

Gauntlet

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...

Atari Fire Truck

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...

House of the Dead

House of the Dead

Fans of first-person shooting games had already had their fill of taking out soldiers, terrorists and the like, but those were mere mortals. When Sega introduced House of the Dead in 1997, players would be forced to contend with a few more ominous adversaries - legions of hungry and undead zombies in need of a human flesh fix. It would take a handful of quarters and your trusty firearm to save your hide from becoming dinner. Continue reading...