Haunted House

Haunted House pinball machine

Competition was fierce among pinball machine manufacturers in the early 80s, as each tried to outdo their rivals with new features that would set their products apart from the rest. One of the most creative was the use of multi-level playing surfaces, first introduced in 1980, when Williams placed an additional upper level in their breakthrough game, Black Knight. The following year, Gottlieb countered with a lower level of play, viewable through a window in the main playing field in their game, Black Hole. And seeking to one-up themselves, Gottlieb followed up in 1982 with the first 3-surface pinball game, Haunted House, a game still fondly remembered by pinball aficionados. Continue reading...

High Impact Football

High Impact Football

Football fans had something to cheer about in 1990 when proven programming whiz Eugene Jarvis (Defender, Robotron: 2084) matched wits with the soon-to-be legendary programmer, Ed Boon (Mortal Kombat). The result of their collaboration was a particularly intense arcade version of the beloved 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...

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...

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...

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...

Joust

Joust arcade game

If you only had the name to go by, one might assume that a video game called Joust would be a mere pitting of two knights, sitting proudly atop their respective trusty steeds, engaging in an effort to successfully skewer their opponent - a reasonable assumption, but one that completely undersells this quirky and enormously popular endeavor. No, Joust, released by Williams Electronics in 1982, offered a much more entertaining challenge, one that focused on a delightfully strange competitive arena. Continue reading...

Kung Fu Master

Kung Fu Master

You would thing that after all these years, villains would finally realize that kidnapping the girl never leads to anything but a truckload of trouble. But luckily for gamers, these sinister scoundrels have proven to be slow-learners, and a seemingly endless supply of damsel in distress games has continuously dotted the arcade landscape. Borrowing on a premise from the Bruce Lee film, Game of Death, Kung Fu Master placed our hero in a multi-leveled palace, with each floor upping the adversarial ante. Continue reading...

Lunar Lander

Lunar Lander

A decade had passed since humans set foot on the moon, when Atari decided to give their quarter-bearing customers a whack at it. Released in 1979, Lunar Lander was a challenging, pressure-filled game that probably sucked up enough quarters to finance the real Apollo mission. Continue reading...

Missile Command

Missile Command

Would you like to play a game? Back in the 80s the Cold War was still a very real threat so naturally, the whole global thermonuclear annihilation thing made a fantastic subject for arcade games. Missile Command, released by Atari in 1980, took advantage of the U.S. vs. U.S.S.R. standoff to create a virtual world where missiles were indeed flying fast and furious and only you and your quarters could save the country. Continue reading...

Nintendo

Nintendo Entertainment System

There once was a playing card company in Japan that decided to get their feet wet in the world of arcade games. One day, they introduced an addicting little video game about a plumber battling with an ape and within five years, the name Nintendo would become synonymous with home video game systems. Perhaps every family in America didn’t have a deck of Nintendo playing cards in their living room but millions would eventually have one of their Game Systems. And if you were a kid during this era, it was simply the only game to have. Let's take a look at the history of this iconic toy. Continue reading...