Pole Position

Pole Position

Since the advent of arcade games, those that offered a chance at testing your racing skills have always remained a popular attraction. In the early days, the graphics left much to be desired, as you guided your dot through a track of dots without a fellow racer to be found. This all changed in 1983, with the introduction of Namco's Pole Position. Offering state-of-the-art graphics and realistic controls, the game offered a much more realistic racing experience - and aspiring drivers lined up in droves. 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...

Dig Dug arcade game

Dig Dug

Pac-Man's creators toiled long and hard to repeat the success of their yellow pride and joy but didn't have much luck until somebody thought that going around a maze might be more fun if you actually got to create the maze yourself. Dig Dug, released by Namco in 1982, had plenty of monsters lurking around corners and one plucky digger determined to vanquish them all. Let's take a look back. Continue reading...

Defender

Defender

Williams Electronics made their living with pinball machines but when the time came to break into the blossoming field of video games, they gave the task to Eugene Jarvis, designer and programmer of many groundbreaking and popular game platforms. He came up with Defender in 1980, a horizontal scrolling shooting game that was harder than it looked. Continue reading...

Odyssey

Odyssey

It's strange to fathom those dark ages prior to the advent of the home video game, but civilization waited until 1972, when we were forever changed by the release of the Odyssey. We owe our thanks to a man named Ralph Baer (who would later introduce us to a beloved electronic memory game called Simon). He was the mastermind that teamed with Magnavox to change the world forever and make home gaming the preferred recreational activity of children and adults alike. Continue reading...

Galaga

Galaga

All the way back in 1978, millions of arcade aficionados got their first taste of civil defense experience by protecting the planet from those pesky Space Invaders. And like all good arcade games, competition would soon follow. The next year, Namco introduced Galaxian, a similar game with a few extra bells and whistles. Then, in 1981, they followed up with a sequel, one that would go on to become a certified hit in the video game world. Thy name was Galaga. Continue reading...

Whac-A-Mole

Whac-A-Mole

Tough day at school? Siblings giving you a hard time? What you need is little cathartic activity to make things seem all better. All can be cured with a trip down to the local Chuck E. Cheese (or Showtime Pizza, if you prefer) where a plastic mallet and a field of unsuspecting rodents await your assault. The game is called Whac-A-Mole, and it's been delighting kids for decades. Continue reading...

Paperboy

Paperboy

Space hero, cowboy, mythic warrior…all pale in comparison to Paperboy, the arcade game that allowed the player to work his own virtual paper route. It’s a game that might very well have been boring if it wasn’t for the fact that the main character wielded newspapers like lethal weapons, just perfect for launching through a glass window. Released by Atari in 1984, the game consisted of players earning points by being a good paperboy and delivering the papers safely and on target, right in front of each subscriber’s house. But not everyone was a paying customer and those houses were designated by muted colors, making them fair game for the paperboy and his deadly morning edition. The game actually awarded […] Continue reading...