Haunted House pinball machine

Haunted House

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

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...

Journey-Game

Journey Game

Two forms of entertainment dominated the lives of teenagers in the 80s - video arcades and MTV. Game manufacturer Bally/Midway pondered the riches they might receive by merging the two. To that end, they took one of the most popular bands of the era and plopped them into their very own video adventure. The result was Journey, a rocking arcade game that, despite the novelty, left almost as quickly as it arrived. Continue reading...

Joust

Joust

If you only had the name to go by, one might assume that a video game called Joust would be a pitting of two knights, sitting 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 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 realize that kidnapping the girl never leads to anything but trouble. Luckily for gamers, these sinister scoundrels have proven to be slow-learners, and a endless supply of damsel in distress games has always dotted the arcade landscape. Such was the case with Kung Fu Master. Borrowing on a premise from the Bruce Lee film, Game of Death, this arcade favorite placed our hero in a multi-leveled palace, with each floor upping the adversarial ante. Continue reading...