Arcade game designers have always been a creative bunch, generally willing to try any idea (no matter how strange it may seem) if they think it can be transformed into an arcade hit.
As a result, arcades have seen many games over the years that have been built on strange ideas. Some of these are so unusual, they don’t fit a standard arcade style and stand alone as their own genre.
One of the most interesting games within this trend was Airball, a 1972 game from MCI that was truly in a class of its own.
Airball used its many elements to create an unforgettably spooky and surreal arcade experience. The purpose of the game was to successfully move a ping pong ball levitating on a jet of air through a series of targets that were suspended in the air.
The game’s action had an especially eerie feel, thanks to the use of fluorescent black lighting within the cabinet and the creepy sound effects, which included whistles, chime sounds and strange vocal noises.
The end result was a game that truly created a world of its own for the player.
Even in a field that is increasingly dominated by strange ideas, Airball stands out as one of the true originals in arcade game history.