Developed in 1970 by Bob’s Space Racers, the anger-abating coin-operated game Whac-a-Mole did exactly what it said on the tin! There were five holes out of which the moles popped up – faster and faster as the game progressed.
There was no strategy here. All you needed was some good old-fashioned hand-eye coordination. Get a hold of that giant padded hammer and pound some moles.
If the animal lover inside felt bad about beating down little furry critters, there were other versions of the game, including Whac-a-American-Footballer, Whac-a-Warden, or Whac-a-Saurus.
And if parents wanted to raise the little ones to become high-scoring whackers someday, they could train them on the Kiddie Whac-a-Mole- three holes instead of five, and a lower cabinet.
Whac-a-Mole’s long-lasting success led to the creation of an entire arcade genre, the ever-popular “whacker” game.
Titles like Wacky Gator and Cracky Crab added new beasties and new twists, but the stress-busting premise remained the same.
Today, Whac-a-Mole and its descendants can still be found in carnivals and arcades everywhere.