Browsing: Arcade games

Back in 1978, arcade games had one undisputed king. Its name was Space Invaders, and at the time, it seemed like it would own the crown forever. Rather than take…

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…

“Fight me! I am the Wizard of Wor!” Part Pac-Man, part Alien, part Dungeons and Dragons, Bally Midway’s Wizard of Wor took gamers down into a dungeon maze for a…

In the years after Star Wars (1977), anything involving outer space, zippy interstellar craft and dangerous battles was golden. Into this arena of sci-fi fantasy came Atari’s Asteroids, one of the…

1982 gamers had never seen anything like Sega/Gremlin’s Zaxxon. Players had flown spaceships into strafing raids and interstellar dogfights before, but Zaxxon did it in something approaching 3-D, putting a…

A classic vertically-scrolling shoot-em-up Namco arcade game (distributed by Atari), Xevious sent your ‘Solvalou’ craft into solo battle against the invading Xevious armies. Unfortunately, the Xevious could attack from the…

Backed by a thudding bass beat, dozens of invaders from another world descended on our planet in 1978. Within months, Space Invaders was one of the hottest fads on the…

In the near future, with half the world ravaged by a nuclear war and violence ruling the streets in America, Marian is kidnapped by a violent street gang known as The Black…

The first successful computer game was a video version of ping-pong, whose “ball” was a blip that bounced back and forth on-screen between two paddles. The ‘paddles’ were moved up…

It will come as no surprise that Pac-Man originated in Japan, where a Japanese computer firm called Namco Limited, modelled the game after a classic Japanese tale about a creature…

The object of Frogger was almost Zen-like: to get to the other side. But considerably less Zen were the many obstacles in your path: zooming cars, trucks and buses, snakes,…

You just had to love a game whose entire philosophy on life was summed up in its three-syllable title: Bump ‘n’ Jump. That’s all there was to it. Bump cars…

Designed by future Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs (though Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak reportedly did the bulk of the work), Breakout turned the video game world on its ear and…

Early 1950s fore-runners of arcade games included photo booths which became a national craze and shuffle games which moved beyond bowling with Deluxe Shuffle Targette. Meanwhile, Auto Test let practising…

Ice hockey enthusiast Bob Lemieux dreamed up this popular table game for billiards manufacturers Brunswick back in 1972. Almost instantly, the craze spread across the country, and eventually to the…

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…

“Skate or Die!” With its funky circular joystick and boom box cabinet, there was no mistaking 720° in your local arcade. Starring a brightly-attired slacker and his favourite board, the…

The deceptively simple concept of Bally Midway’s Amazing Maze – released in 1976 – was this: You were on one side of a maze, and you had to get to…

Sega/Gremlin’s Safari, released in 1977, took players on a big game hunt in the jungle, trying to bag the heads or hides of four different kinds of animals: snakes, lions,…