Jun 21, 2013

League Post - The Ultimate Arcade

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This assignment from the League of Extraordinary Bloggers may be my toughest yet...

You’ve decided to build an addition onto your house, a rec room that will feature your very own fantasy video arcade. 
What games are on your shopping list?

  I have to try and restrain myself to just a few all time favorites and I'll no doubt think of others after the list has been posted and wonder why I didn't include them.

When I was in middle school, the mall across from my school had a handful of games and I'd stop by on the way home. The local corner store had a couple too. That's where I cut my teeth on Donkey Kong, Asteroids, Centipede, Karate Champ and Jungle King. I also swiped some quarters from mom's change jar. Sorry about that!

My dad would take me to the local bowling alley/arcade just about every Friday night and it was a common location within biking distance where I could meet friends. Once someone got a license, we'd visit other arcades at the area malls to scope out different games. To say I spent a lot of time in arcades would still be an understatement!
It's ridiculous how many 80s games I can name by sound.

Ready Player One!

And none of this "Root Beer Tapper" malarkey! I don't drink, but there's just something more satisfying about serving customers a cold one, and it also explains why they'll run you down the bar-top if you don't serve them in time. Plus, the Bud version has a foot bar at the bottom like an actual bar. Like a lot of classic arcade games, the basics of it are simple but once the pace starts ramping up, it gets ca-razy!

Dragon's Lair
Literally, a game changer. I can't tell you how many pairs of quarters I sank into this machine. You were basically paying to learn and repeat the patterns to get you through the denizens and death traps of the Lair. I can still recall the adrenalin and fear coursing through me the first time I managed to finish the game. My hands were shaking!

Haunted House
A blacklit game area, an 8-track providing the sound and a light shooting rifle. What more do you need? I used to love these light gun arcade games. There was an alien invasion one too that was cool but I think I have to choose this one based on the theme. 
Check out this video of the game in action.

Discs of Tron (walk-in cabinet)
C'mon, you didn't think we were getting through an arcade post without some Tron, did you? The game is great on its own but when you get to step inside the cabinet and have speakers around you, it's freakin epic! This game was supposed to part of the first Tron game that had the four mini-games in it. I bet it's much cooler having been made its own thing.

The Empire Strikes Back (sit down cabinet)
The instinct may be to go with the original Star Wars but Empire is my favorite movie. Even though the original has different levels they all feel like part of the same thing. Whereas with Empire, the different levels feel, well, different. While it may not be like shooting womp rats back home, there's nothing like blasting probe droids and AT-ATs.

Demolition Derby (4-player)
This may be the most obscure game on my list as I've only ever seen it in one location. This game is wicked fun when played with all four players. It's exactly what it sounds like, you try to be the last car running while destroying the other players and IA cars.

Crawl the dungeons armed with only a bow and your wits and see if you can capture all the treasures! Much like Berzerk, Venture has an unkillable boss that will come after you if you hang around on one screen too long.

And over in the classics corner...
Space Invaders
Donkey Kong
Karate Champ (the original fighting game)

And of course there has to be a Pinball Nexus...
Addams Family
Star Wars Trilogy
Creature from the Black Lagoon

Gah! There's still so many...Crazy Climber, Satan's Hollow, Street Fighter II, 
Rolling Thunder, Wizard of Wor, Temple of Doom...

Other league members that have a quarter on the glass
Branded in the 80s
Pax at Cavalcade of Awesome has some great taste!
Dragon's Lair gets no love at the Cave of Coolness


  1. Oh man you just ran a laundry list of many of my favorite arcade games Dex. Man do I miss those great days of dropping quarters in those machines.

    1. It was way too hard to narrow the list down to what I posted!