Altered Beast is an influential Sega beat ’em up first released into arcades in 1988. In some respects it was the predecessor to Golden Axe and Alien Storm; both similar games, and both to come later from Sega.
Created by Williams Electronics in 1988, Narc is a side-scrolling run-and-gun shooter that attracted a lot of controversy when it first came out.
Puzznic is a one or two-player, puzzle-based, tile-matching arcade game, released by Taito in 1989.
And, while it might not look like much, it is actually a very clever and compelling game.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back is the sequel to the timeless Atari, Inc. shooter, Star Wars, and it was first released into arcades in 1985. It is, of course, based on the classic 1980 film of the same name.
The video game arcades of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were very special places. They were where the majority of innovation was taking place in the video games industry, and over those three decades countless classic video games were released into these dingy, constantly noisy places for friends to crowd around and play. Video game arcades were social places where all kinds of different people hung out.
Arcade games were usually defined by three things. 1. You had to put coins into video games to play them (why they are also called ‘coin-ops’). 2. They usually featured the most cutting edge graphics and sound, or gimmick, to attract players to play them, and 3. They were more often than not incredibly difficult games to master, because everyone involved in their manufacture and distribution wanted you to put as much money into their machines as possible.
The good thing now is: anyone can play these games via emulation and they are quite common. Get a good emulator, like MAME for example, and you can have that arcade experience in your own home, without the need for cabinets. Of course there will always be those who prefer the real thing and have arcade machines in their own home. And those who like a hybrid of both – putting PCs and emulators, or even Raspberry Pi setups inside real arcade cabinets.
Each to their own. My particular preference is MAME on a PC – at least for getting screenshots – but I do have arcade emulators running on a number of different platforms.
The only real downside to arcade emulation is that it’s not always that easy to find the right ROMs for the right emulator. Some versions of MAME have different driver requirements, and different MAME ROMsets come with different drivers, so it can be a bit of a minefield.
One thing’s for sure though: it’s worth getting into old arcade games in some way, because they are some of the best video games ever made. The list of classics is endless and I’ve already featured many arcade games on here.
Also: arcade game screenshots always seem to look the nicest, in terms of colourfulness and crispness when blown-up on-screen, so these screenshots I’m posting are most welcome to the collection.
Here, then, is a BIG arcade special – adding more classic arcade games to the blog and more high quality screenshots. If you don’t like (or care about) arcade games I’d recommend coming back in a couple of weeks… 🙂
I’ll post a full list of what was published here afterwards.
Enjoy and stay safe!
The King of Grabs
Wow… This is arguably the best modern remake of an old video game that I’ve ever seen!
This beautiful 2020 homebrew rendition of Ultimate‘s classic Spectrum game comes courtesy of three individuals: the code was written by Tomaz Kac of Nostalgia, the graphics were created by Steven Day (aka Ste), and the music by Saul Cross.
All three of them deserve some serious credit.
“After 37 years the C64 finally gets its own version of Atic Atac,” says Tomaz Kac, “I hope we did the game justice. We tried to make it very special, not just by getting as close to Spectrum version, but by expanding it quite a bit. We hope you like it!”
Atomic Robo-Kid is a horizontally-scrolling, progressive weapons shooter, designed by Tsutomu Fujisawa and manufactured by UPL in 1988.
It’s not a very well-known arcade game, but does have its fans. It also managed to get converted to a number of home systems too (including for the Sega Megadrive, but it never appeared on the SNES).
Winter Camp is the 1992 sequel to the popular Summer Camp. Both were ‘auteur pieces’ on the Commodore 64, with John D. Ferrari doing design, programming, and graphics on both releases.
Xenon 1 by IJK Software is a very early shoot ’em up for the Oric 1 home computer. It shows off what the Oric is capable of, which is: not very much… 😉