We are very proud of our beautiful collection of pinball machines. We have the largest selection of pins in Western Canada! Our extensive and ever-growing collection of new and vintage arcade machines means we can rotate the titles on the floor to keep the selection fresh. Here's what we currently have in the arcade:
Asteroids Deluxe is a vector graphic multidirectional shooter released in arcades in April 1981 by Atari Inc. as the sequel to Asteroids. It was followed by Space Duel in 1982 and Blasteroids in 1987. Key changes in Asteroids Deluxe were designed to combat the saucer-hunting strategy of Asteroids, which allowed experts to play for extended periods. The game is significantly more difficult than the original. Ports of Asteroids Deluxe were released for the BBC Micro in 1984 and the Atari ST in 1987.
Attack From Mars
Chicago Gaming Company, 2017
Attack from Mars is a 1995 pinball game designed by Brian Eddy, and released by Midway (under the Bally label). In 2017, the Chicago Gaming Company released a brand new edition of the classic Williams title.
Berzerk is a multidirectional shooter arcade game, released in 1980 by Stern Electronics of Chicago. Berzerk places the player in a series of top-down, mazelike rooms containing armed robots.
The player controls a green stick man. Using a joystick and a firing button that activates a laser-style weapon, the player navigates a simple maze filled with many robots, who fire lasers back at the player character. A player can be killed by being shot, by running into a robot or an exploding robot, getting electrocuted by the electrified walls of the maze itself, or by being touched by the player’s nemesis, Evil Otto.
The function of Evil Otto, represented by a bouncing smiley face, is to quicken the pace of the game. Otto is unusual, with regard to games of the period, in that he’s indestructible. Otto can go through walls with impunity and hunts the player character. If robots remain in the maze Otto moves slowly, about half as fast as the humanoid, but he speeds up to match the humanoid’s speed once all the robots are killed. Evil Otto moves at exactly the same speed as the player going left and right but he can move faster than the player going up and down; thus, no matter how close Otto is, the player can escape as long as they can avoid moving straight up or down.
The player advances by escaping from the maze through an opening in the far wall. Each robot destroyed is worth 50 points. If all the robots in the current maze have been destroyed before the player escapes, the player gains ten points per robot. The game has 65,536 rooms (256×256 grid), but due to limitations of the random number generation there are fewer than 1,024 maze layouts (876 of which are unique). It has only one controller, but two-player games can be accomplished by alternating at the joystick.
As a player’s score increases, the colours of the enemy robots change, and the robots can have more bullets on the screen at the same time. Once they reach the limit of simultaneous on-screen bullets, they cannot fire again until one or more of their bullets detonates; the limit applies to the robots as a group, not as individuals.
Black Knight: Sword of Rage – Premium
For the first time ever, players will explore, discover, and unlock the secrets of the Black Knight universe. Navigating through these dark, mysterious, and twisted realms, players will uncover foes, demons, riches, and secrets in their quest against the Black Knight. Black Knight: Sword of Rage pinball machines will be available in Pro, Premium, and Limited Edition models.
“There’s nothing more iconic in the pinball universe than the Black Knight character,” said Gary Stern, Chairman and CEO of Stern Pinball, Inc. “Created by game designer Steve “The King” Ritchie, the Black Knight has always taunted and antagonized players to battle him and now, for the first time, players will be able to fight back.”
Bride of Pinbot
The Machine: Bride of Pin-Bot (styled The Machine: Bride of PIN•BOT) is a 1991 pinball game designed by Python Anghelo and John Trudeau (Dr. Flash), and released by Williams. It is the second game in the Pin-Bot series, and is the last game produced by Williams to use a segmented score display rather than a dot-matrix screen. It is also one of the few pinball games produced that uses a variable-brightness segmented display.
Production run: 8,100
Bubbles is an arcade video game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It is an action game that features two-dimensional (2D) graphics. The player uses a joystick to control a bubble in a kitchen sink. The object is to progress through levels by cleaning the sink while avoiding enemies.
Development was handled by John Kotlarik and Python Anghelo. Kotlarik wanted to create a non-violent game inspired by Pac-Man. Anghelo designed the game’s artwork and scenario as well as a special plastic cabinet that saw limited use. The game was later released as a web-based version and on home consoles as part of arcade compilations.
BurgerTime is a 1982 arcade game created by Data East initially for its DECO Cassette System. The player is chef Peter Pepper, who must walk over hamburger ingredients located across a maze of platforms while avoiding pursuing characters.
In the United States, Data East USA licensed BurgerTime for distribution by Bally Midway as a standard dedicated arcade game. Data East also released its own version of BurgerTime in the United States through its DECO Cassette System. The Data East and Midway versions are distinguished by the manufacturer’s name on the title screen and by the marquee and cabinet artworks, as the game itself is identical.
The game’s original Japanese title Hamburger was changed outside of Japan to BurgerTime, reportedly to avoid potential trademark issues. In addition to all releases in the Western world, “BurgerTime” was also the name used on the Japanese ports and sequels.
When Data East went bankrupt in 2003, G-Mode bought most of Data East’s intellectual properties, including BurgerTime, BurgerTime Deluxe, Super BurgerTime, and Peter Pepper’s Ice Cream Factory.
Centipede is a vertically oriented fixed shooter arcade game produced by Atari, Inc. in June 1981. This game was the first game designed by a woman, Dona Bailey. It was one of the most commercially successful games from the video arcade’s golden age. The player fights off centipedes, spiders, scorpions and fleas, completing a round after eliminating the centipede that winds down the playing field.
Crazy Taxi is an open world racing video game developed by Kenji Kanno and his team at Hitmaker and published by Sega. Gameplay is based on picking up taxi customers, and driving to their destination as quickly as possible. Along the way, money can be earned by performing stunts such as near misses with other vehicles. The player is directed to a destination by a large green arrow at the top of the screen. The arrow does not adjust based on obstacles, but rather points in the general direction of the destination. Once the player arrives near the destination, they must stop within a specified zone. When the destination is reached, that customer’s fare is added to the player’s total money earned. Ratings are then awarded depending on how long the player took to complete the journey. If the customer’s timer runs out before the player reaches the destination, the customer will jump from the taxi without paying the driver. The player has a choice of four drivers and their cabs, each of whom has slightly different attributes.
Crystal Castles is an arcade game released by Atari, Inc. in 1983. The player controls the character Bentley Bear who has to collect gems located throughout trimetric-projected rendered castles while avoiding enemies out to get him as well as the gems. Crystal Castles is one of the first arcade action games with an actual ending, instead of continuing indefinitely, looping, or ending in a kill screen, and to contain advance warp zones.
DeadPool – Premium
“Deadpool” is known as the “Merc with a Mouth” because of his talkative nature & is notorious for his outrageously funny offbeat humor which is featured throughout the game.
Players will be immersed in the Deadpool universe, teaming up with iconic X-Men characters Wolverine, Dazzler, Domino, and Colossus as they battle against infamous villains Juggernaut, Sabretooth, Mystique, Sauron, and Mr. Sinister. Players will also tag along with Deadpool on his time machine quests as he battles against the T-Rex and the Megalodon.
Dig Dug is a 1982 maze arcade game developed and published by Namco. It was distributed by Atari, Inc. in North America and Europe. Controlling the titular character, the player is tasked with defeating all of the enemies in each stage, done by either inflating them with air with a pump until they pop or crushing them underneath large rocks. It ran on the Namco Galaga arcade board.
Dig Dug was programmed by Shouichi Fukatani, who worked on many of Namco’s earlier arcade titles, and designed by junior colleagues of Galaga creator Shigeru Yokoyama. Music was composed by Yuriko Keino, becoming the first game she worked on for Namco — the short jingle made when the character moved was made when executives wanted a walking sound in the game. It was described as a “strategic digging game” by Namco for its large amount of strategy used to defeat enemies, which was heavily used in the game’s marketing.
Upon release, Dig Dug was well-received by critics for its addictive gameplay, cute characters and strategy, and was a popular title during the golden age of arcade video games. It was met with a long series of sequels and spin-offs for several platforms, alongside ports for home consoles and digital storefronts. Dig Dug is also included in many Namco video game compilations for a number of systems. Characters from the game appear throughout the Mr. Driller series, itself based on the Dig Dug gameplay.
Diner is a pinball machine produced by Williams in 1990. The objective of the game is to serve all customers in a diner. The table was marketed with the slogan “It’s fresh! It’s fast! It’s hot!” One to four players can play. Each player gets 3 balls per game. Serving all 5 customers (Haji, Babs, Boris, Pepe, and Buck) lights the “Dine Time” jackpot. It starts at 1 million points, and can be advanced up to 12 million points. The playfield includes 2 yellow flippers, a plunger, and 2 signature cross ramps, which is common in early 1990s pinball machines designed by Mark Ritchie. Both ramps can be used to obtain many points, as well as unlock extra balls. A player can easily obtain a multi-ball. To do this, they must unlock the Lock Mode on the cash register ramp, and shoot a target to unlock a second ball.
Donkey Kong is an arcade game released by Nintendo in 1981. An early example of the platform game genre, the gameplay focuses on maneuvering the main character across a series of platforms while dodging and jumping over obstacles. In the game, Mario (originally named Mr. Video and then Jumpman) must rescue a damsel in distress named Pauline (originally named Lady), from a giant ape named Donkey Kong. The hero and ape later became two of Nintendo’s most popular and recognizable characters. Donkey Kong is one of the most important games from the golden age of arcade video games as well as one of the most popular and greatest arcade games of all time. The game was the latest in a series of efforts by Nintendo to break into the North American market. Hiroshi Yamauchi, Nintendo’s president at the time, assigned the project to a first-time video game designer named Shigeru Miyamoto. Drawing from a wide range of inspirations, including Popeye, Beauty and the Beast, and King Kong, Miyamoto developed the scenario and designed the game alongside Nintendo’s chief engineer, Gunpei Yokoi. The two men broke new ground by using graphics as a means of characterization, including cutscenes to advance the game’s plot and integrating multiple stages into the gameplay.
Although Nintendo’s American staff was initially apprehensive, Donkey Kong succeeded commercially and critically in North America and Japan. Nintendo licensed the game to Coleco, who developed home console versions for numerous platforms. Other companies cloned Nintendo’s hit and avoided royalties altogether. Miyamoto’s characters appeared on cereal boxes, television cartoons, and dozens of other places. A lawsuit brought on by Universal City Studios (later Universal Studios), alleging Donkey Kong violated its trademark of King Kong, ultimately failed. The success of Donkey Kong and Nintendo’s victory in the courtroom helped to position the company for video game market dominance from its release in 1981 until the late 1990s.
This beat ’em up video game series is initially developed by Technōs Japan and released as an arcade game in 1987. The series stars twin martial artists, Billy and Jimmy Lee, as they fight against various adversaries and rivals. Due to the popularity of the game series, an animated series and live-action film adaptation have also been produced as well as being panned by critics and audiences alike.
The franchise is now the property of Arc System Works, the company that had ported the original Double Dragon to the Sega Master System console in 1988.
Dragon’s Lair is an interactive film LaserDisc video game developed by Advanced Microcomputer Systems and published by Cinematronics in 1983, as the first game in the Dragon’s Lair series. In the game, the protagonist Dirk the Daring is a knight attempting to rescue Princess Daphne from the evil dragon Singe who has locked the princess in the foul wizard Mordroc’s castle. It featured animation by ex-Disney animator Don Bluth.
Dragon’s Lair 2
Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp is a 1991 laserdisc video game by the Leland Corporation. It is regarded as the first “true” sequel to Dragon’s Lair. As with the original, Dragon’s Lair II: Time Warp consists of an animated short film that requires the player to move the joystick or press a fire button at certain times in order to continue. It takes place years after the original Dragon’s Lair. Dirk has married Daphne, and the marriage has produced many children. When Daphne is kidnapped by the evil wizard Mordroc in order to be forced into marriage, Dirk’s children and his mother-in-law are clearly upset by the abduction of Daphne, and Dirk must once again save her.
FunHouse is a pinball machine designed by Pat Lawlor and released in November 1990 by Williams Electronics. Starring a talking ventriloquist dummy named Rudy, the game is themed after the concept of an amusement park funhouse. FunHouse is one of the last Williams games to use an alphanumeric display; the company switched to dot matrix the following year.
Namco / Midway, 1981
Galaga is a 1981 fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. In North America, it was released by Midway Games. Controlling a starship, the player is tasked with destroying the Galaga forces in each stage while avoiding enemies and projectiles. Some enemies can capture a player’s ship via a tractor beam, which can be rescued to transform the player into a “dual fighter” with additional firepower. It is the sequel to Galaxian (1979), Namco’s first major hit in arcades.
Galaxian is a 1979 fixed shooter arcade game developed and published by Namco. It was licensed and distributed by Midway Games in North America. The player assumes control of the Galaxip starfighter in its mission to protect Earth from waves of aliens. Gameplay involves destroying each formation of aliens, who dive down towards the player in an attempt to hit them.
Designed by company engineer Kazunori Sawano, Galaxian was Namco’s answer to Space Invaders, a similar space shooter released the previous year by rival developer Taito. Space Invaders was a sensation in Japan, and Namco wanted a game that could compete against it. Sawano strived to make the game simplistic and easy to understand. He was inspired by the cinematic space combat scenes in Star Wars, with enemies originally being in the shape of the film’s TIE Fighters. Galaxian is one of the first video games to feature RGB color graphics, and the first ever to use a tile-based hardware system.
Galaxian was Namco’s first major arcade hit. It is one of the best-selling arcade games of all time in North America, with over 40,000 arcade units sold by 1982. The game was celebrated for its gameplay and usage of true color graphics. In retrospect, it has gained fame for its historical importance and technological accomplishments. Its success led to several sequels and reimaginings; most notable of these is Galaga, which usurped the original in popularity. Galaxian has also been ported to many home systems, and is included in numerous Namco compilations.
Gauntlet Legends is an arcade game released in 1998 by Atari Games. It is a fantasy themed hack and slash styled dungeon crawl game, a sequel to 1985’s popular Gauntlet and 1986’s Gauntlet II and marks the final game in the series to be produced by Atari Games. Its unusual features for an arcade game included passwords and characters that could be saved, enabling players to play over the course of a long period.
The Ghostbusters pinball experience highlights the humor of the film as the player progresses through the game. The game also includes custom speech by original “Ghostbusters” cast member, Ernie Hudson, who guides the player into becoming the newest member of the Ghostbusters team!
Ghosts N’ Goblins
Ghosts ‘n Goblins is a run and gun platformer video game series created by Tokuro Fujiwara and developed by Capcom. The first entry in the series was Ghosts ‘n Goblins, released as an arcade title on September 19, 1985. The series has subsequently been released on and ported to a variety of game consoles and mobile platforms and spawned several sequels and spin-offs.
The main series contains seven games: Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Super Ghouls ‘n Ghosts, Makaimura for WonderSwan, Ultimate Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Gold Knights, and Ghosts ‘n Goblins: Gold Knights II. The series focuses on the knight Arthur’s quest to save princess Prin-Prin from the demon king Astaroth. The primary spin-offs include the Gargoyle’s Quest and Maximo game series.
The series as a whole has sold over 4.4 million units and stands as the 8th best-selling Capcom game franchise. It has gained a reputation among players for its high level of difficulty.
House of the Dead II
The House of the Dead 2 is a first-person light gun shooter arcade game with a horror theme and the second game in The House of the Dead series of video games. The direct sequel to The House of the Dead, it was developed by Sega for arcades on the Sega NAOMI board in November 1998 and later ported to the Dreamcast in 1999 and Microsoft Windows in 2001, and also found on the Xbox as an unlockable bonus in The House of the Dead III. The game appears in the compilation The House of the Dead 2 & 3 Return for Wii. The Dreamcast version became a Sega All Stars title.
The Iron Maiden pinball machines aim to reflect the same excitement, energy, and experience of a live Iron Maiden concert. Players will immerse themselves in an interactive Iron Maiden universe transforming into various forms of Eddie, the band’s legendary mascot. Players, as Eddie, will embark on a quest to defeat the Beast and his minions across the Legacy of the Beast mobile game and comic book world. Iron Maiden pinball entertains with an amazing array of modern and classic features, making it suitable for all skill levels.
Joust is an arcade game developed by Williams Electronics and released in 1982. It popularized the concept of two-player cooperative gameplay by being more successful at it than its predecessors. The player uses a button and joystick to control a knight riding a flying ostrich. The objective is to progress through levels by defeating waves of enemy knights riding buzzards.
The player controls a yellow knight riding a flying ostrich from a third-person perspective. The player navigates the protagonist around the game world, which consists of rock platforms floating above a flat island surrounded by lava, via two-way joystick and a button. The joystick controls the horizontal direction that the knight travels, while the button flaps the ostrich’s wings. The rate at which the player repeatedly flaps causes the ostrich to fly upward, hover, or slowly descend. Moving off the left or right edges of the screen wraps around to the other side.
The objective is to defeat the groups of enemy knights riding buzzards in each wave. Upon completing a wave, a more challenging one begins. Players pilot the knight to collide with enemies. The higher of two jousting lances is the winner. A collision of equal height repels the characters apart. A defeated enemy turns into a falling egg which can be collected for points. If the player does not collect the egg, it hatches into a knight that gains a new mount and must be defeated again.
There are three types of enemy knight–Bounder, Hunter, and Shadow Lord—which are separate colors and worth different amounts of points. A pterodactyl appears after a predetermined time frame to hunt the hero. The disembodied hand of an indestructible Lava Troll grabs any character flying too low and pulls them into the lava.
In a two-player game, the second player controls a blue knight on a stork. The two players cooperatively complete the waves, optionally attacking each other.
Like the blockbuster movie, the Jurassic Park pinball experience generates heart pounding excitement as the player progresses through the game. As the game starts, the player is transported to Isla Nublar, an amusement park where escaped dinosaurs are running amok! The player’s mission is to rescue park staff and recapture dinosaurs from the chaotic environment unleashed by Dennis Nedry’s computer virus. All dinosaurs, however, are not created equal as players will battle Raptors and the mighty T. Rex! The game immerses players in the fun world of battling dinosaurs in an action-packed adventure filled with twists and turns.
Lord of the Rings
The Lord of the Rings is a 2003 pinball game designed by George Gomez and distributed by Stern Pinball. It is based on The Lord of the Rings, which was first released in 2001.
Marble Madness is an arcade video game designed by Mark Cerny and published by Atari Games in 1984. It is a platform game in which the player must guide a marble through six courses, populated with obstacles and enemies, within a time limit. The player controls the marble by using a trackball. Marble Madness is known for using innovative game technologies: it was Atari’s first to use the Atari System 1 hardware, the first to be programmed in the C programming language, and one of the first to use true stereo sound (previous games used either monaural sound or simulated stereo).
In designing the game, Cerny drew inspiration from miniature golf, racing games, and artwork by M. C. Escher. He aimed to create a game that offered a distinct experience with a unique control system. Cerny applied a minimalist approach in designing the appearance of the game’s courses and enemies. Throughout development, he was frequently impeded by limitations in technology and had to forgo several design ideas.
Upon its release to arcades, Marble Madness was commercially successful and profitable. Critics praised the game’s difficulty, unique visual design, and stereo soundtrack. The game was ported to numerous platforms and inspired the development of other games. A sequel was developed and planned for release in 1991, but canceled when location testing showed the game could not succeed in competition with other titles.
Marvel VS Capcom
Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes is a crossover fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It is the third installment in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, which features characters from Capcom’s video game franchises and characters from Marvel Comics. The game debuted in Japanese and North American arcades in 1998. It was ported to the Dreamcast in 1999 and the PlayStation in 2000. The game was re-released in 2012 for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 as part of the Marvel vs. Capcom Origins collection.
Maverick is a pinball machine produced initially by Data East Pinball, and then by Sega Pinball. It is based on the motion picture of the same name. It was the first pinball machine to use a bigger DMD (192×64) and the last pinball machine produced by Data East.
Chicago Gaming Company, 2013
Medieval Madness is a Williams pinball machine released in June 1997. Designed by Brian Eddy and programmed by Lyman Sheats, it had a production run of 4,016 units. It is often regarded by many to be the greatest pinball machine of all time.
In 2013, the Chicago Gaming Company released two editions of the classic Williams title: Medieval Madness Remake, and Medieval Madness Remake Limited Edition. Both editions of the game include LED lighting on the playfield and a new color display.
Missile Command is a 1980 arcade game developed and published by Atari, Inc. and licensed to Sega for European release. It was designed by Dave Theurer, who also designed Atari’s vector graphics game Tempest from the same year. The 1981 Atari 2600 port of Missile Command by Rob Fulop sold over 2.5 million copies.
Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 (UMK3) is a fighting game in the Mortal Kombat series, developed and released by Midway to arcades in 1995. It is a standalone update of 1995’s earlier Mortal Kombat 3 with an altered gameplay system, additional characters like the returning favorites Kitana and Scorpion who were missing from Mortal Kombat 3, and some new features.
Chicago Gaming Company, 2018
Monster Bash is a pinball machine produced by Williams. The game features some Universal Monsters including The Creature from the Black Lagoon, The Wolfman, Frankenstein’s monster, the Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula and The Mummy.
Monster Bash is the highly anticipated third game in the Chicago Gaming Companies series of remakes of the greatest Bally and Williams pinball machines.
Monster Bash Remake was recreated to exceed the high standards of the original game. By using modern electronics, LED lighting, and today’s manufacturing technology, the game will provide the pinball experience you have grown to love along with the reliability and craftsmanship that is demanded in today’s pinball market.
Ms. Pac-Man is a 1982 maze arcade game developed by General Computer Corporation and published by Midway. It is the sequel to Pac-Man (1980), and the first entry in the series to not be made by Namco. Controlling the titular character, the player is tasked with eating all of the pellets in an enclosed maze while avoiding four colored ghosts. Eating large flashing “Power Pellets” will cause the ghosts to turn blue and flee, which can be consumed for bonus points.
Narc is a 1988 run and gun arcade game designed by Eugene Jarvis for Williams Electronics and programmed by George Petro. It was one of the first ultra-violent video games and a frequent target of parental criticism of the video game industry. The object is to arrest and kill drug offenders, confiscate their money and drugs, and defeat “Mr. Big”. It was the first game in the newly restarted Williams Electronics coin-op division, after being acquired by Midway.
Paperboy is an arcade game developed and published by Atari Games. It was released in North America in April 1985. The player takes the role of a paperboy who delivers a fictional newspaper called “The Daily Sun” along a suburban street on his bicycle. The player attempts to deliver a week of daily newspapers to subscribing customers, attempts to vandalize non-subscribers’ homes and must avoid hazards along the street. Subscribers are lost by missing a delivery or damaging a subscriber’s house.
The game begins with a choice of difficulty levels: Easy Street, Middle Road and Hard Way. The object of the game is to perfectly deliver papers to subscribers for an entire week and avoid crashing (which counts as one of the player’s lives) before the week ends. The game lasts for seven in-game days, Monday through Sunday. Controlling the paperboy with the handlebar controls, the player attempts to deliver newspapers to subscribers. Each day begins by showing an overview of the street indicating subscribers and non-subscribers. Subscribers and non-subscribers’ homes are also easy to discern in the level itself, with subscribers living in brightly colored houses, and non-subscribers living in dark houses.
The player scores points for each paper delivered successfully, and more points if they throw it into the mailbox, as well as breakage points by damaging the houses of non-subscribers. A perfect delivery results in all the points being worth double for that day. At the end of each stage is a training course with various obstacles to throw papers at and to jump over, and the player scores a bonus for finishing the course. Crashing on the course ends the round, but does not cost the player a life.
When a player fails to deliver a paper to a house, the resident will cancel their subscription, and the house turns dark. Doing a perfect delivery can gain back subscribers previously lost.
In Japan, Game Machine listed Paperboy on their November 1, 1985 issue as being the fifth most-successful upright arcade unit of the year.
Phantom of the Opera
Data East, 1990
The Phantom of the Opera is a pinball machine released by Data East in 1990. The game is based on the French novel The Phantom of the Opera, but not based on the musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber although released around the same time.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is a pinball machine designed by Dennis Nordman and produced by Stern Pinball. It is based on the motion picture franchise of the same name and was advertised with the slogan “The Greatest Pinball Adventure Of All-Time!”
Pole Position is an arcade racing video game that was released by Namco in 1982 and licensed to Atari, Inc. for US manufacture and distribution, running on the Namco Pole Position arcade system board. It was the most popular coin-operated arcade game of 1983, and is considered one of the most important titles from the video arcade’s golden age. Pole Position was released in two configurations: a standard upright cabinet, and an environmental/cockpit cabinet. Both versions feature a steering wheel and a gear shifter for low and high gears, but the environmental/cockpit cabinet featured both an accelerator and a brake pedal, while the standard upright one only featured an accelerator pedal.
By 1983, it had become the highest-grossing arcade game that year in North America, where it had sold over 21,000 machines for $61 million ($158 million in 2019), in addition to earning $450 ($1168 in 2019) weekly revenues per machine. It was the most successful racing game of the classic era, spawning ports, sequels, and a Saturday morning cartoon, although the cartoon had nothing in common with the game. The game established the conventions of the racing game genre and its success inspired numerous imitators. Pole Position is regarded as one of the most influential video games of all time and “arguably the most important racing game ever made.”
Q*bert is an arcade game developed and published for the North American market by Gottlieb in 1982. It is a 2D action game with puzzle elements that uses isometric graphics to create a pseudo-3D effect. The objective of each level in the game is to change the color of every cube in a pyramid by making Q*bert, the on-screen character, hop on top of the cube while avoiding obstacles and enemies. Players use a joystick to control the character.
The game was conceived by Warren Davis and Jeff Lee. Lee designed the title character and original concept, which was further developed and implemented by Davis. Q*bert was developed under the project name Cubes.
Q*bert was well-received in arcades and among critics. The game was Gottlieb’s most successful video game, and is among the most recognized brands from the golden age of arcade games. It has been ported to numerous platforms. The game’s success resulted in sequels and the use of the character’s likeness in merchandising, such as appearances on lunch boxes, toys, and an animated television show. The Q*bert character became known for his “swearing” – an incoherent phrase made of synthesized speech generated by the sound chip and a speech balloon of nonsensical characters that appear when he collides with an enemy.
Because the game was developed during the period when Columbia Pictures owned Gottlieb, the intellectual rights to Q*bert remained with Columbia, even after they divested themselves of Gottlieb’s assets in 1984. Therefore, the rights have been owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment since its parent, Sony, acquired Columbia in 1989. Q*bert appeared in Disney’s computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph under license from Sony, and later appeared in Columbia’s live-action film Pixels in 2015.
R-Type is a horizontal-scrolling shooter arcade game developed and released by Irem in 1987. The player controls a star ship, the R-9 “Arrowhead”, in its efforts to destroy the Bydo, a powerful alien race bent on wiping out all of mankind. The R-9 can acquire a glowing orbicular device called a “Force”, protecting it from enemy fire and providing additional firepower. The arcade version was distributed by Nintendo in North America; it is the last arcade title Nintendo distributed.
R-Type was the first game to run on Irem’s 16-bit M72 arcade system. Initially a joke among staff, the Force was based on dung beetles. The development team drew inspiration from Gradius, Aliens and works by H.R. Giger. Music was composed by Masato Ishizaki, while character designs were done by “AKIO”. The game’s title stems from the word “ray”, as in a ray of light, in reference to the player’s raylike weapons used throughout the game.
R-Type was celebrated by critics for its graphics and addictive gameplay, although it would receive criticism for its high difficulty level. It is commonly cited as one of the best shoot ’em up video games, as well as one of the greatest video games of all time. Its success would prompt the creation of several sequel and spin-off games, alongside home ports and releases for digital distribution services.
Rampage is a 1986 arcade game by Bally Midway. Players take control of a trio of gigantic monsters trying to survive against onslaughts of military forces. Each round is completed when a particular city is completely reduced to rubble. Warner Bros. currently owns all rights to the property via their purchase of Midway Games.
Rampage was inspired by the monster film King Kong, the kaiju film Godzilla, and the platform game Donkey Kong. In turn, Rampage inspired a 2018 film adaptation of the same name. It was a horrible movie. (ES)
RoadBlasters is a combat racing arcade game released by Atari Games in 1987. In RoadBlasters, the player must navigate an armed sports car through 50 different rally races, getting to the finish line before running out of fuel.
Robotron: 2084 (also referred to as Robotron) is an arcade video game developed by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar of Vid Kidz and released by Williams Electronics (part of WMS Industries) in 1982. It is a shoot ’em up with two-dimensional graphics. The game is set in the year 2084 in a fictional world where robots have turned against humans in a cybernetic revolt. The aim is to defeat endless waves of robots, rescue surviving humans, and earn as many points as possible.
The designers, Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar, drew inspiration from other popular media: Nineteen Eighty-Four and Berzerk. A two-joystick control scheme was implemented to provide the player with more precise controls, and enemies with different behaviors were added to make the game challenging. Jarvis and DeMar designed the game to instill panic in players by presenting them with conflicting goals and having on-screen projectiles coming from multiple directions.
Robotron: 2084 was critically and commercially successful. Praise among critics focused on the game’s intense action and control scheme. The game is frequently listed as one of Jarvis’s best contributions to the video game industry. Though not the first game with a twin joystick control scheme, Robotron: 2084 is cited as the game that popularized it. Arcade cabinets of the title have since become a sought-after collector’s item. Robotron: 2084 has been ported to numerous platforms, inspired the development of other games, and was followed by sequels.
Silent Scope is an arcade game created in 1999 by Konami. The game puts the player in the shoes of a sniper during a series of terrorist incidents. It is the first in the Silent Scope series.
Sinistar is a multi-directional shooter arcade game developed and manufactured by Williams Electronics. The game was released in 1983, though the in-game copyright notice reads 1982. Sinistar was created by Sam Dicker, Jack Haeger, Noah Falstein, RJ Mical, Python Anghelo, and Richard Witt. In addition to the game’s roaring antagonist, Sinistar is known for its high difficulty level.
Skateball is a pinball machine from September 1980, manufactured by Bally Manufacturing Co.
Space Shuttle (full title: Space Shuttle: Pinball Adventure) is a Space Shuttle themed pinball machine designed by Barry Oursler and Joe Kaminkow and produced in 1984 by WMS Industries. The machine’s marketing slogan is “The fastest way to make your earnings really take off!”.
Data East, 1992
Star Wars is a 1992 pinball machine released by Data East. It is based on the Star Wars original trilogy of films.
Stargate (also known as Defender II) is a horizontally scrolling shooter released in arcades in 1981 by Williams Electronics. Created by Eugene Jarvis and Larry DeMar, it is a sequel to Defender which was released earlier in the year. It was the first of only three productions from Vid Kidz, an independent development house formed by Jarvis and DeMar.
This sequel adds new ships to the alien fleet, including Firebombers, Yllabian Space Guppies, Dynamos, Phreds, Big Reds, Munchies and Space Hums. The Defender ship is now equipped with an Inviso cloaking device, which renders the ship invulnerable when activated, but has a limited charge. A Stargate transports the ship to any humanoid in trouble. There are two special stages: the Yllabian Dogfight, first appearing at wave 5 and recurring every 10 waves; and the Firebomber Showdown, first appearing at wave 10 and also recurring every 10 waves.
Street Fighter 2
Street Fighter II: Champion Edition is a fighting game released for the arcades by Capcom in 1992. It was the first of several updated versions of Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, part of the Street Fighter II sub-series of Street Fighter games. The main changes were the addition of the Grand Masters (the final four computer-controlled opponents in the single-player mode) as playable characters and mirror matches (vs. matches using the same character). The fighting techniques of the eight main characters from the original game were also further refined to allow for more-balanced competitive play.
Sunset Riders is a side-scrolling run and gun video game developed and released by Konami as a coin-operated video game on the JAMMA arcade platform in 1991. The game is set in the American Old West, where the player takes control of a bounty hunter who is seeking the rewards offered for various criminals.
The coin-op version was released in two variants: a two-player version and a four-player version. Home console versions of Sunset Riders were released for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in 1992 and for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993, to a positive reception.
Super Off Road
Ivan “Ironman” Stewart’s Super Off Road is an arcade video game released in 1989 by Leland Corporation. The game was endorsed by professional off road racer Ivan Stewart. Virgin Games produced several home versions in 1990. In 1991, a home console version for the Nintendo Entertainment System was later released by Leland’s Tradewest subsidiary, followed by versions for most major home formats including the Master System, Genesis, Super NES, Amiga, and MS-DOS. A port for the Atari Jaguar was announced but never released. Some of the ports removed Ivan Stewart’s name from the title due to licensing issues and are known simply as Super Off Road.
Super Punch Out!
Super Punch-Out!![a] is a boxing video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was released on September 14, 1994 in North America and again in the same region in 1996. It was released in Europe on January 26, 1995 for the same console and in Japan in 1998 for the Nintendo Power flash RAM cartridge series and the Super Famicom. The game is also included in the GameCube version of Fight Night Round 2 as an extra game due to the inclusion of Little Mac in the game. The game was released for the Wii’s Virtual Console in Europe on March 20, 2009, in North America on March 30, 2009, and in Japan on July 7, 2009. The game was also released on the New Nintendo 3DS eShop on May 5, 2016. Nintendo re-released Super Punch-Out!! in the United States in September 2017 as part of the company’s Super NES Classic Edition. It is the fourth game in the Punch-Out!! series, taking place after the Punch-Out!! game for the NES.
Super Sprint is a 1986 arcade game by Atari Games. The player drives a Formula One-like car on a circuit that is viewed from above. The game is a successor to Gran Trak 10 and the Sprint series, which were black-and-white games from the 1970s. A sequel, Championship Sprint, was released later in the same year.
T2: Judgement Day
Terminator 2: Judgment Day or T2 is a gun shooting video game based on the film of the same name, produced by Midway Manufacturing Company for the arcades in 1991. Home conversions were released by Acclaim Entertainment for various platforms under the title of T2: The Arcade Game in order to avoid confusion with the numerous tie-in games also based on the movie.
Tapper, also known as Root Beer Tapper, is a 1983 arcade game developed by Marvin Glass and Associates and released by Bally Midway. Tapper puts the player in the shoes of a bartender who must serve eager, thirsty patrons (before their patience expires) while collecting empty mugs and tips.
Originally sponsored by Anheuser-Busch, the arcade version features a Budweiser motif. It was intended to be sold to bars, with cabinets sporting a brass rail footrest and drink holders. Early machines had game controllers that were actual Budweiser beer tap handles, which were later replaced by smaller, plastic versions with the Budweiser logo on them. The re-themed Root Beer Tapper followed in 1984, which was developed specifically for arcades because the original version was construed as advertising alcohol to minors.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 pinball machine designed by Steve Ritchie and released by Williams Electronics. It is based on the motion picture of the same name
Raw Thrills, 2010
Terminator Salvation was released in 2010 in the arcades. It’s a light gun shooter developed by Play Mechanix and published by Raw Thrills.
Tetris is a tile-matching puzzle video game originally designed and programmed by Soviet Russian software engineer Alexey Pajitnov. The first playable version was completed on June 6, 1984, while he was working for the Dorodnitsyn Computing Centre of the Academy of Science of the Soviet Union in Moscow. He derived its name from combining the Greek numerical prefix tetra- (the falling pieces contain 4 segments) and tennis, Pajitnov’s favorite sport. The name is also used in-game to refer to the play where four lines are cleared at once.
Track & Field
Track & Field, known in Japan and Europe as Hyper Olympic, is an Olympic-themed sports arcade game developed by Konami and released in 1983. The Japanese release sported an official license for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Players compete in a series of events, most involving alternately pressing two buttons as quickly as possible to make the onscreen character run faster. It was followed by a sequel, Hyper Sports.
Tron is a coin-operated arcade video game manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. The game consists of four subgames inspired by the events of the Walt Disney Productions motion picture Tron released in the same year. The lead programmer was Bill Adams.
Tron was followed by the 1983 sequel, Discs of Tron, which was not as successful as the original. A number of other licensed Tron games were released for home systems, but these were based directly on elements of the movie and not the arcade game; the arcade game was not ported to any contemporary systems.
Truxton is a 1988 vertically scrolling, shoot ’em up arcade game developed by Toaplan, later ported to the Mega Drive (worldwide; Sega: North America) and the PC Engine (Japan-only). Like many other scrolling shooters, the game is set in outer space, where the player takes control of a small spaceship across several planets. The game is played with an eight-way joystick and two buttons (a shot and a bomb button) through five large levels and their bosses (which then loop forever, at higher difficulties). A version for the Sharp X68000 was in development but never released.
Zoo Keeper is an arcade game created by Taito America and released in 1982. The player controls Zeke, a zookeeper, attempting to rescue his girlfriend Zelda from a zoo where the animals have escaped from their cages. The majority of the game takes place on a screen where the player builds a wall to keep animals in the zoo—jumping them to avoid contact. Platforming segments are interspersed every few levels. The game was available as a conversion kit for Taito’s Qix.
Zoo Keeper has three different types of stages. In the zoo stage, Zeke must run around the edges of the screen to build up the zoo’s outer wall and keep the animals from escaping as they try to break through it from inside. Each of these stages is timed, with items appearing periodically that can be picked up for bonus points. One item is always a net; if Zeke picks this up, he can use it for a few seconds to capture animals and put them back in the cage. Multiple nets appear in later zoo stages. When time runs out, the player earns bonus points for every animal that is not outside the wall perimeter. Points are also earned for jumping over animals.