arcade games

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Richie Knucklez

We start our new season dedicated to Retrogaming with the King of the Arcade, Richie Knuckles. Fans of Retrogaming will know him from his gaming achievements, the documentary film, King of the Arcade and of course, Twin Galaxies. In our extended interview, we discuss his experiences running a successful arcade, being a retrogamer and his awesome collection of arcade cabinets. [...]

Dig Dug

You play as Dig Dug, a little blue guy (kind of like a smurf in white overalls) who is basically an underground exterminator who uses something like a bicycle air pump to exterminate his enemies. There are only two types of enemies you will encounter, Pookas who are the cute red round guys with the goggles and Fygars the green dragons who breathe fire at you through the dirt. Gotta be careful or if you get hit you will be BBQ. [...]

The Rolling Thunder Series

The basic story of the game, is that you are a secret agent called “Albatross”, who works for an international group called “W.C.P.O”, which stands for “World Crime Police Organization”. You are on a secret mission in New York, trying to rescue a fellow agent named Leila Blitz, who has been captured by the sinister terrorist secret society known as “Geldra”. Most of these “Geldra” goons are hooded baddies known as “Maskers”, who frankly look kinda like prototypes for the TMNT “Foot Soldiers”, as they are covered head-to-toe and come in different colors, each color having different weapons or abilities. The game has other enemies like mutant bats, ninjas, robots, etc., but the “Maskers” are the main course. [...]

Gravitar

Luckily, there are more fuel cannisters available on most planets which can be grabbed using your tractor beam (activated the same way as the shield). It’s worth bearing in mind, however, that the bunkers are pretty good shots, and enemy ships also appear now and then and zero in on your position, so hanging around to grab fuel can often be costly. It’s not an overly tough game though, at least in theory. [...]

Arm Champs II: Video Games that Break our Bones

You can see why I had to play this. Arm Champs II is a 1992 game from Jaleco that pits you against the Terminator arm of a robot video game. That’s right, you arm-wrestle it. Little did I know at the time that people have had their arms broken from similar game cabinets in Japan, resulting in recalls. All I could think was, “Oh this looks like good, clean fun!” The surprising results of my herculean efforts can be viewed below. Thanks so much to my new wife for narrating this and humoring her pasty, frail, geek husband! It’s too late now babe! [...]

Galaga

There is one particular Galaga enemy ship that is special – these enemy spaceships take multiple hits before they are destroyed. If you do not destroy them, they can fly down the screen towards you and release a tractor beam to capture your ship. To free the captured ship, you must destroy the captor Galaga while it is attacking you, if you fail, your captured ship will be destroyed. When you free your captured ship, it will dock alongside your current ship, and you are thus rewarded with a dual firing weapon of mass destruction. [...]

Insector X

The freedom of flight would be useless without something a bit more aggressive to back it up with though, as a single hit from one of the spindly critters is enough to put him down. To this end, Yanmer is also equipped with the standard weedy gun which initially fires a single small shot. It can be powered-up fairly quickly by collecting ‘P’ icons though, while the similar ‘S’ icons put a bit more wind in his wings, the ‘A’ icon equips an autofire option, Lightning icons are smart bombs, there are acorns to collect for bonus points, and there’s also the odd 1up to look out for. [...]

Growing up in Arcades

This week on the Obsolete Gamer show we reminisce about arcade rooms and the various arcade games and establishments we visited in our youth. Check out the various questions we asked fans on our Fan Book fan page and look for our game where we send in pictures of arcade games where ever we find them. [...]

Pocket Gal

This ‘effort’ comes in the form of stages. There are more of them per girlie the further you get and they alternate between frames of regular pool (is it still called a ‘frame’ in pool?) and trick shots. A predictibly simple interface enables you to take the shots – just move your aim, represented by a dotted line, and set the power. It’s hardly a complicated process so you should find yourself smacking the balls around (giggity) in no time. There are a few different variations of pool during the course of the game (6 ball, 9 ball, etc) and it’s possible to add topspin, backspin, and swerve to the cue ball during play, but that’s about as complex as things get. So, your prize for playing well may nudge this game toward the ‘adult’ side of things, but is it even worth playing it at all? Well, not for the ‘prize’ itself, obviously – even in its day this was hardly an obscene game – but it’s actually not bad. [...]

Weird Games: Chiller

Chiller was first released to the arcades in 1986 from publisher Exidy and the game consisted of several different screens of horror settings like torture chambers and graveyards. Now you would think the goal would be to save the helpless victims trapped there and to shoot and the bad guys holding them there, but you would be wrong, horribly wrong. [...]

The Simpsons Arcade Game

Can anyone not have the music of the Simpsons engraved on their head? I know I do! Not only is that wonderful sountrack in the game but also a lot of remixes using it. What better way to enjoy a Simpsons game than to listen to such a wonderful soundtrack! The sounds are also very cartoonish like and best of all, Simpson voices! You’ll hear Homer yawn, Bart swear, and the others! The graphics are amazing for its time. The game looks just like the cartoon so in a way you get the feeling you are in the cartoon itself. There is no other way to have made this game possible! All the characters look like the ones from series so you won’t have any problem recognizing them. There are of course some characters that only appear in the game but you get the picture. [...]

Joust turns 30

The two-player feature helped Joust make an impact in the coin box at arcades across the country. While the ability for numerous players to play together has been a common feature in arcades for some time, in 1982 it was quite the novelty for two players to be able to play at the same time. Adding to the feature were offers of bonus points on certain levels, some of which encouraged teamwork and others that encouraged direct competition. [...]

Bomb Jack

It’s not all easy going for Jack, he has to avoid various monsters and aliens that chase him around the screen. However, if you collect the powerball when it appears, it freezes the baddies for a short period of time, during which, you can kill them simply by touching them. There are other items to be picked up that give you additional bonus points or extra credits. The game starts to repeat after Level 18. However, you will be too busy darting around the screen, collecting bombs to notice. Bomb Jack is one of those old games that invoke memories of playing it at the corner shop or fish’n chips store across your school. I know, it does for me. Most of my pocket money went into playing this game. It kept me out of trouble, which is always a good thing. [...]

Bomb Jack Twin

Appearing some six years after Elite’s franchise-destroying game, Bomb Jack Twin took the gameplay back to the basics, but made one vital addition – a two player mode. Yes, that’s right – joining in with Bomb Jack’s bomb-collecting tomfoolery this time is a female Bomb-collector (Bomb Jill?) and together they must once again save the world’s landmarks and cities from… actually, did we ever find out who was responsible? Anyway, the stages here are basically polished-up copies of those found in the first game with one exception – they’re a lot harder! It appears, therefore, that rather than merely offering the option of a two-player, this game is designed to be played that way. [...]

Bad Dudes

Should Blade or Striker get the better of their armed opponent, they can pick up the dropped weapon, be it a knife or nunchuks, and use it to extend their attack range. This comes in handy for the end-of-level bosses. Speaking of bosses, even Karnov makes an appearance. Once you have ploughed through evil-doers across seven levels, you reach the final boss – the one and only, Mr Dragon Ninja himself. Defeat this evil kingpin and it is happy times as President Ronnie is freed from his kidnappers. [...]

Star Castle

Now, something to keep in mind, which I did not know, your goal is not to destroy the entire outer shield because if you do it will regenerate. This makes the game harder because you want to hit the same spots and make a small window in the shield to take out the cannon. As you can see in the video, I was not very good at this. [...]

Gemini Wing

Your ‘tail’ of Gunballs following you around can be a bit distracting too, but this isn’t the hardest shmup in the world either. The sprites and backgrounds are both pretty varied, and the sprites in particular look nice. However, Tecmo missed some great opportunities as well. For example, the first stage takes places over a giant canyon of some sort. Some parallax scrolling here could’ve looked amazing and given the game a real sense of scope! Nevermind though, it’s still looks decent enough. The music and sound effects are pretty average though, it has to be said, and not something that you would even notice really unless you actually tried to. [...]

Kino One Review

Despite not being incredibly original and at times feeling slightly repetitive (some stages do drag a bit), one can’t help but notice the amount of care and polish poured into the thing. It features more than enough levels, impressive end bosses, different difficulty options and even comes packed with cute faux arcade flyers. Besides, the control scheme that effortlessly lets players cloak, use smart-bombs and shoot everything in sight works like a breeze and helps Kino One become a most addictive fun little high-score chase. [...]

Aero Fighters

Like most of the Psikyo games that followed, Aero Fighters is a vertical scroller, on this occasion a military-based one. Before play begins you are given the option of choosing from four pilots, each representing a different country, and each possessing a different attitude in their outbursts in the between-level cut-scenes. The US pilot is predictably cocky (“I’ll fly anywhere at anytime!”), the Japanese one is all business… [...]

Beastie Feastie aka Super Glob

Before the accidental discovery mentioned earlier, I had never heard of this game. I have no idea how it was received or how popular it was, but I’m guessing it passed a lot of people by, and that’s a shame. It’s not spectacular or remarkable in any way, and I’m sure that was the case when it was first released as much as it is today, but it’s an enjoyable little game and it must’ve been pretty original back then. There is apparently 24 stages to play through here and that should prove a challenge for most gamers, but even if you can’t get very far, you’ll keep trying. [...]

Badlands

In addition to the missiles, the courses feature some hazards of their own, though mostly less extreme! They include the mildly inconvenient water and oil spills and broken/damaged surfaces (including a jump or two), and the more dangerous mines and retractable spikes. Some courses, particularly later ones, also feature the ‘gates’, first seen in Super Sprint, which allow short cuts, but only when they are open. Timing the use of these well can often make the difference between first and last place! [...]