Posted tagged ‘retro’

The Soviet Arcade Museum in greater detail

September 6, 2010

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Back in June 2009 a story swarmed the internet of the creation of “The Museum of Soviet Arcade Games“. These games from the 70’s and early 80’s were completely unknown in the Western world until news of this broke. When the story first broke they didn’t have a lot of information on the games but since then they have updated the museum’s website and you can even play Flash-based versions of the games. But that’s not the the same as playing the games in person, as it is with all real coin-op games. A blogger by the name of Connel at A Dangerous Business blog had a chance to visit the museum with his wife to check out the games, complete with an in-depth description of every game as well as the atmosphere leading up to and inside of the museum. There are more original games there than had been talked about when the museum first game to light and it’s well-worth the read.  Some of the games like the mechanical Basketball game(with 15 buttons per player!), a “turnip pulling” game by the name of Pepka Silomer and the bowling variation Gorodki would be worth the $10 admission fee to play, let alone getting a chance to glimpse the nausea-inducing communal soda machine.

Read all about it at A Dangerous Business


The Arcade Hunters visit Richie Knucklez

August 19, 2010

It may be impossible to visit all of the arcades that are out there but at least thanks to the wonderful world of the internet we can get in-depth videos of the locations that are out there. Thanks to the guys at we get a chance to see some great arcades out there and in their latest episode they check out Richie Knucklez in Flemington, NJ. They are a classic arcade that works hard at maintaining their excellent selection of games, all of which you can see in the video review below.


Classic Arcade 3D pixel art

October 6, 2009



In the world of computer graphics, one idea that is starting to gain a lot of attention (even though the concept has been around for quite a while with some games using the technology) is that of the voxel or 3D pixel. For example in iD’s latest game engine, called iD Tech 5 it uses a new technique that involves voxels called Sparse Voxel Octree’s (or SVO’s) and the results can be nothing short of amazing if you have seen iD’s engine in action. But while the use of voxels continues to pave it’s way through video game land it is also being used in art and with that, there are some people creating some interesting pieces that just so happen to involve arcade titles. Of course these are not pictures from real-time demos of arcade titles converted over to voxels but it makes you wonder how such games would work using modern 3D pixel techniques.

For more arcade-related 3D pixel art, including titles like Centipede, Space Invaders, Lady Bug, Donkey Kong and more, click here.

[Discuss on the Forums]

The making of Defender

July 7, 2009



Defender is a well-known arcade classic and if you have ever wondered about some of the details involved in how the game came about, one site has interviewed Eugene Jarvis to get the rundown on what it took to get the game together. Before reading this I hadn’t realized that the game was supposed to be a mash-up of both Space Invaders and Asteroids, but obviously the game came out into it’s own with certain factors like the horizontal scrolling and the need to defend friendly beings. I hate to admit that I have never played the arcade version on the real thing – I grew up playing Defender on the Atari 2600 and later on the Atari Jaguar with Defender 2000 which includes the original arcade version on it which is where I played the original for the first time.

For more on Defender and how it came to be, click on the link below.

[The Making of Defender –] [Discuss on the Forums]

If Danger Zone were made today

June 23, 2009



If we take a trip on the wayback machine to 1986, the industry crash has begun to pass and while it hurt arcades, companies were still churning out a lot of games and sometimes those games broke new ground either via controls, gameplay or graphics. Cinematronics created such a game known as Danger Zone, which featured it’s monitor on a swivel where the image in-game was tracked with the movement of the monitor. Many have since forgot about this game but with a video that just popped up on youtube where a guy modified some model gun with an LCD monitor and a tracking unit so it would serve as a type of mouse controller for use on the PC. This also reminds me of the concept used in Namco’s Gunmen Wars which featured a kind of motion-tracked gun, although what you’ll see in the video below allows for greater movement around the room.

[Discuss on the Forums]

Ed Logg recounts how Asteroids was made

June 3, 2009



A lot of classic games made their mark on our culture back in the 80’s but of those, Asteroids is certainly one of the top contenders for it’s reach and influence in gaming. I do not know how many arcades out there may still have one on location, but speaking for myself I have an Asteroids Deluxe at my place that gets played just about every day by the old and young alike. Asteroids was programmed by Ed Logg and EDGE Magazine has caught up with Ed to get his insight into how the game came about. There is some interesting information you can find in the article, including some concepts in what makes a great arcade game that I think are still applicable today, despite the gigantic leaps in technology that we have experienced since Asteroids came out. Hit the link below for the interview

[EDGE Magazine – The Making of: Asteroids] [Discuss on the Forums]

These models of classic Sega arcade games are awesome

May 28, 2009


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A long time ago we posted about some nifty paper arcade models that anyone could print up and make their own little mock cabinets with. It was a cool idea but if you want something that is a little tougher than paper and you want something that is collectible, then this might be just what you are looking for – especially if you are a Sega fan. A company called Kaiyodo in Japan are the creators of these awesome and very detailed models but I have not been able to find a price for them although according to the translation they have been available since August although I think it means to say that they will be available in August. To get a closer look at them, click on the thumbnails below, images via

sega-afterburner-toy11 super-hang-on-sega-arcade sega-afterburner-toy2 sega-outrun-1 sega-thunder-blade

Rifftrax derezzes TRON

May 21, 2009

Label this under the “somewhat related to arcade games” category but Rifftrax – which is helmed by three former cast members of the hysterically funny show Mystery Science Theater 3000 – has released a rifftrak for the beloved movie which features plenty of concepts gleaned from arcade games, TRON. What is Rifftrax? This link explains all but essentially it is a downloadable commentary that is released for a DVD movie where the commentators riff on the film – similar to MST3k but without the shadows and the hosting segments.

As a fan of  TRON, MST3k and Rifftrax I have wanted to see them do TRON for a while now and they finally have – sort of. Unfortunately none of the former MST3k guys are on the track for this one, instead they got Johnathan Coulton, Paul and Storm. I’m not sure who they are but they seem to do a decent job at riffing the movie if the sample below is any indication.

Next up they need to take on another arcade-related movie known as Joysticks (if this movie had been more popular I would maintain that it is the real reason that the game industry crashed but then again it’s mere existence may have caused it too) . I have never seen it myself but from what little I have seen on youtube it looks pretty terrible and thus ripe for riffing.


New arcade museum exhibit to open on May 30th in New York (updated)

May 14, 2009


(thanks to Susan Trien for the corrections)

While the idea of a museum exhibit dedicated to arcade history isn’t exactly new, it’s always cool to see one setup. On May 30th, a new exhibit dedicated to arcade history will openvideotopia up at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, New York called Videotopia, and it will be open until November 1st this year. The exhibit is an international traveling show from The Electronics Conservancy. It will function a lot like a standard arcade – you can purchase tokens for 25¢ to be able to play the games, of which they will have 100+ to choose from. On top of that the museum will have kiosks and interactive displays to teach visitors about the history of video games. To get in there is the admission fee for the museum and they will sell Gamers Admission Passes that will allow for unlimited admission to the exhibit through it’s duration.

One interesting feature they will have is that people can win tokens by answering game history trivia questions at “Power Up” stations located throughout the complex. The exhibit will feature more than just classic games (which arcade museums generally tend to focus on) as it will have games all the way up to modern times. They also separate games by manufacturer, year made and hardware used. They naturally have Computer Space and Pong and they even have some rarities such as Sega’s Time Traveler (which you can see in the lower right area of the picture above).

[Via Gamasutra] [Strong National Museum of Play] [Discuss on the Forums]

Steve Wiebe sets world record score for Donkey Kong Jr., eyes Donkey Kong next

April 28, 2009



Many people have seen the documentary “The King of Kong” which delves into the world of high-score record setting on classic arcade games and the center of that story revolves around Steve Wiebe. We have mentioned him before and even after that documentary, he continues to make headlines with his awesome gaming skills, this time on Donkey Kong Jr. The first world record on Jr. was set back in 1983 by Billy Mitchell (who still holds the record on the original DK and he holds records on several other games) who was topped 25 years later by Ike Hall only some months ago. Now Mr. Wiebe has toppled that record by 106,800 points with his score of 1,139,800 and it just so happens that he is going to take another shot at the Donkey Kong score at this year’s E3 event.

I think it’s great that the attempt to set the world record on a classic game can still generate excitement for people, especially in this day and age where many video games have completely dumped the score system in favor of the “cinematic experience”. Arcades haven’t dumped it of course and I hope that the never do, without a high score board it makes it difficult to call a game an “arcade”.

[Via Gamepro] [Discuss on the Forums]