INSERT QUARTER, PLAYER ONE!
When I was in High School I played a stupid amount of video games. Both at home and the arcade. And while they improved greatly from their humble beginnings, when I think of "arcade games" my mind always goes back to that era. Here are the games that make me feel that way...
- Donkey Kong.
When Donkey Kong first came out, it was certainly not the first platformer to hit the arcades. But it sure felt like it. Probably because it was clever enough both conceptually and visually to put other platformers a level below. I can't fathom how many quarters I pumped into my local Donkey Kong tabletop at the local pizza parlor.
- Gauntlet II.
RED WIZARD SHOT THE FOOD! The original Gauntlet was an arcade version of a fun dungeon-crawler that was made all the more special in that you could play it with three of your friends. Then came the sequel, and it was epic for its day.
Despite loving arcade games back in the day, I was never very good at them. With the exception of Q*Bert. For whatever reason, I could find my groove in the game and was able to get high score with alarming regularity. If I were to ever buy an arcade cabinet, it would be this one.
- Ms. Pac-Man.
I always liked Pac-Man, but its repetitive nature was tough to get past. Then along comes Ms. Pac-Man and the repetitiveness somehow became tolerable. The game had a real "zen" about it that made for a great mindless diversion from life's troubles.
Even though the graphics were simplistic to a radical degree, the fact that they were constructed from gorgeous vectors and had a kinetic energy which put you in the game in a very real way made me play it over and over and over again.
Arcade wishes and 8-Bit dreams!