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a pocketful of quarters

I need to scroll that previous post down and wash those thoughts out of my head for now.

I see that this year marks Pac-Man's 25th birthday. Of course, I'll be celebrating with a post later on today.

For now, to lighten my mood up a little, tell me your favorite acrade games (not arcade games transferred to consoles, but real coin-op games, including pinball).


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» Pac-Man Turns 25 from Running at the Mouth
I can remember being 6 or 7 years old, crowding around a Pac-Man machine and standing on tip-toes to watch an older kid clear level upon level, thinking to myself how indescribably cool it would be to be him. [Read More]


No question. Galaga ruled.

Here's a vote for Crazy Climber (during my high school years in the early 80s), although I was also keen on Street Fighter II (while I was working on the M.A. in the early 90s).

Who's the greatest Number 8?


Karate Champ

and, I think it was called 'Combat' ... you drove a jeep around a city (top down view) and shot at helicopters that were coming after you

Man, knowing what I know about compound interest, I spent $43,419.75 on games in junior high and high school at arcades.

In age order, the ones I blew the most on were probably

Donkey Kong
Super Mario Bros.
Golden Axe
Street Fighter
Street Fighter II

Oh, and Galaga goes in there somewhere.

I spent most of my summers at the Jersey shore when I was growing up. My entire income revolved around beating the tourists from Philly and NY at pinball. Real, old fashioned pinball. My absolute favorite machine was "Hang Glider" (Bally's 1976). I'll never forget the first apprearance of digital pinball machines...which I thought were the greatest things since sliced bread.

The next thing I knew Pac Man showed up and turned the world upside down.

Spy Hunter

Almost forgot Rampage. Very cathartic, especially when you took a break from destroying the buildings to sucker punch a co-player.


Cobra Command (the laserdisc game, not the scroller)

Time Pilot


From the Golden Age (early 80's) . . .

Galaga - My all-time favorite. I think this is the only arcade game where I'd "become part of the machine." Also, it's the main reason I bought an original Nintendo system.

Crazy Climber - My girlfriend and I used to play a table-top version at Penn State while eating a pint of ice cream. Hated the flower-pot guy!

Missile Command - The first trak ball game I ever played. Loved to create the "missile shield" by spraying the shots from the left or rights sites once I hit the 3X level.

Ms Pac-Man - Another Penn State favorite (the girlfriend got me hooked on this).

Tempest - Weirdly abstract! And fast!

Centipede & Millipede - More trak ball fun! And you get to kill bugs (I hate bugs)!

Death Race - I think this is the first non-Pong video arcade game I ever played. I never understood the controversy over this machine. Running over poorly pixellated zombies and making them scream and turn into headstones was fun!


1) Asteroids
2) Galaga
3) Space Ace

I spent a fortune on Gauntlet and Off-Road Racing.

"Wizard's health is low!"

I played Ms. Pac-Man at the movie theater the other night, and played what might have been my best game ever. The rest of my party got a little pissed.

Galaga was another good one.

I wore the Double Dragon game out in my small town's K-Mart out, I think.

Pinball? I had a minor obsession with the Addams Family pinball machine my senior year of high school, which carried over to college when I found it in my school's rec center.

Spy Hunter
DeathRace 2000 (the one where the run-over people became tombstones)
...anyone else remember TRON?

My two favs were Pac Man and Defender. About a year or so after Pac Man had been released, someone (don't remember who) taught me a trick. There was a certain path to take in Pac Man, it never changed no matter how many levels you did, that ensured you avoided the bad guys and never died. My high scores shot up obviously but it was no longer fun.

Tron sucked the most, and I sucked the most at it. I can still see the giant rainbow snow cone you had to fight. The last time I checked eBay for stand-up video game machines, there was a glut of Tron machines, all in mint condition. It's easy to keep a game in mint condition when no one wants to play it.

Fav Pinball table: 8 Ball

Electronic: Too many to mention but my all time favs were Battlezone and Spy Hunter.

Pacman and his sister did nothing for me. Memorize the pattern....yeah...now what?

Timmer -- tell me you're talking about the 8-Ball pinball machine that was like a Happy Days knockoff, with the Fonzie-looking guy and scantily clad redhead. If you are, I had one in my basement growing up. Awesome.

Tempest, Gyrus, Ms. Pac Man, Galaga.

Game I hated: Dragon's Lair.

That's the one Robb.

Mmm... nothing like some free online arcade games to waste away the day.

Defender, you say? Joust? Sinistar? Spy Hunter? Lo, even Rampage? Robotron 2084? Can it be so?

Oh, Yes. Virtual quarters supplied at the arcade.

(and for the record, Joust was my favorite)

Marble Madness
360 (SKATE OR DIE!!!)

Elevator Action
That boxing game with Glass Joe ("Body blow! Body blow! Body blow!")

Remember the animated video games from the mid-80s? Man, what a disaster.

Asteroid (or is it Asteroids? I don't want to sound like the little old lady here, mis-naming things, but I really don't remember) was my favorite.

in my college dorm, near the laundry room, they had a Mappy (it featured a mouse cop, anyone remember? I remember a moment of joy when I was out on a date with a guy [ultimately it didn't work out, alas] and he knew of Mappy even though we had gone to college at separate ends of the U.S. I can still hear him saying, "Oh, my God! Mappy!")

We also had a pinball game - some kind of jungle-queen theme that I guessed they figured was the most appropriate one for a girl's dorm, even though it featured as-close-to-naked-as-could-be-allowed women in tiger skin bikinis. Despite the theme, my friends and I still dropped a lot of quarters in that thing.

I liked pinball better than video games, generally. A table had to be pretty sucky for me not to choose it over a console.

The vector graphics Star Wars ate my soul.

Also worth mentioning: Marble Madness, Off Road, Gauntlet I and II, and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

twilight zone pinball.

1. Asteroids
2. Robotron
3. Joust

Anyone ever play a game called Tapper? You were a bartender in a saloon and had to fill beer mugs for your thirsty patrons and slide them down a few long bars. As lame as my description is, it was actually pretty cool.

And, in keeping with the edibles theme, I also enjoyed Burger Time.

Let's see... Joust, Star Wars (no skill, just kept firing until everything blew up), Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Jr.

And who remembers Starcade? hint: it's not a video game

For arcade game, I want to pick one that I haven't seen mentioned yet, so I'll go with Zookeeper.

Pinball: Guns N Roses. Great music, lots of fun. Kiss pinball highly overrated. I know it is old, but as a pinball game, just not very much fun.

Robb -- scroll up to the link in my earlier post. You can play Tapper online. I'm not affiliated with Midway in any way, really -- I just think it's fun playing these old games in Flash.

RKB -- thanks for the tip. Alas, I'm at work (not working, just physically located at work), so that sweet link will have to wait.

Pinball: Incredible Hulk, mid 70's. The ball was the same size as a pool cue and the table and flippers were HUGE!

Video: Cliff Hanger (laserdisc). Came out shortly after Dragon's Lair

A cue ball, not the cue stick...

Black widow (vector graphics, 2 joysticks)
Marble Madness

I play all my favorite arcade games on MAME every stinking day!!!!

Pirated arcade roms!

Excuse me.

Pole Position! I'd sit in school, waiting for the bell, and the only thing that I could think about would be the lady saying "Prepare to Qualify", and then the 'beep, beep, beep,' and we were off!
Also, 1942. Remember it? You piloted an old twin engine war plane that had no maneuverability whatsoever. Good times.
Karate Champ and Kung Fu were in there, too. Also the Fun House pinball game, where every time you started this annoying, Happy Gilmore-like clown would say "Hey, Bucko!"

Oh, and Jungle King, where you were the native that had to run up a hill and jump boulders the size of houses, and swing on vines, and swim underwater with your trusty knife. I died a lot on that game.

Karate Champ. Abso-freakin-lutely! Left stick: 12 o'clock. Right stick: 6 o'clock. Here comes the kneeling reverse punch: "Full point!"

Ooh! Ooh! And Ninja Gaiden and Excitebike!





Sheesh, what's the matter with you people?

Galaga, hands down.

Wild Western
Russian Attack

Scramble (I always died in the tunnel of fuels at the end)
Xenophobe (Awesome alien infestation game)

8-ball deluxe was the best pinball game, cause I could always pop it.

I always liked Frogger, especially when the frog got squished. :P