Thursday, January 31, 2013


Pacman would be the next game I remember playing a lot.  And I mean A LOT.  We were treated to two versions round our way the upright version was the first and I remember playing this a lot in a local garage of an evening until someone managed to snap off the joystick which left us unable to chase any ghosts.  Thankfully as one of our groups parents owned a local bar we were allowed in there and would spend all day on the table top version they had in there.  Such a great game that has been made and remade for so many different platforms over the years it of course needs no explanation.  But even with all the super and turbo type conversions that appeared on everything ever since you just still cant beat the original.  The sound and the cheeky little graphic interludes when you finish a level top off this addictive game perfectly.  Talking of the sound the music and effects from this game a recognizable even today with the young kids.  The sound effects and music have been popping up in various corners of the media ever since its release.  I mean there is even a dance version of the theme music or two out there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Crazy Climber

By the time our little group back then had discovered Crazy Climber in a nearby cafe we were well an truly hooked on the video games and bunking off school and spending hours going round pressing the coin eject button of every machine.  You'd be surprised how well this payed off back then.  Crazy climber was the first game I saw to use two joysticks.  The idea being to walk them alternatively up and down to simulate the guys arms climbing up the outside of a building.

Sounds simple and it would be too but the damn residents start shutting their windows and dropping plant pots on you.  To add to your mysery birds start to drop the largest bird poo's on you that you will have ever seen and eventually you get pianos coming at you.  Its a simple yet massivly infuriating game that had us rocking the whole cabinet and a frienzied attemt to get past a narrow bit before we got a piano on the head.  This was of course much the the cafe owners disgust.  Not enough disgust as to actually chuck us out though.  Looking back we were banging money into machine like crazy.  We were ALL guilty of stealing money to shove in this machine but we were kids and somethings are more important..  Great game all in all and something I recently revisited on the PS3 with MAME and a the two joystick duel-shock controler and its still very playable.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

bezerk pheonix space panic

Not long after that we found our selves living within a 100 yards of an arcade and a few games stick out in memory from that time.  The first that comes to mind is Bezerk.  Strange really as its not a game I remember playing all that much!  Probably the reason this game sticks in the memory is the scarey robot "intruder alert" and "kill the humanoid" speech so it could be clearly heard across the arcade.  The game I would head to first though was always Pheonix.  At the time Pheonix was a pretty complex game with a Galaxians influence (I always found Galazians a bit boring so never played it much).  Different levels came at you but always remember liking the wooh-woooh sound on the eggs part before you reached the mothership.  Beat the mothership and you were treated to some amazing fx lol.  One thing missing with this game now when you play it on an emulator is the terrible display it had.  Until I saw it on MAME i never realized how colorful it was!. 

Directly behind this was another much played game around that time.  Space Panic had you running across the 5 stacked levels and up and down the interconnecting ladders to try and dig holes to trap the roaming monsters.  Anyone who played this game more than a little back then will remember the satisfaction when you drop a monster through 4 holes deep. A simple game but just so addictive.  Caused some arguments among us that game did!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Space Invaders

The first video game I remember playing was one of the various Pong clones that were around in the late 70's.  The amazement of being able to switch from tennis to hockey at the flick of a switch - ooh look its split the bat into two - was pretty short lived as I remember and I was soon packed away and forgotten about.

Shortly after that I was in a cafe somewhere, aged 9ish and was fascinated by the strange huge machine in the corner that I could barely see over the buttons.  After begging a piece of change from the not impressed parents I was quickly absorbed into a world where aliens when bip-bop-bip-bop and advanced down the screen in straight ranks.  This wasn;t just your ordinary Space Invaders though it was the deluxe version where they has stuck colored strips of plastic accross the screen meaning the aliens changed color as the marched towards you.  Of course it also meant you missile changed colors as it fired up the screen towards them.  Back then though we didnt worry ourselves with such trivial details and any way we were too concerned with trying to time that one missile at a time shot perfectly to shoot that last alien before it flattened the houses. As first impressions go its one that shaped the rest of my life and cost me a fortune in loose change and ditching to school to go to arcades.  But that came later...