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B&W "Bronze Age" Arcades....

Curt Vendel

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Anyone here have an appreciation for the earlier B&W arcade games? If some, what are some of you're favorites and why...


One of my all time favorites is Atari Orbit, designed and built by my good friend Owen Rubin.


It is a two player game, is a total Star Trek rip-off with overheads of a Constitution class starship vs. a Klingon battelcruiser. In reality the game is actually Computer Space II The controls are a little intimidating when you first step up to the machine as the control panel has some nearly 20 buttons to use (approx 10 for each player) but once you get the hang of it, this is a superb head to head game. The other interesting aspect of this game (from 1976) is that is has stereo sound as well.





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Oh I definitely have an appreciation for the b&w's and remember several of them well. My earliest arcade memories were when they had EM's and b&w's..but I wouldn't say that any of them turned out to be a 'favorite'. The ones that come to mind when talking about them are mainly the big games of the time like Seawolf/Seawolf 2. Night Driver, Starship, Atari Football, Etc. But I also remember Sky Raider which I could never see into because I was too small! :lol:


I guess if I had to pick a favorite.. it would be Cinematronics Space Wars :)

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Curt, you know what my answer is! :D :D


Night Driver still holds my attention, as does Video Pinball, Fire Truck, Smokey Joe (same thing), and Warlords (upright; cocktail is color).


Favorites for non-play value reasons: Shark Jaws (first non-licensed movie tie-in), Steeplechase (just as bizarre on the 2600), Gran Trak (first driving game), Tournament Table (a dedicated Video Olympics, but the cabinet is great!), and of course Computer Space and Pong. Think Al would sell one of us that little red guy?.......



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I remember going to a department store and getting dropped off by the skeeball/pinball area while everyone else shopped. I was about 7-8 and played pinball most of the time, until this new machine appeared one day. Not sure what the B&W game was, but you were a plane and you dropped bombs on certain targets while trying to avoid blowing up buildings. I was hooked.. :ponder:

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I have an appreciation for all the old black and whites, and miss those days. Days when you had to go to bowling alleys and bars to play a video game. Hmm....sorta like it is now again. ;)


Looking back (in a related topic) I really have an appreciation for the cabinets of the period as well. That time period was when the arcade industry was transitioning to video games and basicly stuffed video game hardware inside electro-mechanical/mechanical style cabinets. Big, boxy, oversized monstrosities with lots of wasted space between the bezel and monitor, and pinball style silkscreened 3 color sideart. Started really phazing out in the late 70's in favor of the more commonly seen video game cabinet styles.

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  • 4 weeks later...

My favorites:


Breakout- used to play one in the lobby of a chinese restaurant

Tank- played this one at a bowling alley constantly

Anti-Aircraft- Rollerworld and Kentwood Skating Arena had this machine

Steeplechase- Rollerworld

Circus- Rollerworld

Stunt Cycle- Rollerworld

Starship 1- Comet Lanes

Sea Wolf- Comet


Ah shoot. ALL of the early Atari b/ws rule!


And I just happen own the top 5 machines in this list :)

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My podunk Ohio town held a yearly carnival at which they brought in a video game tent. A cheap run-down tent which hadn't bought any new games since 1980. I was loving it. Anti-Aircraft, Starship I, Gotcha, Breakout, all the old goodies. This was in the early 90s. It was an absolute time warp.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I guess I'd go with Depth Charge, but I've definitely played Space Invaders more thanks to emulation later on.


I was fascinated with pinball games before videogames, so I kind of saw it all happen. :D Then, one time in '81 or so my family went to Disneyland out in LA and in the sort of cowboy area of the park, they had a little arcade with no color games at all in it, just mechanical ones and a few B&W's. I'm pretty sure that game where you have to keep a can in the air by shooting it repeatedly was a featured game.... and of course various permutations on Outlaw/Boot Hill/whatever....


Oh yeah, played a good bit of Atari Football too. Ahh, for the days when X's and O's were enough and an annual NFL license wasn't necessary for a game to be good :ponder:

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