Arcade games appeared on slot machines in the seventies and eighties and are the forerunners of many modern games, including online casino UK, more about which you can read at: sharpgambler.co.uk. At that time they were part of the fixed inventory of supermarkets, restaurants, pubs, arcades, and kiosks. The popular arcade games were also found at funfairs. If you don’t know what this term means, the names “Pong” and “Donkey Kong” will ring a bell. These two games represented the breakthrough of arcade games. Since they were so popular, the arcade games spread all over the world. Most of the time they were in operation around the clock. However, since the arcade games were played with money and had a certain addictiveness due to the simple game rules, they were legally banned by the state in many public places.
The first arcade game
At the beginning of the seventies, there was the first commercial success with Spacewar. The first arcade game, however, was Galaxy Games, developed by Bill Pits and Hugh Tuck, and first played by friends in a Stanford dorm room. The students were so enthusiastic about it that the two developers created a commercial game console out of the game. This laid the foundation for other computer game developers, and thus the starting point for Spacewar. This game had a similar concept. The player gambled against two flying saucers, which were his opponents. After 1500 games sold, the developers of Spacewar founded the now worldwide known company “Atari”. With this company, they then also produced the famous tennis arcade game “Pong” for two players. This video game sold more than 100,000 copies and became a huge success, although the game itself was still very limited graphically and technically. However, the simple game concept inspired the revolution of electronic entertainment.
Three years later, the “Atari Pong” was released, the first home video game console. At the same time, the game was also distributed as a vending machine game. Prompted by the great success of the arcade game, the Nintendo company developed its own vending machine; the game “Donkey Kong”.
Donkey Kong (1981)
Arcade games are part of pop culture and have changed the world of electronic entertainment. In the 80s, more and more arcade games came on the market in the form of a vending machine game or as a game for the home computer. The technology of the machines progressed steadily until they had a similar performance as the game consoles. Perhaps some remember the game “Dragon’s Lair”, which was equipped with a laserdisc player, allowing excellent graphics with high-quality sound. In addition to this, it had a high memory capacity. Arcade games were quickly designed in every genre imaginable. The rapidly evolving hardware allowed for more and more new types of games.
Dragon’s Lair (1983)
In the early nineties, the first arcade machines with various plug-in modules and interchangeable fronts appeared on the market. These arcade machines even partially adopted the technology of home game consoles like the SNES. In addition, they helped gambling machines to become successful, which were gambled on in every pub and bar in the 90s.
Coin flip and difficulty
Arcade games were always played with money. Their trademark: they are allowed to continue playing by inserting more coins. This system was called “Continues”. It was often possible to win more Continues, that is, more coins, during the game in order to continue playing. As a rule, there was a fixed number of Continues, i.e. coins in the memory. It was also characteristic that with a new continue, the points earned went back to zero. As far as the difficulty level was concerned, this could be set by a switch on the machine. Many still know the trick, with which one could lower the degree of difficulty again – namely by again inserting money.
Arcade machines today
Nowadays, arcade machines are mostly found only in casinos and game stores. However, the arcade game industry continues to exist. The hardware is now based on that of a video game console so that transferring the arcade games to the console is easier. So there are versions of the Sega Dreamcast, the Playstation and Microsoft’s Xbox. Some games, like dance games, are still popular in arcades and game stores. The developers of these games have also come up with something new and designed many arcade games for the Internet. Among other things, many of the games are available as flash games or as an app for the gaming smartphone and gaming tablet. This gives fans the opportunity to continue playing the classic arcade games. The great thing is that most arcade games are now available for free.
The era of arcade games was one of the everyday cultural practices in the late 20th century and also helped successful companies such as SEGA and Nintendo to establish their identity. Many features from the most popular arcade games are still known today and even run into them in everyday life. The older games now have a very high collector’s value and cost several hundred euros. Enthusiasts refurbish the old arcade machines and there are even companies that deal exclusively with repairing the old arcade machines.