Published January 10, 2020 Leave a Comment


The ‘80s were a wild time in video game history. It was a period where both good and bad ideas could either flourish or die in equal measure, which is, in part, what contributed towards the industry crash in 1983/’84. The release of those great titles that would become classics were marred by the launch of a plethora of low quality games, which led to a collapse and the bankruptcy of many game developers of the time. In the aftermath, only a few companies survived, which left the market ripe for the taking for those who still had that creative spark and the knowledge to put it to good use.

Granted, since the industry was still in “diapers,” even the simplest concepts and premises were considered innovative, which is why the first video games were very basic and rudimentary. Nintendo’s Excitebike, which is a game that consisted of racing on your dirtbike and getting from point A to point B, was among these titles that quickly became a hit among gamers of the time.

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Published December 27, 2019 Leave a Comment

A few months back, we went on a Tetris writing spree where all we posted on this blog was about Tetris. What can we say? As sellers of arcade cabinets and amusements, as well as operators of FECs ourselves, we’re always hyped for all things retro and competitive. And when it comes to these two aspects, you really can’t go wrong with Tetris.

On one occasion, we talked about the 2018 Classic Tetris World Championship (CTWC) and how the 7-time reigning champion Jonas Neubauer was finally bested and a new champion took the crown. However, the most baffling part about this is not that Neubauer lost his winning streak, but that it was taken by 16-year-old newcomer Joseph Saelee. The young competitor had never even set foot in a competition as important in the Tetris scene as the CTWC, but that didn’t stop him from going all the way and taking the glory.

It goes without saying that the 2018 finals were intense and chaotic, with sparks flying as both finalists went all out in a struggle to surpass each others’ scores. You didn’t even have to be a Tetris connoiseur to know that both contestants were bordering on superhuman in terms of reflexes and performance, all the while under the extreme pressure of possibly claiming the title of best Tetris player in the world. The fact that Neubauer was a 7-time champ didn’t take away from the intensity in his expressions during play, but Saelee wasn’t going home that day unless it was with the title of champion.

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Published December 20, 2019 Leave a Comment

The rivalry between Nintendo’s Mario and Sega’s Sonic “mascot” characters is the stuff of legends. As the protagonists of their own platforming games, they drove sales for their respective game consoles and were the center of many schoolyard arguments throughout the 1990’s. While Mario games have an emphasis on precise, slower jumps, Sonic games were always about memorizing stages so that the player could maintain speed and finish them in record times. Regardless of your preference, each game had something different to offer everyone, which is why gamers were so torn between the two.

In my experience, me and my friends always leaned towards Mario and Nintendo, mostly because Sega wasn’t very prominent back where I grew up. However, there were a few people I knew that owned Sega consoles along with a few Sonic games. Even though we were never truly acquainted, we immediately loathed each other based on our decisions in gaming. Guess it was a sign of the times. Sonic and Mario fans were like dogs and cats; you couldn’t put them together!

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Published December 13, 2019 Leave a Comment

Once again, it’s that spooky time of the year and, with the Halloween vibes ever so close, what better moment to talk about some good ol’ creepy games? In today’s article on Getting Good, we’re going to discuss a game that you probably haven’t heard about; a title that goes by the name of Nightmare in the Dark.

Released in 2000 by Gavaking, this obscure title surfaced in a time where these type of platformer arena games were phasing out and giving way to other games with more “modern” gameplay. In a sense, you could say that Nightmare in the Dark is homage to those old-school titles where the gameplay was as easy as ever to pick up, but tough as nails to master. Furthermore, in true arcade game fashion, the idea was to complete all the stages while also collecting as many points as possible. In this regard, Nightmare in the Dark feels like a classic car that’s been given a modern paint job.

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Published November 23, 2019 Leave a Comment

When it comes to video games, Virtual Reality (VR) has been around for quite some time, with varying degrees of success. Most past attempts at making VR go mainstream have resulted in failure, but thanks to a big push from a variety of hardware and software development producers it appears that the revolutionary technology is here to stay. Furthermore, as time passes, this platform only gets more advanced and complex. However, this tech stills comes at a price, and while it’s still prohibitively expensive for all but the most committed gamers, there are some developers that are experimenting with VR to create truly unique experiences for their users.

One of such developers is Universal Space, better known as “UNIS.” UNIS is a designer, manufacturer, and seller of many different types of arcade games and amusements, as well as the creator of several unique games. While this company has a sturdy lineup of more traditional machines such as alley bowlers, basketball games, and a whole slew of redemption games, they also have a line of unique titles, including the Crazy-Taxi-inspired Crazy Ride, which we wrote about a few weeks back. For today’s blog, we are highlighting one of UNIS’ many VR efforts with Ultra Moto VR, their unique take of a motorcycle racing game with VR support and a bunch of other features to maximize the player’s immersion.

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Published November 14, 2019 Leave a Comment

Whenever we’re not on top of the latest happenings in the arcade and amusements and gaming industries, we’re probably fawning over the cool stuff that some users create in their spare time. Case in point, we’d like to take a hot minute to talk about this artist that dedicates his time to creating scale models of some of the most iconic arcade cabinets in existence.

This person is from Japan and is called Osutora Kamen (@ostraking on Twitter). Kamen is a hobbyist modeler that pours much of his soul and creativity into developing many products, including the aforementioned miniature arcade cabinets. While portable arcade cabinets aren’t anything new (mini arcade machines have been around for a while), only a handful of users around the world can make the bold claim of owning regular cabinets, scaled down to fit on any shelf. This is exactly what Ostraking does; painstakingly recreating some of our favorite games with amazing detail.

Using the marvel of 3D printing technology, steady hands, a lot of patience, and the versatile Raspberry Pi, this genius is creating impressive renditions of popular arcade games. Just take a look:

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Published November 1, 2019 Leave a Comment
Published August 31, 2019 Leave a Comment
Published June 20, 2019 Leave a Comment

Apple Arcade

The mobile gaming industry is booming as of late. With revenues that exceed the hundreds of billions of dollars worldwide, becoming a mobile game dev is more feasible than ever. And as new companies start to get on board with this trend, the hype is only expected to get larger in time. Case in point, the newest company that is undergoing a foray into the world of mobile gaming is Apple, with their gaming-as-a-service solution called Apple Arcade.

Now, playing games on your iPhone is nothing new. For the past decade, finding a title to entertain yourself with on your phone is as easy as visiting the App Store and downloading whatever you want. In a press release issued by Apple, they said the following regarding the App Store:

“With the App Store, Apple ignited a worldwide app phenomenon that has revolutionized the way people work, connect, learn and play. The App Store drives the app economy and has earned $120 billion for developers worldwide. Today, the App Store is the world’s safest and most vibrant app marketplace, with over half a billion people visiting each week.

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Published January 9, 2019 Leave a Comment

We’ve talked about Cosmotrons on several occasions. The game that started as a fan project in 2016 with little more than a Facebook page and a two man team of hard-working veteran gamers quickly grew to become the phenomenon it is today. Cosmotrons took all the best parts of Gravitar and Asteroids, both of which were huge deals back in the ‘80’s, and were among the titles responsible for catapulting Atari to fame in years past. Cosmotrons has been available for purchase for some time now. However, Arcadeaholics, the company in charge of the product, revealed a new Cosmotrons cabinet this last weekend in the Pinball Expo 2018 event in Chicago. Once orders are available, this new version will be ideal for those on a tighter budget.

cosmotron

Like many other games of its time, both Asteroids and Gravitar were deceptively simple titles. Their mechanics were easy to understand and control, while still retaining a very high skill ceiling. In this sense, while everyone could play and enjoy the games, regardless of skill level, the most hardcore fans could also partake and square down against each other in heated space battles.

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