Golden age of online video arcade game titles


All through the late 1970s, online video arcade game technological know-how experienced develop into innovative sufficient to offer fantastic-high-quality graphics and appears, but it was however fairly essential (practical visuals and entire motion online video ended up not however out there, and only a couple of game titles utilized spoken voice) and so the good results of a game experienced to count on easy and pleasurable gameplay. This emphasis on the gameplay is why quite a few of these game titles keep on to be appreciated right now in spite of owning been vastly outdated by present day computing technological know-how.


The Golden Age was a time of terrific specialized and style creativeness in arcade game titles. Online games ended up built in a broad selection of genres though builders experienced to function inside demanding boundaries of out there processor ability and memory. The period also noticed the speedy distribute of online video arcades throughout North America, Europe and Japan.

At this time, online video arcade game titles started out to appear in supermarkets, places to eat, liquor retailers, gasoline stations and quite a few other retail institutions searching for further cash flow. Popular game titles at times brought on a crush of youngsters, eager to attempt the most current entertainment entry.[citation needed]

The two most productive arcade game organizations of this period Namco (the Japanese organization that established Pac-Gentleman, Pole Place, and DigDug) and Atari (the organization that released online video game titles into arcades). These two organizations wrestled for the range one and two slots in American arcades for a number of years. Other organizations these as Sega (who afterwards entered the residence console current market from 1980’s rival, Nintendo), Nintendo (whose mascot, Mario, was released in 1981’s Donkey Kong), Bally Halfway Production Company (which was afterwards purchased by Williams), Capcom, Cinematronics, Konami, Taito, Williams, and SNK.


Arcades catering to online video game titles started to gain momentum in the late 1970s with game titles these as Gee Bee (1978) and Galaxian (1979) and turned common in 1980 with Pac-Gentleman, King and Balloon, Tank Battalion, and other individuals. The central processing unit in these game titles authorized for far more complexity than before discrete circuitry game titles these as Atari’s Pong (1972).

The Golden Age noticed builders experimenting with new hardware, these as generating game titles with non-online video technological know-how these as vector shows, which developed crisp traces as opposed to raster shows. A couple of of these game titles turned terrific hits, these as 1980’s Battlezone and Tempest and 1983’s Star Wars, all from Atari, but vector technological know-how fell out of favor with arcade game organizations thanks to the high charge of restoring vector shows (Vectrex, a residence online video game method with a created-in vector display, was launched in 1982).

Developers also experimented with laserdisc gamers for providing film-high-quality animation. The to start with game to exploit this technological know-how, 1983’s Dragon’s Lair from Cinematronics, was 3 years in the making. It was a feeling when it was launched (and, in simple fact, the laserdisc gamers in quite a few devices broke thanks to overuse), but the style dwindled in recognition due to the fact the game titles ended up fairly linear and depended significantly less on reflexes than on memorizing sequences of moves.

New controls cropped up in a couple of game titles, however, arguably, joysticks and buttons remained the favorites for most companies. Atari released the trackball with 1978’s Soccer. Evening Driver incorporated a life-like steering wheel, Paperboy utilized a bicycle handlebar and Hogan’s Alley released tethered light-weight guns to the arcade current market. Other specialty controls, these as pedals in racing game titles and a crossbow-formed light-weight gun in Crossbow, also debuted in this period.


Galaga, a productive game of the Golden Age, borrows its concept from Galaxian and adds twists of its very own.

With the huge good results of the early game titles, dozens of builders jumped into the development and manufacturing of online video arcade game titles. Some merely copied the “invading alien hordes” thought of Space Invaders and turned out productive imitators like Galaxian, Galaga, and Gaplus, though other individuals experimented with new ideas and outlined new genres. Fast evolving hardware authorized new kinds of game titles which surpassed the shoot-em-up gameplay of the earliest game titles.

Online games these as Donkey Kong and Qix released new types of game titles where by talent and timing are far more vital than capturing as speedy as attainable. Other examples of innovative game titles are Atari Games’ Paperboy where by the aim is to productively provide newspapers to customers, and Namco’s Phozon where by the item is to duplicate a condition shown in the center of the monitor. The concept of Exidy’s Undertaking is dungeon exploration and treasure-collecting. Just one innovative game, Q*Bert, performed on the user’s feeling of depth notion to provide a novel working experience.

Some game titles of this period ended up so well-known that they entered the well-known lifestyle. The release of Pac-Gentleman in 1980 brought on these a feeling that it initiated what is now referred to as “Pac-Mania” (which afterwards turned the title of the previous coin-operated game in the collection, launched in 1987). Unveiled by Namco, the game highlighted a yellow, circle-formed creature making an attempt to try to eat dots through a maze though staying away from pursuing enemies. While no-one could agree what the “hero” or enemies represented (in some cases they ended up referred to as ghosts, goblins or monsters), the game was incredibly well-known there are anecdotes to the influence that some game house owners experienced to empty the game’s coin bucket each individual hour in buy to protect against the game’s coin mechanism from jamming from owning also quite a few cash in the receptacle. The game spawned an animated tv collection, quite a few clones, Pac-Gentleman-branded meals, and a hit pop song, Pac-Gentleman Fever. While quite a few well-known game titles quickly entered the lexicon of well-known lifestyle, most have considering the fact that still left, and Pac-Gentleman is uncommon in remaining a recognized term in pop lifestyle, alongside with Donkey Kong, Mario Bros., and Frogger.

The huge recognition of online video arcade game titles also led to the quite to start with online video game technique guides these guides (scarce to obtain right now) reviewed in detail the designs and methods of each individual game, which include variations, to a diploma that couple of guides noticed considering the fact that can match. “Turning the equipment in excess of” by making the score counter overflow and reset to zero was typically the last problem of a game for individuals who mastered it, and the previous impediment to finding the greatest score.

Most well-known game titles

Donkey Kong

The game titles underneath ended up some of the most well-known and influential game titles of the period.

Space Invaders




Lunar Lander






Missile Command




Star Castle


Wizard of Wor


Donkey Kong




Ms. Pac-Gentleman




Dig Dug

Donkey Kong Junior


Moon Patrol

Pole Place


Robotron 2084

Time Pilot





Dragon’s Lair

Elevator Motion



Mario Bros.

Spy Hunter

Star Wars






The close of the period

The Golden Age cooled as copies of well-known game titles started to saturate the arcades. Arcades remained commonplace through the early nineteen nineties and there ended up however new genres getting explored, but most new game titles ended up shooters, maze game titles, and other variations on aged familiar themes.

New generations of residence pcs and residence online video game consoles also sapped interest from arcades. Before consoles, these as the Atari 2600 and Mattel’s Intellivision, ended up typical-goal and ended up intended to participate in a selection of game titles, and typically could not evaluate up to online video arcade game hardware, which was created for the singular goal of giving a solitary game properly. In simple fact, the glut of very poor-high-quality residence online video game units contributed in no tiny way to the online video game crash of 1983.

But the debut of the Nintendo Leisure System (1985) started to degree the playing discipline by giving a moderately fantastic online video arcade working experience at residence. In the early to mid nineteen nineties, the Super Nintendo Leisure System and the Mega Push (Genesis in North America) greatly enhanced residence participate in and some of the technological know-how was even integrated into a couple of online video arcade devices. By the time of the PlayStation (1995) and the Nintendo sixty four (1996), the two of which boasted genuine 3D graphics, quite a few online video game arcades throughout the nation experienced absent out of small business.[citation needed]

The online video arcade game market however exists right now, but in a greatly decreased sort. Video clip arcade game hardware is typically based on residence game consoles to aid porting a online video arcade game to a residence method there are online video arcade versions of Dreamcast (NAOMI, Atomiswave), PlayStation two (System 246), Nintendo GameCube (Triforce), and Microsoft Xbox (Chihiro) residence consoles. Some arcades have survived by increasing into ticket-based prize redemption and far more bodily game titles with no residence console equal, these as skee ball and whack-a-mole. Some genres, these as dancing and rhythm game titles (these as Dance Dance Revolution, part of the Bemani collection) keep on to be well-known in arcades.

The relative simplicity however strong gameplay of quite a few of these early game titles has impressed a new era of followers who can participate in them on cell telephones or with emulators these as MAME. Some vintage arcade game titles are reappearing in business options, these as Namco’s Ms. Pac-Gentleman twenty Yr Reunion / Galaga Course of 1981 two-in-one game, or integrated right into controller hardware (joysticks) with replaceable flash drives storing game ROMs.


The Golden Age of Video clip Arcade Online games spawned quite a few cultural icons and even gave some organizations their identity. Factors from game titles these as Space Invaders, Pac-Gentleman, Donkey Kong, Frogger, and Centipede are however recognized in modern well-known lifestyle.

The good results of these early online video game titles has led quite a few hobbyists who ended up youngsters all through the Golden Age to collect some of these vintage game titles. Considering that couple of have any business price any lengthier, they can be obtained for US$200 to US$750 (however absolutely restored game titles can charge a lot far more).

Some followers of these game titles have organizations devoted to restoring the vintage game titles, and other individuals, these as Arcade Renovations, which provides replica art for vintage arcade game titles, concentration only on one facet of the restoration exercise. Quite a few of these restorers have set up web-sites entire of tips and suggestions on restoring game titles to mint affliction. There are also a number of newsgroups devoted to dialogue close to these game titles, and a couple of conventions, these as California Extraordinary, dedicated to vintage arcade gaming.

See also

Arcade cupboard

Listing of online video arcade game titles

Listing of online video game consoles


^ Working day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter 01 – The Golden Age of Video clip Game Arcades”. The Golden Age of Video clip Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Kent, Steven L. (2001). The Best Heritage of Video clip Online games: From Pong to Pokmon. 3 Rivers Press. ISBN 0761536434. 

^ Working day, Walter (1998-02-08). “Chapter thirteen – The Golden Age Ends”. The Golden Age of Video clip Game Arcades. Twin Galaxies. Retrieved 2007-08-21. 

^ Prime a hundred Videogames checklist from Killer Listing of Videogames

^ “Ms. Pac-Gentleman/Galaga  Course Of 1981”. KLOV. Retrieved 2006-09-10. 

^ “California Extraordinary”. California Extraordinary. Retrieved 2006-eleven-24. 

The Official Selling price Tutorial to Common Video clip Online games by David Ellis (2004), ISBN -375-72038-3

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