Why Did They Make These Arcade Games?


Video game arcade games are still being made. Some of them are truly innovative. Others make people wonder why they were even made. This is a list of some of those games.

Video game arcades are on the way out, dying ever since the mid 1990s with the release of the PlayStation. Video game consoles were able to give the same experience, if not better, than arcade machines around this time. The PS really did usher in a new era of video games, redefining how people play, as well as think, about video games.

This doesn’t mean that arcade games went away. It’s easy to find them around at most bars, sports clubs, as well as novelty places maxresdefault-1like Dave & Busters. There are some truly exceptional arcade games, giving the player a far more immersive experience than ever before. Dark Escape 4D  is a 3D survival horror game that uses surround sound, vibrations, and sudden gusts of wind to pull the gamer into the scenario. It’s a genuinely terrifying experience, so much so they have a warning outside of the game.  Daytona USA is another phenomenal example of an immersive experience, giving the feeling of being in a race car.  The screen is the perfect size, taking up the entire field of vision of the player. It’s easy to get lost in the game.

For every breathtaking game out there, there are other games that would make anyone scratch their head and wonder why the game was made. Here’s a small list of them, in no particular order.

Bags

For those who aren’t familiar with the game, Bags is a game played on college campuses throughout the United States. Two teams goes head to head, trying to toss small bags into holes. It’s a fun way to socialize with friends, more or less giving an excuse for people to get together and drink alcohol. Everyone has played this game at least once in their lives.

dsc00021The arcade game removes the socialization aspect of the game, letting the player play all by himself/herself. At best, the game is a novelty, simulating the game without all the hassle of tossing a bag. While it may be true that some video games do simulate games like football or baseball, those games require quite a bit of skill as there’s a ton of complexity to go with it. That complexity is often reflected within the video game. Bags is one of the simplest games in history. It makes it an ideal game for friends to play, as they won’t be distracted by the rules. As for an arcade game, tossing a bag into a hole is rather boring.

Powershot Darts

Simulation darts. All the fun of darts without holding a dart and throwing it. The entire game’s strategy comes with how to hold powershot-darts_xlgthe dart and learning the right motion for throwing. All that was removed and replaced with a rolling ball. It’s possible that a bar owner would get this rather than having a dart board since there will be a lot less risk for injury. Though that’s a guess at best. It would be far cheaper to purchase a dartboard for twenty dollars, or invest in an electronic dartboard for a hundred dollars or so rather than the thousand dollars or so for the arcade machine. It won’t add that much onto the liability insurance any business is required to have.

Part of the fun of an arcade game is to have a chance to play something that’s normally not available. Dart boards are in almost every bar, pub and novelty place you can imagine. The game is a novelty more than anything else.

Deal or No Deal

This game exists as a way to let people win tickets. Winning tickets as a reward for doing well at a game is a staple of most modern arcades. Those tickets are used to purchase prizes at the arcade’s store at the end of the night. Games like skee-ball or basketball are normally the games of choice for these sorts of prizes, or at least a game that requires timing and skill. With the other games, the player has to do something active in order to win tickets.

Deal-No-DealDeal or No Deal plays just like the old game show did. The player picks a case and then eliminates all the other cases, trying to decide if they will take the deal or not from the banker. As a novelty act, the game performs wonderfully. It also makes it very easy for the player to walk away with tickets. It’s impossible to play it and walk away with nothing. So for that, it accomplishes its goal.

The problem is, games aren’t supposed to do that. The point of the arcade games is to let the player have fun playing a game and then receive tickets as a way to reward how well they did. Deal or no Deal, has to do with how willing the player is at taking risks; sort of like poker without all the frills that accompanies it. If you remove the novelty, the player is left with a game about tickets. It turns the prize into the game. It’s entertaining watching it on television. As an arcade game, it’s very odd to see.

Final Thoughts

Arcade games are at their best when they push the boundaries of entertainment. People should want to play arcade games to get an experience that they couldn’t get any other way. It’s supposed to be more than simulating a game, but giving the player an experience that they couldn’t have any other way. I don’t like looking at video games and thinking “why in the world did they make that game?” It’s far more magical to look at a game and think “oh wow, that’s such a creative game! I can’t wait to play it.”

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About Michael Zack

Hello there. My name is Michael Zack. I’ve been gaming for well over 20 years now, ranging from table top RPGs to almost any video game you can imagine. I approach video games and the video game industry with a critical eye and give a fresh perspective to my readers.

There is one comment

  1. Kevin

    Fun times at corner store in NYC or better yet going to 42 Time Square to play at Arcade . Good times

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