Arcade Days!

Arcade games of my childhood
August 25, 2008
This is my very first posting on RetroJunk and I'm excited to get started.

Like many people that love this site, I grew up in the 80's and 90's and I still love thinking back on all of the great stuff we had during those times. Things were different back then, simpler.

I grew up in a town that was at least 45 minutes from the nearest mall. My mom didn't have much money so going to the mall was never at the top of the "things to do list". With this being said, it was not very often that I was able to go to a real arcade and play video games.

Luckily for me, my grandfather was a janitor at a local pub/restaurant, so every weekend I got to go to work with him and hang out for 4 or 5 hours on a Saturday and/or Sunday. While I was there I had the run of the place. I spent a lot of time searching the dining room for cash that some unlucky drunk person had dropped (you'd be surprised!) or sitting at the bar guzzling soda munching on pub food and watching cartoons. Really fun stuff for a kid!
The best part thought was that this pub had a game room with darts and arcade games. The game room wasn't big, only 2 or 3 games at a time but they were replaced every month so I had four full weekends to play each game to my hearts content.

For this post I want to take a look at a few games that stick out in my memory as "the best of the best" at my grandfathers bar.


One game that I remember distinctly is Operation Wolf. This game came out in 1987 and was awesome! As the player you manned a machine gun in a warzone comprised of six levels where you trying to kill everyone and save hostages. Basically it was your job to shoot everything in sight without taking to much damage and dying. For the time, the graphics were pretty good and the gameplay was addicting. The gun even shook when you shot it to make it feel more lifelike. The only thing I did not like about this game was the fact that it only one player (a problem later fixed in the NES port) but it didn't really bother me to much since my Grandfather wouldn't have played if I'd asked him anyway! Oh, one other thing -this game was hard! I don't think I ever got past the second level.


Growing up I was a HUGE wrestling fan. I loved the WWF. I watched every show on TV and had all of the magazines. That's why it was a special time for me when my grandfathers bar got the game Wrestlefest.

This game was truly awesone. It was released in 1991 and the graphics were great at the time. It included all the big name wrestlers of the era like Hulg Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior, Jake the Snake, Big Boss man and Demolition. It was a button pounder for sure but it was also a blast to play.


The next game I want to talk about is Bad Dudes released in 1988. Basically this is a platformer where you kick, jump and punch. It's a straight forward Double Dragon type game. There really is not much to it, but it's really fun anyway.
This game sticks out to me because the very same day it arrived at my grandfathers bar, my cousin had come along to hang out with me for the day. While searhing the dining room, we found a $20 Bill. For anyone that remebers being 9 years old, finding $20 bucks is like hitting the lottery! This was an amazing find for us! So like responsible kids we immediatly put the money in our college savings accounts. Wait, that's not what happened at all! We took the entire $20 and blew it on Bad Dudes. Good times!


The next game that comes to mind is Superman the Arcade Game released by Taito in 1988. This game was pretty cool! First of all it should be known, I am now, and always have been a "super hero" nerd. I really can't get enough of the stuff!
The game pits you as Superman in Metropolis fighting robots and aliens (or so I remember). There is no real plot to speak of if my memory serves me correctly. As Superman, you are able to fly, punch and kick but also shoot heat vision from your eyes. The one thing that really stands out to me is that you can play two players at the same time which is always fun. The second player's character was a red suited Superman which I found to be pretty odd. I never really understood this and thought the other character was actually Shaazam but I can't find any info anywhere to confirm this as being true or false.

The final game I want to discuss is one that I never made it to my grandfather bar but I have wondered about for years. The game is called Time Traveler and it was realeased in 1991. As I mentioned earlier, It wasn't often we went to the mall but one time I did go, this game left a big impression on me.

Basically this is a hologram game that you look in on. It really looks like the people in the game are real (but much smaller of course). No matter what angle you look from, the characters seem extremely lifelike. I was amazed when I saw this and to this day, I have not seen another game like it. As the player, you interact with the characters to help them advance through the levels. The one thing that sticks out in my memory is a cowboy that you need to help win a gun battle. I remember I only got to play it once because there was such a huge line at the time but I was mesmerized by it. The next time we went to the mall (way later of course) it was gone and I never saw it in person again.
Thank god for the Internet. I have been looking for this game since I was like 11 and only just recently found it on the Web.

That completes my first article here on RetroJunk. I hope you all enjoyed it!!!!!!!
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