Arcade game

Arcade game is a name for video games since the 1970s in public playhouses in the United States, so-called penny arcade, or be available for a fee in arcades in Europe. In the early 1980s arcade machines were set up in Germany except in arcades in many food stalls, kiosks and Supermarktvorräumen until this is prohibited by law. On arcade machines, the user can play against Coin. The game price was in Germany usually a D- Mark, while he was usually less abroad. Successful games were often implemented later for the PC as well as for various video game consoles.

The first commercial arcade game was Computer Space (1971 ) by Nutting Associates. The inventor was Nolan Bushnell, who later also founded Atari. In the late 1970s and early 1980s appeared in the heyday of arcade machines until today known and popular through reissues arcade classics such as Space Invaders, Pac -Man, Donkey Kong and many more. In the late 1980s the arcade boom ebbed by the more and more spreading home computer, video-game consoles slowly. Today only sporadically to find arcade machines in Germany.

Arcade games were the basis for the success of the computer games industry in the early years. The first big success was the game Pong. Most older games are now also emulated with MAME. As part of artistic projects (Arcade Art), such as flashing lights, Pong was displayed on a wall.

Arcade Mode (English Arcade Mode) game modes are called in computer games, which differ from the normal play mode by quickly, skill -fitting gameplay. In Arcade mode it 's all about the fun without consideration of background story or other elements such as puzzle solving or the realistic driving physics in a racing game.

Typical properties of arcade games

The meaning of arcade games is to raise money. The average game time therefore often falls from relatively short. The gameplay is easy and fast transparent, a possible tutorial is kept very short. The difficulty level of the game is also adapted to the intention of the machine:

  • The first rounds or levels are often relatively easy to successfully complete. Therefore, the player should get the impression that he mastered the game.
  • In subsequent rounds, the difficulty has already resulted in sharply at first, beginners have already suffered setbacks and get quickly a " game over". But it is possible in most arcade games with a renewed Coin another attempt buy ( Continue).
  • The renewed Coin is of some arcade games (invisible) "rewarded" with a short back lowered difficulty. Therefore, the player should get the impression that he had become better or have just had bad luck on the first try.

In addition, the vending machine can adjust the difficulty level usually by means of one or several DIP switch so that the games are equally hard everywhere.


Prior to the arcade " video" games in particular mechanical and electro - mechanical arcade games, slot machines and pinball machines were used in gambling halls, as well as skill and sports games.

Early History


From around 1978 there was the golden era of arcade games.

Chronicle 1978-1984

Milestones after the crash in 1984

Special machines

  • Air Trix ( with skateboard to make it )
  • Alpine Racer ( with poles )
  • Alpine Surfer ( with snowboard )
  • Aqua Jet ( Jet Ski)
  • Kick It ( with real football)
  • Neo Geo - Arcade system and game console with identical hardware
  • Pain Station - the only system with direct pain Feedback
  • Photoplay - touch screen machine with annual Games update
  • Play Choice -10 - player buys game time and can switch between games
  • Polyplay - the only arcade machine of the GDR
  • Pump It Up ( dance game )
  • Shoot Away - Light Gun game with a large projection screen
  • Sports Fishing, Get Bass (fishing )
  • Whac -A- Mole - mechanical ( " Redemption " game ) and electronic version

There are numerous specific types of machines, for example in the form of cars, motorcycles and boats. Increasingly, there are also more simulations, and sports games.