Eastdale Mall in Montgomery Alabama 1977-78. The mall was brand new and had an Aladdin's Castle arcade inside. I had recently seen my first arcade cabinets at the 7-11 that was around the corner from my Dad's State Farm Insurance office. I was 7 years old and videogames were new to me and in many ways new to the public. The very first time my Mother and I walked into that place the sights and sounds were euphoric, to say the least. Anyway, there was a game that was based on WWI airplanes and I don't recall what it was called. The cabinet was red and it had a blinking red light on top like you would see on a water tower or similar structure.
It had a silver bar that pressed forward to fire your machine guns like many of the planes of that era had. Two simple lights would meet together on the screen and that represented your tracer fire. Now the game had no computer graphics of any kind but a film would roll with basic drawn pictures of various kinds of WWI fighters. The game had a large joystick that you would use to slide the picture that was in front of you into your tracer fire. If you kept the plane in front of your tracer fire long enough the picture suddenly changed into a flaming aircraft. It had the sounds for the machine guns and planes. It also had the sound of the injured plane that was spinning out of control.
The game also had a scoreboard that was painted glass that was in the area of the joystick. It had planes in crosshairs painted on it with each one being numbered to represent your kills for the game. Each number would light up accordingly as you shot planes down. If you shot down enough planes a token would pop out after the game was over. It had Bally Flying Ace minted on it. I still have one of those coins SOMEWHERE! It would seem logical that the game would have been called Red Baron or something like that but I don't know. That was my first favorite arcade game when I was 7 years old. Some of my other favorites from the late 70's early 80's include the following....
1. Space Invaders
2. Galaxian (color graphics wow!)
3. Star Castle