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Most underrated arcade games


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#26 Trebor OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 2:09 PM

@Trebor:

Mr Do! Run Run was converted

http://www.atarimani...n-run_9138.html


https://youtu.be/LE0ZynH8Sas


Thanks for the link, I typically think along the 8-bit line of console and computers when referencing existing ports in consideration of the list posted. 

 

Nevertheless, cool to see Do! Run Run ported to at least one platform, even if it's not 8-bit...Thanks again!  :)



#27 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 2:33 PM

Your welcome.

I'd hazard a guess the game was deemed more suitable at the time for the 16 bit home micro's?


I picked up a second hand SNES just for for 3 games and Mr Do! was one of them, so delighted to see the series getting some love on here.

#28 Lost Dragon OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 1, 2019 2:41 PM

Any of the Mr Do! fans ever tried this clone?


#29 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 11:44 AM

"Most underrated" is difficult in the context of arcade games because I think it is heavily dependent on release timing.  In the early- to mid-80s when arcades reigned supreme, that is when a lot of the trailblazing "household name" games came out.  In the later 80s and into the 90s there was just a lot of rehashing the same general ideas only with better graphics, which severely diluted the pool and made it much more difficult for even an extremely well-executed game to earn a lasting "classic" status like Pac-Man et al. 

 

For that reason, to me at least, the tag of "underrated" has a lot more meaning for games that were:

 

 

- contemporaries of the more iconic A-list classics (i.e., golden age)

- excellent games

- For whatever reason, never really managed to win (or sustain) much mindshare

 

By those criteria, top of the list is Bosconian, IMO. 

 

Honorable mentions: Zoo Keeper, Juno First, Lady Bug, Jungler, Black Widow

 

Don't get me wrong, there are a LOT of excellent arcade games that came out in the 90s.  Strikers 1945 comes to mind immediately; an incredible shooter that only ever seems to have name recognition with a niche audience.  But calling it "underrated" rings kind of hollow to me.  It's not surprising that Strikers 1945 is not a household name because by the time that game came out, arcade games pretty much were a niche thing, having taken a backseat to home console games. 


Edited by Cynicaster, Wed Jan 2, 2019 11:45 AM.


#30 JBerel ONLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 12:19 PM

All true, and some games were regionally obscure while being pretty popular in areas where they actually had cabinets installed. The sheer number of cabinets that were popping up in arcades by 1983 seriously diluted the field. For a long time proven standouts with stats on their revenue gathering were all you could find at the bowling alleys and such. During the big heyday, there were so many to be had, it was hard for many to be remembered. 
 
https://www.arcade-m...e-frequency.php

Edited by JBerel, Wed Jan 2, 2019 12:21 PM.


#31 Butt_Rogers OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 5:40 PM

Already posted by someone else King & Balloon is a really unique take on the Space Invaders concept. What's especially interesting is that you can get hit as many times as you want. You only lose a life if the King is abducted by the balloons. This adds some fun strategy to it. It is a little repetitive. I'd still say it's underrated to be sure.

For a 1979 game, I do think Cosmic Guerilla is severely underrated. These shooters, Space Invaders, Galaxian, Galaga, Phoenix, they all do very similar things, but I think Cosmic Guerilla really thought outside of the box. It's hard for me to explain why I like it so much, but I think it's because there's so much going on. You have to balance the left and right hand sides of the screen. Sometimes an enemy will get turbo-charged and race towards the middle of the screen and steal your stuff. Motherships show up and can be shot for extra points. Little attacker UFOs show up on the bottom of the screen and try to zap you. You have to keep track of not just the left and right hand sides of the screen, but also which specific rows are the most vulnerable. If the enemy has a clear route to one of your lives/temples in the middle of the screen, you have to prioritize defending that.

There's just a lot going on in Cosmic Guerilla. In Space Invaders all you do is shoot the enemy, and dodge the enemy lasers. In Galaxian it's the same thing. In Galaga it's the same thing. I feel like Cosmic Guerilla makes me use just a little more of my brain.

Of course, the ROM doesn't seem to work properly for me and I can't get any sound and it crashes pretty often... I'm resolving to fix this so I can continue trying to get higher and higher scores.

Here's some gameplay footage:



#32 save2600 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 6:00 PM

Eyes 

Eyes is an excellent game. Always liked that one. Turtles is another that comes to mind, another under appreciated gem:

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#33 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 2, 2019 6:12 PM

lol I HATED Cosmic Guerrilla back in the late 70's :lol: But I can appreciate it now. I always group that, and Astro Invader as games that frustrated me as a kid because they could be pretty brutal. 

 

In Space Invaders all you do is shoot the enemy, and dodge the enemy lasers. 

 

You described Galaxian, . but not Space Invaders. This is an old crusade point of mine, but there's a lot more strategy, tricks, and subtlety of play in Space Invaders for anyone who cares enough to bother finding it. :)

 

Back on topic.. Oh I thought of another one.  A game that doesn't get a whole lot of credit is Space Chaser.  Unless someone can show me another game where you can freely roam and eat dots while dodging enemies chasing you.  I think it's a better pre-cursor to Pac-Man than the Head-on style games. 

 



#34 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 9:04 AM

Another outstanding game that nobody ever seems to recognize is Eggs, which is an early 80s title by Universal (I think):

 

 

Actually, I didn't include this one in my first post in this thread because the game goes beyond "underrated" to the realm of "curiously-unheard-of."  It was a while ago, but I remember one day I tried to dig up some info on the game and was not able to come up with much on the internet, which is rare nowadays; no matter how obscure a game, there always seems to be some Wiki, blogger, or Youtuber that has documented its history.  I think the game may just be a prototype, which would help explain its next-level obscurity factor.  But Eggs is a very polished, addictive, and fun game that uses a pretty original and creative play mechanic for its time.  It's always at the top of my list when people ask me to recommend lesser-known games from the classic era.  



#35 Place Logo Here OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 11:09 AM

Kick (aka Kickman)
Black Widow
Discs of Tron
Arabian

#36 Ramses OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 7:11 PM

Another outstanding game that nobody ever seems to recognize is Eggs, which is an early 80s title by Universal (I think):

 

 

Actually, I didn't include this one in my first post in this thread because the game goes beyond "underrated" to the realm of "curiously-unheard-of."  It was a while ago, but I remember one day I tried to dig up some info on the game and was not able to come up with much on the internet, which is rare nowadays; no matter how obscure a game, there always seems to be some Wiki, blogger, or Youtuber that has documented its history.  I think the game may just be a prototype, which would help explain its next-level obscurity factor.  But Eggs is a very polished, addictive, and fun game that uses a pretty original and creative play mechanic for its time.  It's always at the top of my list when people ask me to recommend lesser-known games from the classic era.  

 

It's a Universal game? I always assumed it was made by the same company as Mysterious Stones, due to it having the exact same egg-kicking mechanic, but that was made by Technos. 

 


Edited by Ramses, Thu Jan 3, 2019 7:12 PM.


#37 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 7:28 PM

One I completely forgot about: Solomon's Key.

 

 

Great puzzle platformer, and one that has more to it than you might realise if you just rush to get through the levels before the timer runs out.



#38 Butt_Rogers OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 3, 2019 11:14 PM

Does anyone else like Lunar Rescue?

It starts out pretty easy but gets frantic in a hurry.

I think it's hilarious that if you accidentally smash your lander into the side of the ship, you don't lose a life, but the poor bastard you just saved falls out of the craft and goes AAAA! as he falls to his doom. It's pretty morbid really.

eLtOkxj.png



#39 ChildOfCv OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 4, 2019 1:32 AM

I don't know if I'd call it underrated, but I thought Bubbles was kind of cute.



#40 AtariWarlord OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 5, 2019 1:07 AM

Satan's Hollow, Nibbler, Zookeeper, Solar Fox.



#41 Spriggy OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 11:26 AM

Pandora's Palace - With Konami behind it, circa 1984, cannot believe this title has not seen a port under any system; especially at least the Famicom/NES, BITD; it's highly underappreciated.  A friend's reaction called it a reverse flowing Donkey Kong.  Never saw it that way before, but would explain why I like it so much (DK being my all-time favorite Golden Age Arcade game).  It also may explain why it never saw the light of day on the aforementioned systems.  Still, there is enough variety, great gameplay, and huge fun factor in its own right:

 

Yup.  +1

 

Others:

Mr. Heli No Dai-Bouken / Battle Chopper (1987) - Gr8 game I stumbled on bitd at a Bowling Alley near a mates place.  Cabinet was labelled Battle Chopper.

Wardner (1987) - Another gr8 little platformer.  Also found at the same Bowling Alley.  Cabinet was labelled Wardner's Forest I think.

Bull Fight (1984) - Found this bitd in an arcade in the City.  Was really popular from memory.  Simple and all about the timing.  Loved the bull fighting game mechanics.

 

I had never seen any more of these cabinets, in any other locations, in any of the arcades I frequented in the 80's.  I remember being really surprised.  Obviously my opinion though. :thumbsup:



#42 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 2:41 PM

Performan.  Sort of a cross between Do! Run! Run! and Bomberman in some ways, with a hint of Pengo.

 



#43 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 3:58 PM

Damn!  You guys are Good!  

 

Seriously, you've hit almost all of the titles I would have said... :-D

 

I so love Phoenix, Super Zaxxon, Super Pac Man, and Mr. Do!

 

Off the top of my head,...(and some of these I only have vague memories of...)

 

Astro Blaster

Cosmic Chasm

New York, New York

Reactor

Viewpoint

Star Hawk

Omega Race

Targ/Spector

 

and...Some 4 player Tank game who's name escapes me.   (I want to say Sergeant Destruction, but I know that's not it haha)



#44 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 6, 2019 6:21 PM



Damn!  You guys are Good!  

 

Seriously, you've hit almost all of the titles I would have said... icon_biggrin.gif

 

I so love Phoenix, Super Zaxxon, Super Pac Man, and Mr. Do!

 

Off the top of my head,...(and some of these I only have vague memories of...)

 

Astro Blaster

Cosmic Chasm

New York, New York

Reactor

Viewpoint

Star Hawk

Omega Race

Targ/Spector

 

and...Some 4 player Tank game who's name escapes me.   (I want to say Sergeant Destruction, but I know that's not it haha)

 

Surprised I didn't think of Reactor; really played the hell out of that when it was new.

 

The tank game could have been Midway's Sarge:

 

 

Which reminds me: Cinematronics' Armor Attack was a lot of fun, too:

 

 

Incidentally, Sarge had an easter egg in it that would turn the graphics for the female soldier topless if the DIP switches were set in a particular sequence.  Details here.



#45 Ramses OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 7, 2019 2:33 PM

I just thought of another one: Rescue. It's pretty hard, but a fun twin stick shooter.

 



#46 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 9, 2019 9:56 PM

and...Some 4 player Tank game who's name escapes me.

 

 

Surprised I didn't think of Reactor; really played the hell out of that when it was new.

 

The tank game could have been Midway's Sarge:

 

 

Which reminds me: Cinematronics' Armor Attack was a lot of fun, too:

 

 

Incidentally, Sarge had an easter egg in it that would turn the graphics for the female soldier topless if the DIP switches were set in a particular sequence.  Details here.

 

 

I do love Armor Attack!   And incidentally Armor Attack II for the 7800...

 

As far as Sarge goes,  I vaguely remember it, but it's not the game I'm thinking of...Thanks though!

 

I just looked at a list of 4 player arcade games, like one might get for a MAME cab, and I could not find it there either...It might have had more or less players, I mean my memory is not what it used to be.  I remember it had players on all sides and we all looked down at the screen (overhead view).   Also I'm thinking it was from the late 80's, possibly early 90's, based on the arcade where I played it.

 

I just asked the question as a Status Update just to see if someone remembers off the top of their head.



#47 GoldLeader OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:39 AM

OK I just got an email from my friend on the tank game!

 

It turns out it was SARGE!

 

What they did was convert a 4 player Demolition Derby cabinet into a (2 Player ) Sarge.   I had it in my head it was 4 players, but I must have been thinking of Demolition Derby before it.   Thanks for trying to help me remember.   I didn't mean to derail this thread...



#48 x=usr(1536) OFFLINE  

x=usr(1536)

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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:14 AM

OK I just got an email from my friend on the tank game!

 

It turns out it was SARGE!

 

What they did was convert a 4 player Demolition Derby cabinet into a (2 Player ) Sarge.   I had it in my head it was 4 players, but I must have been thinking of Demolition Derby before it.   Thanks for trying to help me remember.   I didn't mean to derail this thread...

 

Glad you got it figured out - trying to remember a 4-player tank game from that era was driving me nuts icon_wink.gif

 

The conversion makes sense, though - both are Bally MCR3-series games, so were designed to be swapped around with each other.  Interesting choice of conversion on the arcade owner's behalf...



#49 NE146 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:23 AM

Good call on Rescue. I mentioned Space Chaser as being unappreciated, but it's not exactly a whole lot of fun to play today.

 

Rescue on the other hand, has Robotron style controls mixed in with Choplifter-ish gameplay making it pretty fun to pick up a quick game now and then, even today. :)



#50 Cynicaster OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:54 AM

Rescue is great.  Anybody who likes that game should also check out Minefield.  It is a lot like Rescue, only you're a vehicle on the ground.

 






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