Sat. Feb 4th, 2023

CHICAGO – One of the perks of living in Chicago is the existence of Galloping Ghost. Galloping Ghost, one of the largest vintage arcades in the world, has a whopping 481 slots. For just $15, you get all the classic gaming your forearms can handle from 2pm to close.

Ars Senior Technology Editor Lee Hutchinson recently flew in from Houston to spend a few days doing strategic planning with Deputy Editor Nate Anderson and me (Editor-in-Chief Eric Bangeman) in a Chicago suburb. After a strenuous day working on our world domination plans, we decided to head off to Galloping Ghost and challenge each other to our favorite games from years gone by.

My choice was easy: Gorf. It debuted in 1981 and is a title that combines Space invaders (here called Astrobattles), Galaxian (cleverly named Galaxians), various other shoot-em-up elements (Laser Attack, Space Warp, and Flagship), and a primitive voice synthesizer to create a fun 2D shooter experience. Starting at Space Cadet, a player can advance through six ranks of increasing difficulty to become a Space Avenger.

Nate chose Road blasters. “I was never quite sure Why one of them was speeding down highways, firing at other cars and receiving Uzi power-ups via helicopter,” says Nate. lines in what appears to be a war zone. But Road blasters was one of those glorious old-school games where niceties like ‘story’ and ‘logic’ came a distant second to ‘just blow up everything you see and drive as fast as you can’ – and I loved it.

Growing up just a few miles from NASA, Lee’s choice of Lunar lander was a breeze. lander is a 1979 vector-based game in which the player attempts to land a small lunar module on the moon’s surface for points. Stick a platform on a small surface and receive a 5x bonus. Miss, and you end up with a two-mile deep crater.

Wondering who scooped up and who got the wooden spoon? Hit play (no token needed) and find out.

Frame image by Eric Bangeman

By akfire1

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