80s, 90s, Blog, League, Video Games — June 18, 2013 7:29 pm

The Ultimate Arcade

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We get really excited around these parts for the League of Extraordinary Bloggers, especially when they post an assignment like this one: You’ve decided to build an addition onto your house, a rec room that will feature your very own fantasy video arcade. What games are on your shopping list?


Ms. Pac-Man Cocktail Table

ms-pac-man-cocktail-tableWho needs a real table when you can have this!?

My all-time top pick for my own arcade would be a Ms. Pac-Man Cocktail Table. The doughnut shop by my house growing up had one and I was in love with it. Even 20-some years later I still want one. Arcade cabinets are really neat, and some get really creative, but a video game INSIDE a table? WHAAAAT! That’s crazy awesome! Imagine chowing down on donuts, multi-color sprinkles falling everywhere as you play and watch Ms. Pac-Man beneath you. Sadly the doughnut shop is long gone and is now a Subway. I’ve seen a couple of these pop up on online classifieds in my area, but I’ve been forbidden to replace our coffee table with this. One day…

FunHouse Pinball

Dat cackle.

One of the more unusual pinball machines I’ve ever played was FunHouse. My parents were on bowling leagues throughout the 80s and 90s and when there was no sitter I’d get dragged out to the bowling alley where I’d just play arcades. The bowling alley they played at was rather small, but the arcade offerings were pretty decent. One of the newer machines was a FunHouse Pinball. It was colorful and vibrant and had a fun house-theme going on (no kidding). The best/worst part about FunHouse? RUDY.

Rudy is the possessed marionette that lives inside the pinball machine and when it was on the frink it did some crazy slow-voiced creepiness. Why would I want something so nightmare-inducing in my arcade? It’ll keep me honest.

Also, today I learned that the voice of Rudy was provided by Ed Boon, also known as Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. Frightening.


Back to the Future: The Pinball


Did they hire actors for this ad or is that just someone’s wacky uncle and nephew?

Hands down, my number one arcade pick will always be Back to the Future: The Pinball.  The ridiculous name, both obvious and clunky, is already worthy of attention on its own merit.  Primarily based on the sequels in the trilogy, the pinball machine features sound clips from Doc and impressive light shows.  For some reason, they only negotiated a deal for the likeness of Christopher Lloyd.  Playing the part of Marty McFly is his stand-in.  They did, however, get Clint Howard to agree to be a cowboy.  Other cast members in the cabinet’s artwork include an old guy, a mysterious mustaches guy, the Golden Girls circa 1885, and Shakespeare.


I totally remember that scene with Clint Howard.

Perhaps, they blew their budget on licensing that DeLorean logo.  I want one of these pinball machines, anyway.

Juno First


While it may seem like just another shoot ’em up game, Juno First was pretty impressive by the arcade standards of 1983.  It’s also incredibly addicting.  A few years back, I stayed a hotel that had one of these in the lobby.  I should have skipped getting a room because I spend most of the night and just as much money playing Juno First.  If you like Galaga, I would recommend trying a few rounds of this game.  It’s so intense that the warping feature feels real with it’s life-like graphics.  Okay, maybe not… but I still want one of these arcades sitting next to my Back to the Future: The Pinball.


What did other Leaguers pick?

Branded in the 80s has some excellent taste in arcades

Calvacade of Awesome lists 10 awesome classic arcades!

The Nerd Nook makes some great picks, especially that TMNT arcade!

Calvin’s Cave of Cool picks some winners, but also outlines some losers!

Nerd Rage Against the Machine actually has a Neo Geo. LET’S BE FRIENDS IRL.

Rediscover the 80s has a nice variety, which would keep me playing video games alllll dayyyy.


  • I’m a sucker for Pinball machines. That BTTF one looks awesome!

  • I adore the Ms. Pac-Man cocktail table. I have such fond memories of that thing. I just wrote a bit about it on my blog. I will need to procure one someday. Along with the Back to the Future pinball, and all my quarters are gone.

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