Amusement arcades have been around far longer than any of us give them credit for. Dating back to the "What The Butler Saw"-type games, they've come a long way in their century or so of existence. Here are ten examples of early mechanical slot machines, before the rise of video games.
Prior to becoming the games industry's biggest idiot, Sega was just about the largest player in arcade gaming. Its 1970 shoot 'em up Gun Fight featured a plastic, 3D Wild West diorama, either side of which were two cowboys. A pair of players could face off in a shoot out, moving their characters left and right behind cover - which would break apart when "shot" by their opponent. Though we were years away from video technology, already Gun Fight was pointing towards the future direction of gaming.
One of the earliest ever beat 'em ups, K.O. Champ dates back to 1955, and was produced by the excellently-named International Mutoscope Corporation. Notably, it provided the basis for the popular 1960s toy, Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots. Amazingly, the gameplay was almost identical to a 1928 game called Knock Out Fighters.
LOOK AT THIS BUFF KANGAROO
Alright, it isn't a vintage arcade game, but it's probably as interesting - if not more so. I mean, it's a really muscly kangaroo. Look at him. Look at those arms, that chest - see how he crushes that metal bucket with ease? Imagine what he would do to your head. Don't you just want to give those biceps a squeeze? If only you could risk doing so without this brute pinning you to the ground, and ripping you apart.
It's pretty self-explanatory what this one is. It's a basketball game, in which you controlled a little guy who had to score a basket, while avoiding the flailing arms of a rival player. It was probably pretty good for the time. Or maybe it wasn't. Who knows? Perhaps everyone hated it. Doesn't really matter now.
WANNA WORK OUT TOGETHER? LOL!
Just going back to the kangaroo for one moment, how do you think he got so muscly? Does he work out? Was he being injected with steroids by a "bushman"? He really is something isn't he? Look at the bulging veins. If you saw this guy down the gym you'd say stuff like "Wow - I wish I had muscles like him" and "I wish he'd come over here and hold me tight for a few minutes to an hour".
And look at his face: he knows how strong he is, and he doesn't care. You mess with this guy at your peril. He's not only the alpha kangaroo, but probably the apex predator of the entire animal kingdom. Even great white sharks would tremble at the mention of him.
This 1972 shooting gallery game used UV blacklighting to give it an eerie feel. Players had to... y'know... shoot ghosts, or something... Sorry, now all I can think about is the ripped kangaroo. With hindsight, it was probably a mistake to include so powerful and interesting a kangaroo in a list of vintage arcade machines, but it's too late to change that now. What's done is done.
HERE'S WHAT A REGULAR KANGAROO LOOKS LIKE
See the difference? Look at those spindly arms. This loser couldn't punch its way out of a waterfall. What a useless sap. No wonder it has to carry another kangaroo around in its stomach. Probably needs it for protection.
THIS GUY ON THE OTHER HAND...
...He looks like he could rip your torso apart without breaking a sweat. I bet he rules the Outback. Probably just spends his day smashing dunnies apart with his bare hands, and punching crocodiles in the head - just for shits and giggles. You'd hear him before you saw him, the apocalyptic thump of his bounding, shaking the koalas out of the trees... scattering kookaburras in his wake... the deafening primal roars of his mating cry, as he dry-humps Ayers Rock into submission.
ALL HAIL THE BUFF KANGAROO!
All hail our new master!
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