So you can send one arcade machine back to the 1980's...what do you choose?

Hypothetical obviously…

I was watching a Youtube video about the evolution of arcade driving games from 1976 to 2018 (evolution of which seemed to plateau in the mid to late 1990’s) and I thought how kids of the early 1980’s would react if they could play a ‘modern’ arcade machine.

So for the rules of the game, you can send one arcade machine of your choice back in time.

Any machine from 1990 to 2010 to any date in the 1980’s.

You can send it back to a specific games arcade or a random one. If you choose a specific arcade it can’t be in your home state or country (so young you doesn’t have easy access). The unit will be installed overnight without anyone being aware and be up and ready to play the next morning, suitably fixed so people of that distant era can afford to play it.

The game can’t be reverse-engineered, any attempt at all to do so results in the unit melting into an unusable mess.

So what do you send back and why? :slight_smile:

I think Street Fighter II would blow 80s kids’ minds.

Street Fighter II is almost an 80’s game itself, released in 1991.

On thinking about it I think i’d go for Star Wars Battle Pod Star Wars: Battle Pod - Premium Edition Reveal Trailer - YouTube

My reasoning.

  1. It’s a Star Wars game, so that everyone would immediately grok it and want to play it.

  2. It would starkly show the change in graphics between it’s classic 1983 equivalent, (Star Wars Arcade Game (1983) - YouTube) and what what a modern system could do.

I’d have mentioned that but it came out in 2014, 4 years too late for the OP’s request.

Sure, but if it was sent to 1981?

id double down and send back mortal kombat 3 …could you imagine the reactions to someone getting their skeleton ripped out through their skull and other such bloodletting in the 80s ? and the female fighters would raise hell also …

Actually, yes you can remove that particular stipulation. I only added it so people wouldn’t just choose the ‘latest and greatest’ graphics, but its probably too limiting. :slight_smile:

Stun Runner. Never understood why this game wasn’t a bigger hit than it was.

The first thing I saw on that video was “Copyright 1989 ATARI GAMES”.

one of those machines which has both Ms. Pac Man and Galaga. That way kids in the '80s can ask “why does this stupid thing need a dollar to play?!?”

You’re right, Bo. Showing my age in that it seems like yesterday I was plugging in quarters to that game.
Just checked release date: Sept 4th, 1989… Not close enough for the posting criteria by a mere 3 months. Thanks for catching it.

I would send back Tekken 3 even if it does have Eddy Gordo…


No worries. Almost every arcade video game I think of came out in the 80s. I can tell you lots of pinball machines from then 'til now, but arcade video games haven’t been a pop culture thing since about, yeah, 1990.

ETA: Time Crisis would prolly blow people away. Also Dance Dance Revolution would prolly be an even bigger hit back in the '80s.

Killer Queen. The graphics wouldn’t be so alarming but the gameplay would be the novelty. Plus, ten people get to play at a time!

God, who knows anything about 1990-2010 arcade games? 1990 was pretty much ground zero for when PC gaming became a real thing- the introduction of VGA and the SoundBlaster sound cards suddenly made PC games much more attractive, relative to the arcade games.

Plus, the fourth generation consoles came out about then (SNES & Sega Genesis) and they also pushed up against the arcade console quality. By the end of the 1990s/beginning of the 2000s, PC games and consoles (Playstation & original Xbox) were well beyond arcade games’ graphics, sound and playability.

If you really wanted to wow a 1980s kid, send back an Xbox 360 or PS2 along with a set of popular games. That would be FAR more impressive than shooting back some lame latter-day arcade game like those stupid Terminator ones, or “House of the Dead” or whatever.

Aye, the prospect of playing against 49 other real people with graphics that are very close to VR-level a la PUB or CoD or some such would’ve freaking floored me back in the '80s. Or 60 people raiding, like in EQ or WoW; I dreamed of that since the '80s and was unbelievably ecstatic the first time I raided in EQ.

That Time Crisis game with the realistic gun that actually has recoil when you shoot it. Not only was that feature sort of cool, but the game was pretty damn awesome to play. Time Crisis 2 and 3 are also pretty good, but nothing beats the first one (as per most things)

The greatest leap in arcades had to have been Sega’s Daytona, but it still kind of follows an intuitive evolution. Impressive yet inevitable.

I’d instead choose Sega’s Virtual-On: Cyber Troopers, which is much less of an evolution of 1-on-1 fighters compared to other 3D games (eg, Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive, Tekken), and more of its own idiosyncratic thing. Not to mention its distinctly Japanese sci-fi premise that was only beginning to emerge at the time. All that, and a technical tour de force.