Jr. Pac Man Arcade

Jr. Pac-Man, as you might of guessed it, is based on the original PAC-MAN game. Launched in 1983 by Midway, this game was not part of the PAC-MAN series. Jr. Pac-Man was created without permission from Namco, which had the rights to Pac-Man at the time. It was one of the games that led to the termination of the contract between Namco and Midway.

The playability is very similar to its predecessor. The player controls Pac-Man Jr. (who wears an animated propeller beanie) and scores points by eating all the Pac-Dots in the maze. Four ghosts are chasing you around and are trying to eat you. Some pellets, once eaten, will make the ghosts vulnerable to Jr.’s jaws. There are 6 of those pellets in each labyrinth, compared to four in the ”classic” PAC-MAN. One of the great differences of this game, compared to the “classic ” PAC-MAN is the size of the maze. In fact, the mazes are now twice the size of the the screen and the ghosts can very well be hidden in the part of the labirinth that is not shown on the sreen. In total, seven different mazes are offered to the player.

Jr. Pac-Man also contains some purely aesthetic changes, such as the anti-aliasing for scores and game text. Some ghosts’ names were changed as well, Clyde has been replaced by a third orange ghost named Tim.

Due to the somewhat limited popularity of the game, initially the only released port was for the Atari 2600 conseole. This version features different mazes that scroll vertically rather than horizontally, but is otherwise a faithful adaptation. The adaptation for the Atari 5200 and the 8-bit computers were completed in 1984, but were quickly scrapped with the release of Super Pac-Man.

 

Tron Arcade

The TRON arcade game, inspired by the movie of the same name, is manufactured and distributed by Bally Midway in 1982. In 1983, Midway released Discs of Tron, which was inspired by the disc fight sequence of the movie. Another sequel followed in 2003 with computer game Tron 2.0. On January 10, 2008, the game was released for the Xbox Live Arcade. In the film Tron: Legacy, the arcade game makes a brief appearance, but it is shown as being manufactured by the company ENCOM instead of Bally Midway.

The arcade itself was distributed into four types: standard vertical (upright), the mini version of the standard, a “cocktail” format (table) and a closed version with a seat. The player embodies Tron, a security program meant to monitor the communication between the Master Control Program (MCP) and the real world. The game is divided into 4 sub-games inspired by the events of the film, namely the Light Cycles (the light motorbikes), battle tanks, the input and output tower (the portal) and the final battle between Tron and MCP. Each of these sub games has 12 levels that become increasingly difficult. The player must complete a level before proceeding to the next one. TRON was well received by critics, it even received the “Coin-Operated Game of the Year” by Electronic Games Magazine.

Sega Turbo 1981

Unlike most of the other arcades, the Turbo saves your score and displays it next to the highest scores, on a LED panel. The arcade has no covere, so the name of the game only appears on top of the monitor and on the side.

Sega Turbo puts your skills to the tests. Drive your car, from the third person’s perspective, in the city, on the hills, in tunnels, in long curves, on bridges, on snow, at dusk or dawn. Unanticipated changes will test your reflexes, from sudden temperature changes to the ambulance that must urgently make it to the hospital. Points are accumulated by staying on the road and overtaking other competitors. To win, the player must pass and stay ahead of thirty cars. The game ends when the time is up and the player has not passed thirty cars or when the player crashes his last car.

TX-1 arcade

The famous TX-1 was developed by Tatsumi in 1982. Namco was shortly thereafter authorized for distribution. Namco in turn authorized Atari for the distribution in North America. The TX-1 placed much more emphasis on realistic simulation than its major competitors, for example the player was forced to downgrade when turning so as to avoid losing control of his vehicle. It was also the first racing game to use a 4 channel sound card, the ancestor of today’s ‘surround’. The TX-1 also included a unique display of 3 screens creating the panoramic view. Moreover, the Atari TX-1 also introduced a non-linear gameplay, which allows players to choose their path after each checkpoint, eventually leading to one of eight possible final destinations.

The playability of this title was similar to Pole Position, developed by Namco in 1983. In the latter, the player had to drive a Formula One car and had to reach the checkpoints within a specific time. Unlike Pole Position, each round ended with a fork, and according to the path chosen, the course of the game changed significantly. The last two rounds were based on the famous F1 track of the time. The choices made in the first three rounds determined which track would appear.  The TX-1 was a pioneer in the simulators, this style will be copied by many other games.

There has been relatively few TX-1 machines introduced in North America, despite the good quality of the game.  The purchase price was high and the game was bugging quite often due to the heat problems of the experimental components. In short, it was a first try. There remains only about 4 TX-1 machines in North America. The ‘American Arcade museum’ and the ‘Video Game Museum of Quebec’ have the TX-1 on demonstration.