Hey there everyone – I’m Chuck (aka Juck911), the owner and webmaster for Retro Arcade.
RetroArcade.com was created with “simple” the goal of being a one-stop-shop for the first generation of the most iconic, popular and culturally significant retro arcade video games – a site filled with actual PLAYABLE versions or renditions of these historical relics, along with facts and information about the game, the designers, manufacturers, and even some odd trivia. With my new goal in mind, I wanted an authoritative list of classic video games that could serve as the baseline for the entire online collection, in other words, a library of online game titles that best represented that period 35 years ago.
With a quick search on Google, I stumbled upon a Wikipedia article The Golden Age of Arcade Video Games. I felt the Wiki article and list represented the heart and soul of retro video games during the “Golden Years” period of 1977 to 1984. Of the 50 to 60 classic games referenced, my goal was to find the best versions, renditions or clones of each, versions that captured the look, feel, and overall spirit of the original, all while playing in your desktop browser. Limiting the list of games to approximately 50 allowed me to focus on the curating process – no filler or garbage games here – every one held a place of significance within the Golden Age years. I also firmly committed that RetroArcade.com should ONLY host Flash/Shockwave, or HTML5 games.
Practically all the other online retro arcade sites at the top of Google search pages were frustrating to use (or even trust). They hosted a spotty mish-mosh of retro games, most requiring the player install Java, JRE Runtime, or other “required plugins” of dubuios purpose. I wanted as passive a playing experience as possible – just click and play. RetroArcade.com is a continual evolution, I am still searching for playable versions for some games, and will surely be looking out for better quality renditions of some of these gaming gems as they are found.
Ahhh, nostalgia. If you’re around my age (I was born in 1968), you surely remember the good old days of arcade games. You can remember way back then, walking into a real, usually smoke filled, poorly lit arcade room, filled with the simultaneous sounds of dozens or different arcade games and the people that played them. (Kind of like the sound of the Slot Machine section in today’s casinos!) You walk past the neon signs, snack vending, machines past the pool tables, foosball games, past the soda fountain, into the catacombs of arcade machines, stacked against each other. You see familiar faces: Joust…Robotron…Asteroids…Defender…Pac-Man…all waiting patiently for your quarters. You saunter up to a change machine, and slip a five-dollar bill into the slot of the change machine.
In a moment, the machine rains down pile of quarters with that familiar “woosh-ching-shhh” sound. With the pile of quarters still feeling warm in your hand, which you greedily scoop them into your pockets. Feeling rich beyond your dreams, you browse among the comforting wooden arcade cabinets, looking for an empty machine. You see Donkey Kong, in it’s Nintendoesque splendor, blipping away in Demo Mode. You slip a quarter into the metal slot, and listen to the satisfying “ch-kerchunk” of the coin being accepted. The machine acknowledges your contribution with a bleep and starts playing…you become Jump Man, before you changed your name to Mario and your job to become a plumber…You are trying to rescue Pauline from the clutches of the hairy ape, who taunts you by rolling barrels down your path. The arcade, the sounds, the smells, all fade away…transported to another world momentarily, where your brains pleasure center does a Vulcan mind-mend with the arcade game, the best 25 cents every spent! albeit for a few short minutes anyway : – )