On Tuesday I got the first of hopefully many 1980s arcade cabinets delivered to casa bava. I played a bit of a guessing game on Instagram when it came all wrapped up. I’ll venture to say I’ve never seen a game so well wrapped before, and I have received quite a few for Reclaim Arcade:
The joke was on me though, because after getting it in the foyer, I still had to get this 6′ tall 250 pound monster down a spiraling set of stairs to the bavacrypt:
So now the arcade cabinet is inside (all 250 lbs), but no idea how it will get down the spiraling stairs to the bavacrypt pic.twitter.com/37zqSewW1X
— Jim Groom (@jimgroom) March 16, 2021
Well thanks to my healthy living and super human strength I managed it all alone without the help of paid professionals who knew what they were doing…. see!
We got it down, and even had a place to ash my after-arcade-game-move smoke pic.twitter.com/JDpBvxoDcH
— Jim Groom (@jimgroom) March 16, 2021
And it is so beautiful! One of the most pristine games I’ve seen yet. Seems all original, and while there are some ROM errors on the checksum diagnostic, it plays perfectly. I will need to get the PCB serviced (not to mention a spare one) but Cheyenne is officially the first arcade cabinet in the bavacade! Cheyenne is effectively a Western shooting gallery, and I’m not sure its themes and cast of characters would (or should) be reproduced today. It’s also pretty difficult, but the light gun is compelling, and it has smiliar gameplay to another Exidy classic Crossbow, which game out the year before in 1983 and now I kind of want to get. You can see almost 50 minutes of Cheyenne gameplay here:
After doing some measurements I think we can get another 10-12 cabinets in the bavacrypt, and I have two more waiting for me in the US: namely Pac-Man and Joust:
— Jim Groom (@jimgroom) February 26, 2021
So, if that’s 3 games, what would the other 9 be? Let me make a quick wish list below, so I can look back and see how I did:
- Asteroids: turns out this is one of the games in Reclaim Arcade I play the most besides Pac-Man
- Galaxian: one of the very first arcade games I ever played, and still holds a special place for me
- Gyruss: we currently have a non-working cocktail version I bought last year that I think can be fixed up and shipped, so this might be a lay-up and this is absolutely a grail game for me
- Robotron: 2084: Tim and I both love this one, and I am not great but decent, but it is right up there with Defender and Joust as all-time greats
- Defender: like Robotron and Joust it is hard but awesome. In fact, Williams has so many awesome games it is kind of unfair
- Venture: this is another Exidy game and I got one for Reclaim Arcade that is a project cabinet that should arrive soon, I haven’t played it for decades, so it may not pass the test, but for now it makes the list
- Scramble: I loved this one when I played it at Nunley’s growing up and we are soon to be the proud owners of its sequel Super Cobra at Reclaim Arcade. And like with Venture that will allow me to swap PCB boards and try out Scramble to test drive again before I buy.
- Phoenix: Another game we already have at Reclaim Arcade that has stood the test of time. I really enjoy playing this one, and like Pac-Man, Asteroids, Gyruss, and Galaxian it’s in heavy rotation when I am at Reclaim Arcade.
- Elevator Action: There is something about this game I really love, the noir elements, the idea of working your way through an apartment building to get the secret plans, the car you drive away in, I don’t tire of it. And the colors are gorgeous. The only Taito on the list.
Worthy of honorable mention (maybe alternates?) are the following, they didn’t make the first cut cause they are a bit harder to find or PCB replacements are steep (looking at you Ghosts n Goblins) or may in fact make the A-list given a couple on there (like Venture and Scramble) may not be what I remembered.
- Yie-Ar Kung-fu: a definite favorite at the arcade, and I do think I need a good kung-fu game
- Ghosts n’ Goblins: a good knight-fighting demon scroller that deserves to be played at length at home
- Double Dragon: my two-player of choice beyond Smash TV, and that game is too big for the bavacrypt
- Rally-X: the cocktail in Reclaim Arcade is a sleeper classic, and one of my favorites so it might have to be included, dammit…15 games in the crypt!
- Wizard of Wor: a recent acquisition for Reclaim Arcade that has me smitten, I would do it!
- Missile Command: another Atari that I would squeeze in, it’s hard as hell (like many of these classics) but the compact cabinet is gorgeous and the nuclear theme is important above and beyond the great gameplay
I’ll stop there for now, but you get the idea of how hard this is gonna be for me. A note here that there are no real rare games in the list. They’re all fairly affordable and pretty readily available, in fact I am tracking an Asteroids and Phoenix right now, and technically already have Scramble, Gyruss and Venture that I can try and score from Reclaim Arcade, so, as the saying goes, “if you will it, it is no dream!” I’m getting the shipping container ready as I write this!