Pengo and Wizard of Wor

I rounded off last month’s video game cabinet buying spree with two early 1980s classics: Wizard of Wor (1980) and Pengo (1982).

Wizard of Wor

Wizard of Wor is a dungeon maze shooter that had the unique element of being a two-player co-op. It appealed to me as a younger AD&D fan, and while a mildly popular game, when I saw how beautiful the cabinet one of the best old school cabinet dealers had for sale, I just could not resist.

It’s been a while since I have played this one, so it will be fun to re-visit, and maybe I can get Tim to play co-op with me—I mean we have come this far together 🙂

The other game on the way from the same seller is Pengo, and this cabinet is also impressively clean. Like Wizard of Wor, Pengo was modestly successful back in the day. It’s one of the games that folks who comes to the arcade and are of a certain age will immediately get a bout of boutique nostalgia 🙂 The same can be said of quite a few of this month’s purchases, such as Mouse Trap (1981) Vanguard (1981), and Congo Bongo (1983).

The game is fully working but the monitor may need to be re-capped, so we’ll see how that goes. Pengo is yet another maze game (we have quite a few of that genre at this point) wherein you are a penguin in the arctic that skillfully uses blocks of ice to crush sno-bees. I love the crazy themed games like this, and I think more than a few of the recent acquisitions are lesser-known and will nicely balance the more recognizable hits of the golden age of arcade cabinets—-many of which we have. You can see a full list of our games on the Reclaim Arcade website, and I have to pinch myself every time I look at it because it represents a pretty amazing adventure for Tim and I into the world collecting video games, and I’m quite proud of the arcade we’ve managed to build in just two and half years.

There will be more games to come in the future, but with 57 old school arcade cabinets I’m feeling good about where we’re at for opening day. I head back to the burg in just 10 days to prepare for the opening. It’s a special kind of joy to return to the strip mall only to be greeted by a whole new class of cabinets that will soon be available to the broader public. So, with all that said, if you are around the weekend of January 29th, 30th, and 31st and want to check-out the coolest arcade in Freddy, I’ll be there waiting for you with bells on!

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2 Responses to Pengo and Wizard of Wor

  1. Rob Reynolds says:

    Hi Jim, I remember playing Wizard of War on a friend’s Atari while I studied in Argentine in 1984. It was one of my favorites (along with M.U.L.E.) and we played it often when not busy working through Infocom text adventures. Thanks for bringing this bit of joy to your arcade!

    • Reverend says:

      Hi Rob,

      Thanks for the comment, it made my day.

      The whole history of ports of all these games is really interesting, because it was literally bringing these 300 pound cabinets into the home. In fact, Reclaim Arcade has a vector of this built in with the living room which features many of the ports for Atari 2600. I was reading up on Wizard of Wor before posting this and the Atari 2600 port was considered one of the very best for that system, and given how many ports there were that is saying something. Whereas the port of Congo Bongo was one of the very worst 🙂

      I now have to buy both on Ebay 🙂


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