I Spy A Sly Spy

Sly spy arcade cabinet

Sly spy arcade cabinet

Just like comic books, video games have their own universes and sometimes one title will crossover into another and connect two different games to the same world. Sly Spy may not be an incredibly popular game, but when Data East made the game, they included promotional posters of their Karnov game when you played it. Karnov was also featured heavily in the Bad Dudes game, where the plot is to rescue the president who has been kidnapped.

I dont think we’ll ever see a movie based around this fictional universe, but there was a company who bought the rights to Data East’s games when they went bankrupt, so you never know. After Marvel went belly up, no one thought that old comics had much value, but they managed to turn their universe into some pretty profitable movies. While we dont have a Karnov in our collection just yet, its been high on our list. Even if you wont see a Sly Spy tv show, its neat to explore the different games and see how their all connected.

Since Sly Spy was set in the mysterious future of 199X, it’s a continuation of the Bad Dudes story in a way. In Sly Spy the president has been assumed to be assasinated and you must stop the council of world domination from taking control. There are eight levels to fight through, where you get to show off your secret agent moves. Like other Data East run and gun titles of the day, it relies heavily on timing your shots, jumps and ducks to advanced through to each level. In Bad Dudes, you got to have burgers with Ronald Reagan if you beat the game. In Sly Spy, the President’s daughter falls in love wiyh you and marries you, if you can stop the threat of globalization.

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Party Like Its 1979

ms pacman

Looking for a creative way to celebrate the new year? Timeline Arcade in Hanover Pennsylvania came up with a clever idea. At midnight they are going to drop a Pacman and set off a fireworks display. Hopefully, they’ll post video of it for those of us on the west coast.

Thanks for all of the love and support in 2016. Were loooking forward to adding even more classics to our arcade game library, in the coming year. We hope that you stay safe and look forward to helping you relive your childhood memories, for many many more years.

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Tecmo Tecmo Tecmo Tecmo Tecmo

Tecmo Tecmo Tecmo

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In Local News July 22nd Edition


Here is a list of notable arcade stories that showed up in local press coverage over the last two weeks.

-An arcade bar named Coin Haus has opened up in La Mesa CA with 29 games and a couple of pins
-Suttree’s Video Arcade receives a positive review by the local TV news
-Trektoday reports that Dave and Busters has released a new Star Trek arcade game
-Cobra Arcade Bar used Pokemon Go to lure players to their bar
-Bit Bar Salem went from a series of pop up arcade parties to the launch of their own arcade bar within 3 years

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Sign of the Dragon

double dragon donkey kong jrAnyone who grew up in the 1980’s remembers Double Dragon. It was one of the first beat em up games to be introduced into the arcades. In many ways, the game was a clone of Techno’s gritty thriller, Renegade, so you can’t technically call it the first, but it was definitely one of the most influential and earliest beat em’ ups to have been introduced.

Taito may have borrowed a bit from Technos, but they did add a few improvements to Double Dragon. For example, you can sneak attack an enemy in the game and then pick up the weapon that they dropped. The game also allows two players to team up and beat the snot out the bad guys together. Double Dragon would go on to inspire a sequel, as well as a host of knock offs from other game manufacturers.

The game was created by Yoshihisa Kishimoto, (whose also affectionately known as the grandfather of arcade beat em ups), in the arcade world. Next year, Double Dragon turns 30 years old. We have two copies of the game in our library and it’s consistently rented out by our members. I wonder if Yoshihisa thought that operators would still be making money on his game when he designed it 3 decades ago?

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Arcade Paw Machine

We’ve decided to upgrade the plushies in our arcade claw machines . . .

Arcade Dog Claw Machine

See the entire gallery of photos on our Flickr stream

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Ready For Battle

mario brothers

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Party Like It’s 1989


One of the perks of running an arcade company is that we get invited to a lot of parties. Whether you’re having a wedding or celebrating a birthday, arcade games are a good way to entertain large number of guests.

Whenever we deliver games to an event, i always like to stick close so that i can see who plays the games and which ones are their favorites. Considering how many games that we find, that have been all, but abandoned, it warms my heart to see people play them, after we finish restoring them.

Sometimes it warms my heart more than others. Recently, we provided 10 arcade games for a local bar mitvah. Before the event, i talked with the young lad celebrating his journey into manhood, and he absolutely loved arcade games.

Like most 13 year olds, I could tell he was a bit shy. At some point during our conversation, a young lady arrived and things got really awkward. You could just tell that he really liked her, but he couldn’t get much out except a stutter. She liked him too, but he was a bit clueless.

Once the event started, the parents put on the music, but none of the kids were dancing. A few of the moms and dads started things off, but this made the kids even less motivated to cut a rug. I dont know if you’ve ever been to a Jr. High dance, but literally all of the girls were on one side and the boys were on another. Of course the arcade was packed, so after a while a group of girls went in there and started playing games with the guys.

IN lesss than 15 minutes they werent gaming, they were more or less talking around the games. In a half hour, the kids were comfortable enough that they all started dancing and wouldn’t you know it, if our client wasn`t the one leading the charge.

I know that some people do really well in social situations, but a big chunk of people need to warm up before they can start talking to a stranger. Whether youre two co-workers bonding over who can beat who at Street Fighter or a love connection where you dont need a cheesy pickup line, arcade games are a great way to bring people together.

While I like to see our games played, I was happy to see them not being played at that moment. That kid will remember that night forever, there is always time for arcade games later on.

We can’t guarantee that you’ll meet the love of your life the next time you drop a quarter in a game, but we have met enough married couples who met playing classic arcade games, to know that this effect is real.

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Ask AYCA – Was Street Fighter 2 or Mortal Kombat A Better Game?

Mortal Kombat

Today, we’ve decided to pit two classic arcade fighting games together, in order to determine which was the better game. In one corner we have Mortal Kombat. A game so shocking at the time of it’s release that an entire country banned it. In the other corner Street Fighter 2. Credited with saving the arcade industry from a long slump, it’s one of the best selling fighters at all time.

When it comes to Mortal Kombat, they get the first knock out with the use of fatalities. Watching your opponent literally get their heart ripped out is a way more satisfying finish. Street Fighter 2 on the other hand was easier to master and being able to play good at any game will make it more enjoyable. SF2 also had the advantage of one more button, so they could squeeze in a few combos. Mortal Kombat did have a dedicated block button which made it a bit easier to counter your opponents attacks. Because the MK combos were harder to pull off, it left the game more competitive because opponents couldn’t combo spam you to death. The artwork on Mortal Kombat was a lot more intense then what SF2 came out with, but in the end Street Fighter 2 ends up being more replayable and that alone is enough to win the contest. While both games are sure to leave you entertained, in a head to head match up, we have to call SF2 as the winner. Agree or disagree? Feel free to share your opinion in the comments below

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10 Basic Tools Every Arcade Operator Should Own

Tool Chest

We love buying tools as much as we like buying arcade games, but its easy to over do it, especially when you’re first starting out in the arcade business. To help out any operators who are just starting (or those who are playing along at home), we’ve compiled a list of the top ten tools that we use most, when fixing up our broken arcade games.

Multimeter – At the top if the list is the digital multimeter. You don’t need an expensive one, but it is worth paying more if you plan on using it every day. You’ll need this to do everything from diagnosing monitor repairs to troubleshooting bad connections.

Security bit set – If I had a quarter for every game that we’ve fixed because of a security screw issue, we’d have at least a couple of bucks saved up by now. Typically what happens is that something goes wrong with the controls and the home user cant get into the game. Once you unscrew the control panel, you can clean and repair the game and presto you have an easy fix.

1/4″ Nut driver – We use a nut driver so often, I’ve thought about carrying one on a tool belt. Quarter inch hex nuts are used to hold all kinds of pieces together, most notable it attaches the monitor’s chassis to it’s from. This one comes in so handy we have 3 of them.

Soldering Iron – You won’t be able to do any component level repairs without a good soldering (and desoldering) iron. Whether you need to change bad capacitors or fix a quick hack that a former operator did to a game, you won’t get very far without one.

Heat Shrink – We use heat shrink like its going extinct and we’re leading the charge. Sure you can wire nut, two wires together, but good luck noticing it when it falls apart while you move it and then you’ve got a broken game to troubleshoot. Just about every broken game we restore needs some wiring work done to it.

Wire Crimpers – Whether you need to repin a connection or you want to put quick disconnects on a signal wire, you’re going to need a good set of crushers. Don’t get the flimsy kind or else you’ll regret it. Look for something beefy and durable.

Power Drill – When we first started, we used to spend an hour on each game trying to pick the old locks so we could get into them. Now we hook up the power drill and drill though it in a minute. The power drill is also useful for working with the acrylic that we use for the control panels on games.

Paint Sprayer – I’d estimate that about half of our games need to be repainted before they are ready to go out. You can use rollers, but it looks a lot nicer if you use a sprayer with an oil based paint.

Utility Knife – Between installing t-molding to trimming artwork, this is another tool we use everyday. Get extra blades, they work much better when they are sharp.

Wire Brush – We keep a good stiff wire brush on hand for when we need to clean rusty chips. A good scrubbing can solve half of your pcb problems.

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