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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.

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?

Party Like It’s 1989

valentinesmspacman

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.

July Birthdays In The Arcade World

Donkey Kong

With so many notable games, it’s hard to keep track of when each one was released, but here is a list of games that we’ve been able to track down June release dates for. If you know of additional games, leave a comment below and we’ll update this post.

A big happy birthday to Donkey Kong. It was released in July 1982. Without a doubt, it’s one of the most iconic games every created. Originally it was named Jumpman and Nintendo released it as a kit to replace the poor selling 8 ball deluxe. Little did they know that it would go on to become one of the best selling arcade games.

On July 9th, 1982 Bally released Tron. The game featured four mini games that you had to play in order to advance through each level.

In July of 1980, Namco released a game called Puckman. Later they would change the name of the game to Pacman and the rest is history . . .

June Birthdays In The Arcade World

space invaders

With so many notable games, it’s hard to keep track of when each one was released, but here is a list of games that we’ve been able to track down June release dates for. If you know of additional games, leave a comment below and we’ll update this post.

A big Happy Birthday goes out to Space Invaders who turned 38 on June 5th. Originally it was named Space Monsters, but they changed the name of the game and ended up with a smash hit.

In June of 1981, the first kits of Missile Command became available. With a heavy dose of cold war paranoia, it rocketed to success.

Cocktails Vs. Stand Up Arcade Games?

Happy HourWhen most people think about Happy Hour specials, they’re thinking of getting drinks after work. For us, a happy hour is when we can fit three cocktail arcade games into the back of our truck.

When we first started collecting games, we didn’t focus on the cocktails at all, but after we launched our customers made it clear that they wanted more. Overall, we’ve found the stand up games to be more popular with our members, but there are a few advantages that the cocktail games offer. The biggest is that you can play a game sitting down. This makes them ideal for a cafeteria type setting. This also gives them an advantage in public areas because they are wheelchair accessible.

It seems like most of the cocktail games that we’ve been able to collect have been early classics. I’m not sure why they stopped making cocktail arcade games in the 90’s, but it’s pretty rare to see something other than an early 80’s title in one. Everybody has their own preference and whether you enjoy playing on your feet or like something a bit more relaxed, it’s interesting to see how something as simple as the design of a game can affect the playability.

Shoebox Raid!

When your product is the size of a refrigerator, you get a lot of big opportunities. More than once we’ve had to leave a warehouse feeling unsatisfied because we couldn’t fit anymore games in our truck. Here’s a bulk lot that you won’t have to take out a Public Storage locker for in order to buy.

shoebox raid

Seeing a warehouse full of this many games is impressive, but perhaps it’s even more impressive to see such a large collection of games in one spot that are all miniature replicas. Pinball Arcade has an Etsy store where they sell handcrafted arcade and pool tables that are big enough to sit on your desk. They don’t function like the full sized games, but are a great conversation starter at work. The replicas are built by hand and crafted to look as much like the originals as possible. You can check out more photos and their mini-pins by clicking here

All You Can Arcade For Only $75 Per Month

prepare to qualify

If you grew up during the 80s or 90s, you probably have fond memories of playing video games at the arcades.  Unfortunately after the consoles came out, it became much harder to attract visitors and all, but a small handful of physical arcades remain.  The games themselves didn’t go away quite as easily.  Up until 6 years ago, an arcade operator could put their games out on route and make enough income to live a modest life.

Many would put their games into laundrymatts or restaurants and even though these classics were 25 years old, people still loved to play them and it generated income for them to live off of.  When the smartphone came out though, it changed the entire industry.  Games that you could once find in restaurants and other locations have all, but disappeared because when people have idle time, they are stuffing digital dollars into their apps, instead of quarters into our games.  The result has been nothing short of devastating for the entire arcade industry and if this trend continues, the games will all but disappear as time continues to march on.

We think that there are hundreds of thousands of consumers who would love to be able to relive the classic arcade experience once again and to support an industry that has seen better days.  We also think that there are 1000s of arcade operators with massive portfolios of games in storage, who would love to earn income again.  With many party rentals running in excess of $300 per game, there isn’t demand for a large number of games, so we started All You Can Arcade to help create a mass market for our games.

We’re located in Antioch CA and own 150 games in our own inventory.  Available immediately, you can rent a game on our website for $75 a month with free pickup and delivery.  Each month, you can keep your game if it’s a favorite, choose a different game that you want to try and we’ll swap them out for free or you can cancel your membership at anytime, as long as you give us at least 3 days notice before you’re rental period is set to renew.   We’ve launched the site with 30 games that are available in the San Francisco and Sacramento area, but we set up our site so that anyone who owns a game can take a photo of it, input the maximum number of miles that they’re willing to drive and our system will automatically match up local operators with people in their neighborhood that want to rent games in their home or office.  We pay our operators 75% of all revenue that comes in.

By offering a price that’s both fair to customers and to the hard working men and women who restore and care for these games, we hope to inject new energy into the industry and to create a restoration movement for the games.  We hope that you’ll help us by renting your favorite games, telling your friends who own games, that they can start earning income on them again or even just by sending us an email at Tim@allyoucanarcade.com letting us know that you’d be interested in joining, as soon as we find games that are available in your neighborhood.  If you’re an arcade operator who owns games and are interested in learning more about our program, please feel free to submit your contact information at the following link and we’ll be happy to get back to you shortly.

We thank you for supporting the arcade industry and for helping us create a new golden age of gaming for the arcade games.

Shhh Be Very Very Quiet We’re Hunting Arcades

who me (2)

Please pardon the mess while we fix up our games and build out our website.  We can’t wait to show you, what what we’ve been working on for so long.  In the meantime, you can subscribe to us via Facebook, GooglePlus, Twitter or by RSS for updates as we get closer to launch.  If you live in the San Francisco or Sacramento area and would like to participate in our private beta program, please feel free to email us at Seth@allyoucanarcade.com and we’ll be happy to get back to you.