No Quarter Podcast Reviews Mad Planet

Mad Planets

We love talking classic gaming with other collectors and operators, so we’re always looking for good arcade related podcasts to tune into.  No Quarter has been publishing a weekly show for almost a year now and they always have good content for arcade fans.  On their latest Podcast, they do a review of the Mad Planet arcade game.

Like the smash hit Tron, Mad Planets uses a combination of a flight stick and a spinner control, in order to play the game.  This makes playing it on a classic arcade cabinet, a very different experience compared to consoles or MAMEs.  While they were known more for their Pinball games, than arcade games, Gottlieb did create a few videogames including Qbert and the Mad Planets game.  YouTube has footage of the game play online.

On the podcast, NoQuarter discusses some of the challenges in learning the game.  It took them a while to figure out that they had to pick off moons before they could blow up the planets and figuring out how to use the spinner control took a couple of extra lives.  More often than not, arcade operators would make their most money by teaching someone how to play the game.  Mad Planets was no exception.  As players learned the rules, it would cost them quarters, but eventually they could master the game.  Once a game wasn’t earning as many quarters, operators would swap them from one location to another, so that they could teach a new audience the rules of the game.  This is why your favorite games would disappear as soon as you were starting to get good at them.  By analyzing the payout and auditing systems on the game, an operator was able to maximize what they could make on the game.  This is part of where having it in free play can improve the experience of a game.

Some interesting things that I learned during the podcast include the fact that the Mad Planets was one of the first games to use intel chips in them.  They only made 1,400 copies of the game, but since it wasn’t a big seller, many of these copies are believed to have been destroyed.  They didn’t make a cocktail for the game, but the cabinet was the same design as Qbert.

One Response to “No Quarter Podcast Reviews Mad Planet”

  1. No Quarter August 27, 2013 at 2:17 pm # Reply

    Thanks for the nice mention, Seth! For some reason, I only stumbled across your blog post this morning but I’m glad I did. We have a great time playing these titles and then talking them up, and we hope our listeners are having fun playing along with us.

    Mad Planets is one of those weird, crazy games with a bunch of elements that you wouldn’t think would work well together, but they just do and it’s easy to keep coming back for more.

    As far as I can tell, most of the arcade companies back then used variants of either the M6502 or the Z80 most commonly. I think this may have had to do with pricing. I know that Intel chips were much more expensive and if you could get the job done with a cheaper CPU, that just meant a bigger profit margin on cabinet sales. I’m sure someone with more knowledge of the arcade industry history can provide a more accurate picture.

    Gotta say, I’m insanely envious of our west coast listeners who can avail themselves of your service. When are you coming to Colorado and/or Toronto? 😉

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