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.