Two years after Rampage “hit” (pardon the pun) arcades, Midway’s big monsters made their way to the small screen in Data East’s 1988 version of Rampage for the NES. Rampage was ported to most home computers and game systems, each of which losing details (some small, some large) along the way. The NES version dropped Ralph the werewolf, retaining Lizzie the Lizard and George the Gorilla. It also dropped a bit of quality. The game is playable, but it’s not the best home version by far.
Unlike the arcade version (which required quarters to continue) or some of the other ports that limited the amount of times a player could continue, Rampage for the NES allowed players to continue as many times as they wanted, until their their thumbs went numb or the played through all 128 of the game’s levels.
Sea Wolf is one of my favorite games and the first arcade I remember playing. It was released by Midway in 1976 and was based on two earlier Electro-Mechanical games called Sea Devil and Sea Raiders. I have to say Midway really knew how to dress up these early games. The whole cabinet is covered in an underwater motif complete with submarines. It even had a step built into the bottom of the cabinet that could be pulled out and used by children. Like my last game, Blue Shark, Sea Wolf could also be categorized as a shooting gallery game. The game has a periscope mounted to the front of it that you can turn left and right and use to aim and shoot at the passing boats. Once again I made a video of mine in action. The sounds from this game are very memorable to me.
The object of the game is to sink as many enemy boats as you can in a limited amount of time. You can fire 4 torpedoes before you have to pause and reload which takes a few seconds. There are three types of boats: the freighter worth 100 points, the warship worth 300 points and the smaller quicker PT boats worth 700 points. You must avoid the mines that float below the boats and get in your way. You don’t lose any points for hitting them but you don’t receive any either. If you reach a determined score you will receive an extended time bonus and will give you 20 seconds to try and get more points. The game time and extended time bonus are set by the operator of the game but the suggested factory settings are 60 seconds for the game length and 4000 for the time bonus.
Sea Wolf was pretty popular and they made quite a few so they are out there and hopefully you get a chance to play one. Keep an eye out for local arcade shows that will be your best chance. It was also ported to a few home systems like the Bally Astrocade, the Commodore 64 and Atari 8 bit family. Of course none of these used the periscope you just move your sub left and right at the bottom of the screen but the game play is close. Recently a redemption version of the game with updated graphics became available in the arcades.
As I was busy searching for a particularly nasty program on the Game Grid last night I came across this wonderful piece of Box Art for Omega Race, this is the Atari 2600 port of the arcade game, which was programmed by Ron Haliburton and released by Midway to the arcades back in 1981.
Omega Race was apparently the only Vector Graphics title that Midway released but I’ll be honest, I never bumped into in any of the local arcades in my neck of the woods. Home ports of the game were also released to the Colecovision, VIC-20, and the Commodore 64. So far Midway has failed to include Omega Race in any of it’s Midway Arcade Treasure collections.
The Atari 2600 port also included a free “Booster-Grip” Joystick Adaptor to aid in a closer feel of the arcade game, a button for firing the ships lasers and the second button for thrust.
Judging from this video it looks like a simple but fun game, feels a little like Asteroids.
Though published by Namco in 1979 in Japan, Galaxian, was released in the United States by Midway in 1980. While the game was highly popular it’s sequel from 1981 is better known, that is of course Galaga. There was a third game in the series released in 1984 entitled Gaplus.
It’s funny. In my neck of the woods, I didn’t get to play Galaxian until I first saw Galaga. This particular Galaxian machine was at a gas station and while playing it I kept thinking, “What a rip off of Galaga!”.
During the Retroist Arcade Meet Up last week, our very own Plcary asked the gurus of 1984 if they remembered an arcade game where you were positioned in the center of the screen and had to defeat wave after wave of enemies as they came rushing at you, not using a joystick but four directional buttons and a firing button. The gang at 1984 and myself were stumped on this one, but Plcary kept at it and found out the name of the arcade game and it is Midway’s Space Zap from back in 1980.
Sadly this is yet another arcade title that I didn’t have the opportunity to ever play in wilds of Showbiz Pizza or Games People Play in my Youth. Looking at the video below, it sure looks like I missed out on a good one.
A huge thanks as always to The Arcade Flyer Archive for the wonderful scanned Flyers above as well to We Love 80s 2 over on YouTube for uploading his video on YouTube. Of course another big thanks to Plcary for passing on the name of the game in the first place!