Watch how to build a working 3D printed tabletop arcade console

Christopher Tan created Retrocade, a delightful 3D printed arcade machine project that lets users play classic games. He's even releasing the files and instructions. Read the rest

Modding a vintage Japanese pachinko arcade game

Pachinko machines are traditionally purely mechanical, so Ben Heck thought he'd mod one to include electronic lights and sounds. The 8-bit gaming sound program is a great option, but Ben's fart sound program may be the keeper. Read the rest

Pac-Man joystick contains 12 classic games, costs $8

Lately my family has been going to the Neon Retro video game arcade in Pasadena, CA. They have a bunch of very nicely restored arcade games. It costs $10 a hour and all the games are set to free play. I just found out about this Pac-Man Connect-and-Play. You can buy it for as little as $8 (including shipping) on Amazon. It's got 12 built-in games including: Pac-Man Pac-Man Plus Bosconian Galaxian Mappy Super Pac-Man Galaga Dig Dug New Rally X Pac & Pal Xevious

I wonder if anyone has modded this with a real arcade joystick. That would be a great project for John Park.

Read the rest

The long and twisted tale of the Nibbler arcade game

Never heard of Nibbler? You’re not alone. Nibbler was one of a handful of arcade games produced in the early 80’s by Rock-Ola Manufacturing Company, a company better known for its stylish jukeboxes. Designed by programmers Joe Ulowetz and John Jaugilas, Nibbler is the bastard lovechild of the Pac-Man and the cell phone game Snake, which you may remember playing on your 2001 Nokia handheld. Oft-maligned by classic arcade gamers as less worthy than games like Donkey Kong, Dig Dug or Defender, Nibbler is actually a fun and fairly addictive game which starts out easy and steadily ramps up difficulty as the player advances through levels of mazes. Since only about 1,500 Nibblers rolled off of the assembly line, it was a somewhat rare find in the arcade scene of the day, especially when compared to the hundreds of thousands of Pac-Man cabinets that proliferated, yet interest in Nibbler has endured into the modern era, spearheaded by a coterie of die-hard Nibbler fanatics. You see, what made Nibbler special is that it held a secret, it was the first game of its era that could be played to one billion points and beyond.

The secret was discovered by Tom Asaki, who at the time was an undergraduate at Montana State University studying physics. The founding member of the “Bozeman Think Tank,” Tom had been one of the early arcade pioneers who cracked Ms. Pac-Man (on which he held world records) and he quickly mastered Nibbler. Tom soon noticed that the score counter kept adding places and noticed that the game could hold at least nine digits. Read the rest