The scaled-down arcade cabinets Arcade1Up has been releasing are fantastic and can serve as some major wish fulfillment for people who don’t have space or funds for the real thing. And while it’s great to have classics like BurgerTime and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game available, there are so many more arcade games Arcade1Up could tap into for future releases.
Arcade games have a rich history of iconic games, from titles in the ’70s and ’80s that pioneered the medium to more advanced titles from the turn of the century and beyond. And when you take into account that Arcade1Up has shown it’s willing to produce unique cabinets for each game to be as authentic as possible, that opens the door for almost any arcade game to receive the Arcade1Up treatment. Even more extravagant cabinets, like the sit-down cabinet for Atari Star Wars or the gun cabinet for Big Buck Hunter, aren’t off the table. Online play is even a possibility as shown by the NBA JAM cabinet.
So, with all that in mind, we’re going to talk about the games that we think Arcade1Up should tackle next, either because of their significance to the medium or unique gameplay (with a dash of personal bias thrown in for good measure).
Neon Bike Gang: Tron
With bright neon visuals, Tron is an eye-catching game despite its simplistic nature. You’re probably familiar with the bike-based gameplay where you try to dupe your opponents to driving into your light trails to win the match, but there are three other game modes based on scenes in the movie Tron (1982) as well. You’ll engage in tank combat, fight off hordes of “Grid Bugs” to reach an objective, or destroy the MCP Cone by breaking through its shields.
This variety is what makes Tron worth playing and, as such an iconic game, it certainly deserves to be easily accessible in its original form.
The original Tron arcade cabinet featured some unique controls with a rotary dial and a flight stick. Arcade1Up has done dial-like controls before for Asteroids, but flight sticks would be new to the line, so it would be great to see Arcade1Up create a new type of controller for this game.
Bombastic Shoot ‘Em Up: Metal Slug
Metal Slug has been ported to modern platforms, but its origin was in the arcade. The original Metal Slug is a 2D Shoot ‘Em Up with explosions around every corner. The game oozes that constant arcadey action that makes arcade games so addictive. And, while you may start as an average soldier with a machine gun, you also get to play in a surprisingly agile tank. An arcade cabinet of this could include some of the sequels as well, as they all feature the same gameplay just with slightly improved visuals.
Nintendo’s All-Star: Donkey Kong
The original Donkey Kong certainly deserves an Arcade1Up release; it’s one of the most iconic arcade games of all time. The gameplay is simple, but difficult to master—if you’re new to this game, expect to die by barrels a lot. Of course, that combination of being skill-based, while still being simple enough for anyone to play, is a staple of classic arcade games. There are four unique levels, each with their own layout and various obstacles (including conveyor belts, elevators, and the previously mentioned barrels).
Break Every Road Rule: Crazy Taxi
Crazy Taxi certainly lives up to its name—never before (or since) has driving a taxi through a city been so fun. You need to get your passengers to their destinations as fast as possible. The faster you get there, the more cash you receive, so barge through traffic, jump off of ramps, and drift through parks all in the name of profit.
And while Crazy Taxi is readily available on digital storefronts, its sequel, Crazy Taxi 2, never saw release on anything besides the SEGA Dreamcast and Playstation Portable. So, throwing that in would be a great bonus and a big draw for people who have never played it.
When it comes to the cabinet itself, the Star Wars Atari cabinet we mentioned earlier could easily be altered to have a steering wheel, pedals, and gear shift to make it feel as authentic as possible.
Drum to the Beat: Taiko no Tatsujin
If you’ve ever heard of Taiko no Tatsujin, it’s likely because of its various console ports on systems like the Nintendo Switch and PS4. This is a fast-paced Japanese rhythm game about banging drums. And, while the console ports relied on boring buttons, the actual arcade cabinets had giant drums that players would bang on with sticks. And the ridiculousness of that, combined with the fact that it’s a great rhythm game, makes us want to see how Arcade1Up would translate this into one of its cabinets. There are tons of games in the series, but Arcade1Up could just fall back on using one of the console ports or use a collection of the various arcade games released throughout the years.
The drums on the cabinet couldn’t be as big as the real thing. But regardless, this would still be a terrific way to play an authentic arcade rhythm game that won’t up eat up a ton of space in your living room (looking at you, Dance Dance Revolution).
Classic Joyride: Outrun
While racing games can be a great time, sometimes you just want to enjoy driving a car. That’s what Outrun is all about, there are no other drivers, just you, your car, and the road. There are multiple routes to choose between for each drive, and each takes you through a variety of locations, whether that’s a field of flowers or a rocky cliff face. And this isn’t a leisurely drive either, you tear through these environments at max speed, drifting around every turn.
Cross-Country Cars: SEGA Rally Championship
Taking a step away from the tarmac of most arcade racers, SEGA Rally Championship sees you driving throughout the world on dirt courses. Rally racing is quite different from street racing, with a large emphasis on proper braking and managing your car’s balance, so this would be a very unique racer to have a cabinet of. And because the original game was made for two-players, Arcade1Up could even incorporate an online mode to sweeten the deal even further.
On-Rails Shooter: Time Crisis
Time Crisis is a first-person shooter, but it doesn’t play like your standard console shooter. On the original cabinet, all you had was the gun attachment and a pedal. During the game, you’re railroaded along a preset path, using the gun to aim and fire and the pedal to duck behind cover. This forces you to strategize during each fight, as you need to decide the correct moment to pop-up from the cover and fire off your own shots. The game takes place in a unique sci-fi setting, and this would be a great way for Arcade1Up to reuse the gun cabinet design that was made for Big Buck Hunter.
Because Time Crisis was originally made to work with two players, an online mode could even be added. Having some of the sequels such as Time Crisis 2 and Time Crisis: Project Titan in the cabinet would be excellent bonuses as well.
On-Rails Shooter … but Spooky: House of the Dead
House of the Dead, gameplay-wise, is pretty similar to Time Crisis. But besides being a classic game in the genre, the creepy atmosphere helps differentiate it. There are zombies, vampires, and mutants around every corner, and you have to shoot them before they reach you while keeping track of your ammo. This would be another opportunity to use the gun cabinet made for Big Buck Hunter and, like Time Crisis, House of the Dead was originally made with two players in mind, so it could also incorporate online play.
There are also follow-ups to House of the Dead, with House of the Dead 2 being so close to the original in visuals and gameplay that it should definitely be included in the same cabinet.
Disney Dream Turned Reality: Fix-It Felix Jr.
2012’s Wreck-It Ralph is regarded by many as one of the better video game-related movies out there. But while the entire movie follows Ralph on his adventures, his home game Fix-It Felix Jr. was never a real arcade game. That is, except the version Disney made as a promotional piece in limited arcade cabinets. Now that the promotion is over, however, it can be difficult to find the cabinet. Disney has made a deal with Arcade Classics to create mini-cabinets for the game, but those can uncomfortable to play for long periods of time. So, Arcade1Up creating a larger cabinet of it would be greatly appreciated.
Besides having an interesting backstory, Fix-It Felix Jr. has its merits as a game as well. It has all the makings of a classic arcade game—it’s simple, skill-based, and replayable. At the beginning of every round, Ralph destroys more and more of the building, and it’s your job as Felix to fix it. You hastily hop around the building repairing windows all while Ralph hurls bricks down at you. This repeats until you reach the top of the building, where you defeat Ralph once and for all (until you start the next round, at least).
As far as the cabinet itself is concerned, while it would use standard controls, it would still be eye-catching thanks to the unique blue and yellow color scheme. Making it a great display piece along with an interesting item for fans of the movie.