Archives for February 2013

The Thrill Of The Chase

Vintage Market

As the saying goes, “the thrill is in the chase”. As an avid curator of video games of the retro kind, and lover of vintage toys, I can attest to this notion – there is nothing like the adrenaline rush you get when hunting an old game or that Six Million Dollar Man figurine you had from the 70’s.

vintage_tabletops_ausretrogamer        vintage_startrek_ausretrogamer        vintage_ljf_ausretrogamer

The allure of the hunt is intoxicating, and when you ‘find’ your prey, it is like a “hit” (or should that be “fix”?). I embark on these ‘retro gaming hunts’ on a regular basis – it is the rush that I am seeking from trying to find my prey. It is  a guilty pleasure that does not hurt anyone (except for my hip pocket). Even when the hunt is fruitless, the passion lingers to hunt again.

vintage_pacman_ausretrogamer        vintage_starwars_ausretrogamer        vintage_MOTU_ausretrogamer

From time to time, you find a place that jolts your adrenal gland – just like the hipster vintage market I found in the northern suburbs of Melbourne. Looking at the photos, you get the idea of the gear that is available in this place – from vintage toys to electronic games. It is easy to get your ‘fix’ by looking, but the hand-to-wallet twitch is ever present.

For your photo fix, check out the entire album here

If you have any adrenaline inducing stories, please share them with us. There is nothing like the release of epinephrine and dopamine – it feels great!


Try hooking up your C64 or NES to one of these vintage beauties


Top 5 Games Charts: March 1981

Let’s rewind back to March 1981, dead smack in the middle of a thriving arcade age and a killer home console scene. These were heady times for Atari – they were dominating the arcades and the home video games market.

To find out what we were playing as youngsters, here are the top 5 games from March 1981 for the Atari 2600, Arcade and the venerable Game & Watch.

 Atari2600 1) Dragster (Activision)
2) Pele’s Soccer (Atari)
3) Video Pinball (Atari)
4) Fishing Derby (Activision)
5) Golf (Atari)


 galaga_arcade_machine 1) Pac-Man (Namco)
2) Missile Command (Atari)
3) Battlezone (Atari)
4) Defender (Williams Electronics)
5) Space Panic (Universal)


 GandW 1) Fire (Nintendo)
2) Manhole (Nintendo)
3) Helmet (Nintendo)
4) Vermin (Nintendo)
5) Flagman (Nintendo)


Re:Play returns for 2013


The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Freeplay present:

Re:Play – Indie Development: Exploring the Fringe [Unclassified 15+]
When: Tuesday March 26 2013 at 7:00pm,
Where: ACMI, Federation Square, Melbourne
Tickets: Full $15; Concession $12; ACMI Member $11


Source: ACMI

This March, Re:Play will explore what it means to be an independent developer at the fringes of the mainstream and beyond in Indie Development: Exploring the Fringe.

The beauty of not being tied to corporations in the video gaming industry means that the game developer can truly remain independent – and, in doing so, explore their own personal passions, art and creativity.


Source: ACMI

Co-curated by the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI) and Freeplay, Re:Play is a series of talks about video games and everything else; live music, musings and memorabilia.

The Re:Play program brings together a host of game developers, critics, writers, academics and other industry experts as they explore questions of convergence, play and what gaming culture means today.

Come along and immerse yourself at Re:Play.

For event and ticketing details check here.



Donkey Kong Battle: Tabletop vs Game & Watch


Battle lines have been drawn. It is the ultimate clash of the (old school) portable Donkey Kong games: Tabletop vs Game & Watch.

How did this skirmish pan out ? Read the full article (by yours truly) on Nintendo Life.


Happy 8-Bit Valentine’s Day

8-bit_bouquetFebruary 14th – that special day you share with that special someone. To tell you the truth, I don’t care for Valentine’s Day (sorry to all the romantics). It is a marketers dream day and a florists busiest (profitable) business day of the year !

If you are into Valentine’s Day, then I hope you enjoy the day with your special someone. If you are a gamer couple, then go forth and wreak havoc on a 2P game.

What will you do on Valentine’s Day ?





Elevator Action: For Old Times’ Sake


How many times have you walked in an elevator and starting thinking you were in the 1983 Taito game, Eleveator Action? Never! Really? It must be me, I am strange like that.

Since Elevator Action is turning 30 this year, I thought it was a good opportunity to have a game, for old times’ sake. So, how does it stack up after all these years – is it still fun to play? Read on.


For those that have never laid eyes on this game, the protagonist is Otto, or Agent 17. Otto is tasked with collecting secret documents from rooms (behind red doors) within the 30-floor building. He makes his way between floors via the elevator (hence the title – d’oh) and on certain floors, he can use the escalators. To make things interesting, enemies appear at the most inopportune time to get Otto and derail his whole secret mission.


Otto is no slouch when it comes to defending himself. As a secret agent, he is armed and dangerous. His trusty gun can fire three bullets per shot. If that doesn’t work, the enemies can be kicked. By far the most satisfying way to eliminate the bad guys, is by shooting a light on the ceiling while in the elevator, dropping the light onto the baddies. The byproduct of a dropped light is that the hallways become temporarily dark which makes the enemies harder to see – makes the heart rate go up a notch too. Another way to get kills on the board is to crush the bad dudes with the elevator – gee I’m a sadist.

After Otto collects all documents, he has to make his way down to the basement where he can escape via his getaway car. For some inexplicable reason, Otto proceeds to another building for more secret document hunting instead of driving off in the sunset. Ah, once an agent, always an agent.


The controls are four-way (up, down, left, right) with two buttons, one for firing, the other for jumping/kicking – Taito catered for right and left-handed players by having these buttons on either side of the centred joystick. The game can become hectic, with the timer ticking down and enemy spies that pop-up just when you don’t want them to. Even though the action may seem limited, the game is still as much fun to play now, as it was 30 years ago. The graphics and sound could do with a spruce up, but back then, it was all about instant playability – which Elevator Action has in abundance.

Graphics Very basic in this department – enemies wear the traditional black suit with top-hat to match. Documents are hidden behind red doors, and the elevator is cool to watch go up and down.


Sound Run of the mill bleeps and blops. Nothing to tune your ears into.


Playability Taito plonged the joystick in the middle, with buttons on either side – catering for both right and left-handed players. Pick your buttons, and away you go being a secret agent.


Lastability The gameplay may feel limited, but this is not a game to play for hours on end. It is great to play in short bursts from time to time.


Overall Up, Down, Left, Right, Jump, Fire. No, not the Konami code, just the control mechanisms for a secret agent. Great game to kill 10 minutes of your time.



elevator_action_machine_ausretrogamerManufacturer: Taito
Year: 1983
Genre: Platform
Number of Simultaneous Players: 1
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Alternating
Control Panel Layout: Single Player
– Joystick: 4-way [up, down, left, right]
– Buttons: 2 [Fire and Jump]
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)





Remembering the ’90s

The talented Ukinojoe knows how to make engaging animated videos, especially ones where he takes the mickey. His “90’s Nick” video is no exception. This video pokes fun at the 90’s era, with a tinge of retro gaming nostalgia.