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Play Over 900 Retro Arcade Games For Free

Pac-Man arcade game
Stop wasting your time at the arcade dropping quarters when you can waste time online for free. If you're old enough to visit the old arcades of yesterday, or do you just love playing old games from the 70s and 90s, then you'll love the The Internet Arcade which is part of the web archive site archive.org. Jason Scott and the team at JavaScript Mess spent "[m]onths of testing, refinement, improvements and efforts" to port almost a thousand games to your web browser for free.

Here's the description:
"The Internet Arcade is a web-based library of arcade (coin-operated) video games from the 1970s through to the 1990s, emulated in JSMAME, part of the JSMESS software package. Containing hundreds of games ranging through many different genres and styles, the Arcade provides research, comparison, and entertainment in the realm of the Video Game Arcade.
"The game collection ranges from early 'bronze-age' videogames, with black and white screens and simple sounds, through to large-scale games containing digitized voices, images and music. Most games are playable in some form, although some are useful more for verification of behavior or programming due to the intensity and requirements of their systems.
"Many games have a 'boot-up' sequence when first turned on, where the systems run through a check and analysis, making sure all systems are go. In some cases, odd controllers make proper playing of the systems on a keyboard or joypad a pale imitation of the original experience. Please report any issues to the Internet Arcade Operator, Jason Scott."

Head to The Internet Arcade, enter your favorite game title in the "Search" bar using "Internet Arcade" and the game title (ex. "Internet Arcade: Frogger") and it's probably in there. They say you can use any browser you like, but I couldn't get Street Fighter II Turbo to run in Firefox, but it ran in Chrome. So, you have to play around with it. The Mary Sue says to play "the 5 key lets you insert a coin; the 1 key is usually the Player 1 start button. Arrows are usually used for directional stuff, with CTRL/ALT/SPACE used for the three primary buttons. Beyond that, you’ll have to mash buttons a bit to figure it out (or hit TAB to dive into the key configurations)." The controls are kind of frustrating so I'm hoping they'll have it standardized soon.

Here are the ten most popular games and I've only played the first two before.
  1. Defender - "Defender is an arcade video game developed and released by Williams Electronics in February 1981. A shooting game featuring two-dimensional (2D) graphics, the game is set on a fictional planet where the player must defeat waves of invading aliens while protecting astronauts. Development was led by Eugene Jarvis, a pinball programmer at Williams; Defender was Jarvis' first video game project and drew inspiration from Space Invaders and Asteroids..."
  2. Paperboy - "Paperboy is a 1984 arcade game by Atari Games. The players take the role of a paperboy who delivers newspapers along a suburban street on his bicycle. Paperboy was innovative for its theme and novel controls. The player controls a paperboy on a bicycle delivering newspapers along a suburban street which is displayed in a cabinet perspective (or oblique projection) view. The player attempts to deliver a week of daily newspapers to subscribing customers, attempts to vandalize non-subscribers' home..."
  3. Qix - "Qix is an arcade game, released by Taito America Corporation in 1981. The objective of Qix is to fence off, or 'claim', a supermajority of the playfield. At the start of each level, the playing field is a large, empty rectangle, containing the Qix — a sticklike entity that performs graceful but unpredictable motions within the confines of the rectangle. The player controls a small diamond-shaped marker that can move around the edges of the rectangle, with the goal to claim as much of the s...
  4. The Three Stooges In Brides Is Brides - "The Three Stooges, fully titled as The Three Stooges in Brides is Brides on the title screen, is a 1984 arcade game by Mylstar Electronics. It is based on the comedy act of the same name. Gameplay The game features digital voice samples. At the start of the game, up to three players control Moe Howard, Larry Fine and Curly Howard. Players must help the Three Stooges find their fiancees, Cora, Nora and Dora, who were kidnapped by the Mad Scientist..."
  5. Alpha Mission - "Alpha Mission (ASO: Armored Scrum Object in Japan) is a vertical scrolling shooter arcade game created by SNK in 1985. It was later ported to the NES/Famicom in 1986. The game spawned a more successful sequel in 1991, Alpha Mission II for the Neo-Geo arcade and console platform. Gameplay Alpha Mission is a one-player scrolling shooter game, similar to Xevious in its segregation of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons..."
  6. Alpine Ski - "Alpine Ski is an Alpine skiing arcade game, released by Taito in 1981. Description The player controls a skier, who can move left, right, or increase forward speed. The aim is to maneuver a skier through a downhill ski course, a slalom course, and a ski jumping competition in the shortest time possible. Two players can compete against each other. On November 23, 1982, Eric Olofson holds the official World Record for this game with 500,774 points at Earth Station One Arcade in Antioch, Ca."
  7. Arkanoid - "Arkanoid (アルカノイド Arukanoido) is an arcade game developed by Taito in 1986. It expanded upon Atari's Breakout games of the 1970s by adding power-ups, different types of bricks, and a variety of level layouts. The title refers to a doomed "mothership" from which the player's ship, the Vaus, escapes. The player controls the "Vaus", a space vessel that acts as the game's "paddle" which prevents a ball from falling from the playing field, attempting to bounce it against a number of bricks..."
  8. Anteater - "Anteater ("The Anteater" in Britain; 'Ameisenbaer' in Germany) is a maze arcade game released in 1982 by Tago Electronics. Gameplay The player controls an anteater that elongates his proboscis through maze-like anthills eating ants. The player can only eat ants with the tip of the anteater's proboscis. If an ant bites your proboscis at any other location you lose a life. Pressing the second button will quickly retract the anteater's proboscis..."
  9. Arabian - "You play an adventurous Arabian prince and your goal is to rescue the princess from her palace. In your quest you will sail the seas, crawl in caves and fly magic carpets. Score points on the way for picking up the letters in "A-R-A-B-I-A-N" and get a bonus if they are collected in order. Cheats, Tricks, Bugs, and Easter Eggs BUG: Pixels are missing from the top of the 5. This is a fault common to the code of the original ROMs on all of the boards both Sun and Atari..."
  10. Astro Blaster - "Astro Blaster is a shoot 'em up arcade game released by Sega in 1981. The player controls a ship (bearing a resemblance to the Battlestar Galactica) which can fire and move left or right. The player must continuously monitor the onscreen temperature and fuel gauges; if the ship overheats, its weapon is disabled, and if it is depleted of fuel, the vessel itself explodes. The player must battle through waves of enemies, which attack with varied formations and flight patterns...
From Mr. Do! to Donkey Kong Pauline Edition you'll probably find your favorite. Check 'em out and see if you can beat the high score.

(via The Mary Sue)

What's your favorite old school game? Are you heading for the Internet Arcade?

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  1. Thank you for the time suck!
    I admit I dropped many quarters on Pac-Man in the day.

  2. I never really played arcade games. I should see if they have the old Simpson's game I read about recently.

  3. Oh my God, I would love that! I wonder if they have Tempest?

  4. It's a classic Alex and I'm sure this website well be the source of many lost employee hours.

  5. They do L Diane! https://archive.org/details/arcade_tempest

  6. I grew up in arcades. You just don't get that feeling these days with all the redemption machines and what not. Gamers today don't know what they missed!

  7. They don't have Simpsons on that site, but you can play it on http://game-oldies.com/play-online/simpsons-the-coin-op-arcade. I just remember swinging the skateboard.


Thanks for commenting!.