Arcade Game Reviews

Spheres of Chaos – Better than Asteroids?

Spheres of Chaos is my newest gaming addition. Not played Spheres yet? Do you like Asteroids? Well, it has some of the same ideas. I won’t guarantee you will like Spheres just because you liked the classic Asteroids, but this game is a ton of fun with layers of difficulty, enemies and power ups when combined with a little luck can make for an intense half hour or more of entertainment for just one game.

Spheres of Chaos Screenshot 1


Review: Universal’s Jumping Jack

I was surfing yesterday, trying to find information about who licensed Mr. Do! from Universal and made the white Mr. Do! with sideart. I read some references to a game similar in theme to Mr. Do! called Jumping Jack from Universal.

Universal's Jumping Jack Game Screen

I decided to try this classic game out in MAME. I was pleasantly surprised.

In Juming Jack, you are Jack and you jump (if you didn’t get that from the title). But seriously, Jack is is little guy with a white sombero and I can only imagine is in the jungle somewhere.

You jump from a number of different obstacles, tetering boards on mounds, to bouncy mushrooms, to platforms that are attacked by Rhinos, all sorts of stuff. As Jack you have to make sure to land on the wood before the monkeys do. The whole point is to throw them off, and when you land second, no matter where on the board, the monkey will go flying.

Jumping Jack feels just like a Universal game. There is a cute catchy music in the background, and of course, you have to get cherries. (Because that makes sense for a dude in the jungle). Plus all of the lettering and theme design is the same, and it looks like you can get “EXTRA” guys just like in Mr. Do!

Universal's Jumping Jack Game Cabinet

I played it for a couple of settings, about 20 minutes each. I had a hard time beating level one in Jumping Jack, but I beat level two on my first try.

In terms of the original game, it looks to me like it was a conversion kit for Mr. Do!, the only different piece was a different marquee. Pretty lame overall, I think the marquee even used the green backgound from Mr. Do!

The game has a number of levels, I am not sure what happens when you beat them all, if it goes back to level one but more difficult, like most games, or not.

A lot of fun, I would recommend it.

Snow Bros.

Snow Bros. Marquee

There was an auction on ebay for this game, and we had picked up on it because the game was being sold from Flint. Curious enough to just see what the game was all about, I gave it a whirl and really liked it. Before I get into really detailed information about the game, you could just read what Klov has on the history of it here.

In the Snow Brothers game, you are this snowman type character with beady eyes and this cute peppy music. There are little platforms above your head where there are different monsters, lizards, and feline type creatures that you have to defeat.

You are able to jump up and manuver and your special weapon is a snowball. You can hold down the Fire button and charge and make a huge snowball that you can throw and knock the guys off the board. The main idea is to get on one side of the screen where you can throw the ball and knock multiple if not all of the 5-6 out, which gives you a ton more points.

Pretty simple in concept, infectious music, and a weird enough game (once you compete a level it shoots you up the screen, wiggling to the next screen with new guys.) that I really enjoyed it. I must have played for 2-3 hours once I sat down, trying to figure out how far I could go. There are a number of levels to complete.

On a similar note, there is a Snow Bros. 2, which has a similar idea of throwing snow balls, but you have to go through actual levels. This game is also entitled “With New Elves”, so you have other characters to pick from that you can use to go through the levels, each with their own distinct powers. This one was quite heavy in the Japanese Anime influences, which I didn’t like too much, but the levels were fun, and you could beat this game. You would be able to go through the levels and the game would actually end.

Zoo Keeper

A collector in Chicago that I have emailed back and forth was surprised when I had never played this game, so I thought I would give it a shot. I thought the cabinet looked nice, the sideart kind of interesting with the running lion, very detailed. Being a Taito game it is in my favorite cabinet design, the one with the nice curve on the side that flattens at the top, and bows at the bottom typically with large, bold, thick line designed sideart.

I liked this game like most of the classics, for its simplicity. I played the game for a little bit, you are a zoo keeper, of course. In front of you is a square with a bunch of animal characters contained inside. The characters bounce around and move about and you have to run the perimeter of the square around and around. Behind each step you lay a brick, solidifying the cage and the animals inside.

If the characters get out, they crawl around the outside while you are running, and you have to jump them so they don’t kill you while you continue to wall in the animals. If you hit one of the animals, you die.

I only played for a little while, so there may have been more to this game that I didn’t see. It seemed overly simple, but again, that is the beauty of it. You don’t have a learning curve, you hop in and you go, you understand instantly.


The same collector that recommended Zoo Keeper to me has this game. And just like usual, since I hadn’t hear of it I thought I would try it out.

The idea of the game is that you are a little pig that is trying to prevent foxes from coming in and stealing your babies. When you look at the screen you see a cliff above where the foxes get balloons and float down to the ground. On the ground and to the right there is a house where the pigs are at. Your character is on the right with a blow dart gun, ready to blow and pop the balloons dropping the foxes to their death.

I played this a little more, and the levels and difficulty change, even in the first level, you have to prevent a fair amount of foxes from getting your piglets, and that only increases with the upper levels.

I will say I liked how this played, it was pretty fun, but I wasn’t crazy about the characters. I know there is a story there, but I felt like this game was a really young one, whether it was targeted at an even younger audience at the time or not, it felt like it.

Turkey Shoot

I was exposed to this game for the first time in September of 2006. I was in Chicago, and I visited another collector who had this game. He had mentioned it in email before I left, and I checked it out, but I didn’t think too much of it.

The idea of the game is to shoot the turkey’s that are robbing this town. You are looking forward at some digital buildings, and turkeys with robber masks are running around, and one has a bag with a money sign on it. Which ever turkey is holding this bag of money at the time is the one you must concentrate on. Once you shoot the one with the money, they will pass it to another and so on and so on. If the turkey with the money gets off screen before you get him, your game is over.

Pretty simple, I wasn’t all that interested in a computer format. But then, I played the real game. You have a gun that you have to point and shoot the turkey’s with, but here is the best part. When you get the turkey and win the round, your shot it on the mark, in between the outer glass and an inner plane of glass a gust of air blows of feather in front of your view. It adds a whole new dimension to the game and makes it completely unique. The gameplay is pretty cool, but I just think this is the coolest idea.

The collector I met with says it is a hard to come by game, and when you do find them, usually the blown up feathers don’t work, it is missing that part. Which makes his that much more valuable.

Why I love the game Pengo

I don’t get this question too often, and you know what they say about opinions. But, if you are interested, this is why I love the game of Pengo so much. (more…)