Five of Our Favorite Arcade Games From ZapCon in Downtown Phoenix
Pac-Man fever was running rampant at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel over the weekend, as was a serious case of retro video game mania (and maybe even a few sprained wrists, to boot) as ZapCon took place on Saturday, April 6, and Sunday, April 7, offering up more than a hundred old-school arcade games and vintage pinball machines available for play.
Photos by Benjamin Leatherman Getting in some gaming at ZapCon this past weekend. See more photos from the event via our slideshow.
No quarters were necessary (since every machine was set to "free play" mode") as hundreds of local gamers and joystick Jedi went through a warp zone into the arcades of yesteryear while either going full-tilt boogie on more than 65 pinball titles or mashing the buttons on such legendary pixilated classics as Space Harrier, Tutankham, A.P.B., the original Mario Bros. and various other video hits from the '70s and '80s. Here's a rundown of the games we spent the most time playing at the event.
Old-school gamers remember the period in the late '80s and early '90s when practically every arcade unit featured the FBI-approved message "Winners don't use drugs," which would pop up onscreen before you started pumping in quarters. This 1988 shoot-'em-up took things a step further and allowed players to clean up the streets from a narcotics-peddling drug syndicate via a pair of uzi-toting cops. As is the norm for Midway/Williams games of this era (like Smash TV, Total Carnage, and Mortal Kombat), it's an ultra-violent experience filled with blood and boobs. One can fill the screen with flaming body parts after firing a volley of rocket-propelled grenades at enemies while buxom prostitutes vamp it up in the background.