Why Retro Arcade Games Still Rock

pasadena arcadeThe “golden age” of arcade games lasted from the late 1970s until the early 1990s. Marked by classic games such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Tetris, Donkey Kong, and Mario Bros., it was a time when kids could while away hours trying to beat their own and others’ top scores, filling arcade machines with coins, and meeting up with friends for good natured showdowns at their favorite games.

While retro arcade games suffered a steep decline in popularity in the 1990s, they are beginning to enjoy something of a resurgence, as people remember fondly their times spent playing these classic games.

Today, retro arcade games still matter, and not just because they are a reminder of the good old days (though they are). From a family friendly way to enjoy an afternoon to an accessible way for anyone to have some fun, these video games are still a good choice for indoor entertainment.

Retro arcade games are easy to learn.

One of the most appealing qualities of retro arcade games is their accessibility. Instead of needing to learn complicated rules, and keep track of numerous special weapons, powers, tools, and rewards, these games are relatively simple to learn.

For example, at its heart, Pac-Man consists of a yellow head eating dots and avoiding ghosts. Tetris is a puzzle game whereby you have to fit shapes into each other. Space Invaders consists of shooting down alien ships. And Mario Bros. involves those classic little men running, leaping, and exploring to reach new levels.

The actual game play of these simple plots is very easy. No complicated control sticks are necessary, and no complex codes or strategies need to be memorized. As a result, almost anyone, of any age, can step into the arcade and start playing these games successfully.

But, retro arcade games are challenging to win.

Do not be mislead, however. Easy to learn does not mean easy to beat. An entire generation of young people grew up continually challenged by the difficulty of relatively simple games like Pac-Man. Not everyone can reach the game’s 256th level, and it took 19 years for the first person to not only reach that level but to do so with a perfect score.

With numerous levels, challenging obstacles, and multiple ways to die (for an example, just check out Frogger), the ease of gameplay was balanced by the difficulty of ever actually defeating the game. The challenge of trying to beat your high score or be the first person in your social circle to crack a sky-high level is part of what kept people coming back to the arcade in the golden era. And, that challenge is part of what makes retro arcade games such a fun choice of entertainment now.

Retro arcade games are family-friendly.

Video games have always received criticism for being harmful to children. Even retro arcade games, when introduced, encountered opposition from parents who were concerned about the amount of time the games would take from children and the influence those games would have on them.

Today, however, such concerns have been exacerbated with the introduction of games that often have to be rated according to their content in order to make sure that children do not play them too young. Not every modern video game is appropriate for the entire family to enjoy.

Retro arcade games, on the other hand, are almost universally appropriate and enjoyable for the entire family. Pac Man‘s ghosts are not creepy. Tetris is not violent. NBA Jam allows children to practice their sports skills on the computer. Even games that depict violence (Such as Space Invaders), depict it in such a generalized way with old school graphics that their impact is very minimal and parental objection very small.

As a result, if you want a family friendly way to enjoy time together or escape a rainy day, a video game arcade might be the place to go. There you can find the kinds of retro arcade games that will entertain even the adults while remaining appropriate for the children to enjoy as well.

Retro arcade games are varied.

“Variety is the spice of life,” as the old saying goes. And, variety is one of the reasons retro games still rock. Many modern-day games feature very similar formats and plot lines that, while fascinating and fun, limit players’ options.

Retro arcade games, on the other hand, are marked by the diversity they bring to the arcade. For example, within the golden age of the arcade were born the puzzle game of Tetris, the alien invasion game of Space Invaders, and the sports game of NBA Jam. Today, that diversity and variety make for a beautiful array of games where anyone can find something to enjoy. Bring your family and friends to the arcade with the confidence that no matter their personality, preferences, or age, they will be able to find a game that challenges, excites, and entertains them.

If you remember fondly the arcade games of your childhood, or if you want to explore the arcade with your family, you might enjoy the retro arcade games available at venues like iT’Z. These old school games present broad accessibility, family-friendly themes and graphics, and a variety that allows everyone to enjoy something different.

If you choose iT’Z (and our more than 150 interactive games both new and old) as your retro video game arcade, you will also enjoy access to many other types of indoor fun that can further broaden your choices and entertain you and your friends and family. From indoor rock climbing to bowling to bumper cars, there is fun and excitement for anyone who walks through our doors. Find a location near you and stop by to see for yourself what retro arcade games and other family friendly activities can offer you.