This seemingly non-descript one story building near the Las Vegas strip houses one of the largest collections of vintage pinball machines and classic coin-op video games that I've ever seen. Enter this place with a ten dollar bill, and if you're of the Gen-X age group or a Baby Boomer, you'll be in arcade heaven.
This lineup of pinball machines is truly impressive to behold. While the Pinball Hall of Fame could be considered a museum of sorts, every single one of these machines is for sale.
You can play every single one of these games, from purely analog pinball machines that date back to the early 1960's, to hybrid digital pinball systems from the 1970's and 1980's to the very latest rigs. This machine is Twilight Zone from 1993, with Meteor next to it which dates to the 1970s.
These systems represent the newest in pinball machine technology, utilizing sophisticated sound processing, digital electronics and special effects.
These two machines are completely analog and use electrical relays. The oldest pinball machine in the room is from 1962.
This is a collector's dream sitting right here -- Star Trek the Next Generation, Star Trek the Motion Picture, and Star Trek the Original Series pinball machines, all in perfectly restored condition. You'll need a pretty big payoff from the casinos if you want to buy all of them.
This Star Wars pinball game was produced in 1992.
If you've got any phobias about clowns you might want to stay away from this machine.
Every single one of the machines you see in this photo is a fully analog pinball machine from the 1960's. If you're a baby boomer chances are you probably played one of these games.
This shooting gallery machine pre-dates your XBOX 360's first-person shooters by at least 30 years. And there's no microprocessor in it at all.
FRENZY (1982) was a video game made by STERN Electronics which was one of the first of its kind to incorporate voice synthesis. Capable of producing primitive digitized phrases using a robotic voice (similar to the type of voice that Professor Steven Hawking or the "Daleks" have) it was a creepy addition to a very fast-paced and difficult game. FRENZY was the successor to BERZERK which was released in 1980.
Dragon's Lair (1983) was a unique video game in that it used LaserDisc technology (the precursor to DVD) to play an interactive Dungeons & Dragons-style cartoon in which the player could control the outcome of the main character, Dirk the Daring, by moving the joystick. The cartoon animation in the game itself was produced by Don Bluth, who was an ex-animator from Disney who started his own studio in the 1980s and produced such films as the Secret of NIMH, An American Tail and All Dogs Go To Heaven.
Gorf (1981) and Defender were two popular space action video games from my youth. Gorf was produced by Midway and was interesting because hit had five distinct waves of different types of space battles and it also used speech synthesis. Defender, produced by Williams, was a very fast-paced action game in which the player had to save humans from being abducted by alien invaders. The game was unique in that it had multiple controls, including a joystick for up and down movement and five action buttons that controlled direction, thrust as well as weapons. Many video game aficionados consider Defender to be one of the most difficult to master due to its complex controls and quick reflexes required.
Paddle Baddle (1973) produced by Allied, is actually a clone of PONG, the very first coin-op digital video game ever introduced by ATARI in 1972. PONG and clones like it were simple tennis-like games in which the players used a paddle controller to bounce a ball back and forth across the screen.
Space Invaders (1979) produced by Midway was an extremely popular video game of the early 1980's. It spawned an entire genre of top-down space battle games which continue to to this day.
Asteroids (1979) was a vector-graphics game produced by ATARI. Like Space Invaders, it was an extremely popular video game and was known for its heartbeat, pulsating sound effects that got faster as the gameplay got more difficult. Unlike other space battle games of the time period, it used Newtonian-type physics to simulate actual zero-gravity conditions. Players had to compensate for the motion and drift of the ship using the rocket engine using a thruster button, while dodging incoming space rocks and firing at attacking alien vessels. Shown on the screen is my score, which managed to get on the leader board even though it was pretty pathetic.