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Retro gaming

Blast from the Past: The Golden Age of Retro Gaming

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Do you remember the good old days when you and your friends used to hang out at the arcade down the street? Well now, it’s your turn to introduce your kids to the fun of

! Take a trip down memory lane and discover the world of retro arcades, where classic games and good times never go out of style. These venues are filled with the classic arcade games that were popular in the 80s and 90s and are a great way to introduce your children to the timeless charm and appeal of gaming.

The history of retro arcades can be traced back to the early days of the gaming industry in the 70s and 80s. They were the go-to place for people to play games like Pong and Space Invaders on large screens. As technology evolved, the arcades began to incorporate more advanced and interactive games like Donkey Kong and Pac-Man.

Despite the advent of powerful consoles and smartphone games, retro arcades are still relevant today. The appeal of these classic games stems from the nostalgia associated with them. Playing on a retro arcade machine provides a unique experience, giving players the chance to relive a simpler time when gaming was all about having fun. It’s a chance to introduce your kids to games you grew up with and to enjoy them together as a family. So why not make your next family outing an adventure and head over to Urban Xtreme for some arcade gaming? Channel your inner child and enjoy the timeless charm of classic games together with your kids and family.

The Greatest Games to Play on Arcade Machines

Arcades have been a hub of entertainment for decades and retro arcades take us back to a simpler time when all we needed was a pocket full of quarters and some good company. In this Ultimate Guide to Retro Arcades, we explore why these nostalgic gaming dens are still relevant today, the greatest games to play on arcade machines and the evolution of arcade games.

When it comes to retro arcades, some games have stood the test of time and continue to thrill players to this day. Let’s take a look at some of the greatest games to play on arcade machines:

Pac-Man is a classic maze video game developed by Namco. It was first released in 1980 and has since become one of the biggest video game franchises of all time. Players take control of the titular character, Pac-Man, and manoeuvre him through a maze-like environment while collecting pellets and avoiding ghosts. The game’s simple yet addictive gameplay, colourful graphics, and catchy music have made it an enduring classic. Numerous sequels and adaptations have been released over the years, including Pac-Man Championship Edition and Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures. Pac-Man has become a cultural icon and is often referenced in popular culture. Overall, Pac-Man remains a beloved classic that continues to entertain players of all ages.

Donkey Kong is a classic arcade game developed by Nintendo that was first released in 1981. The game revolves around “Jumpman” (later renamed to Mario), whose mission is to rescue his girlfriend Pauline from Donkey Kong, a crazed ape who has taken her captive. The game is remembered for its iconic 8-bit graphics, simple gameplay mechanics, and catchy theme music. The player controls Jumpman, who must jump and climb to avoid obstacles and enemies while making his way up a series of increasingly difficult levels to reach Donkey Kong and rescue Pauline. Donkey Kong is widely regarded as one of the most important and influential video games of all time, having established the platformer genre and brought video games into mainstream culture.

Space Invaders is another iconic arcade game from the late 70s that was developed by Taito. The game involves the player controlling a small spaceship on the bottom of the screen, while trying to repel an invasion of aliens descending from above, who are trying to land on Earth. The player must shoot the aliens with their laser gun while also dodging their bombs. As the player progresses through the levels, the aliens become faster and more numerous. Space Invaders became an instant hit and popularized the shoot ’em up genre of video games. It’s simple but addictive gameplay, combined with its unique pixelated graphics, proved to be a hallmark of classic arcade gaming.

Street Fighter is a classic arcade-style fighting video game developed by Capcom. It was first released in 1987 and has since become a beloved franchise with numerous sequels and adaptations. Players take control of various characters and compete against each other in one-on-one battles while using combinations of punches, kicks, and special moves. The game is known for its challenging difficulty level and its influence on the fighting game genre. Street Fighter has become a cultural phenomenon, with its iconic characters such as Ryu and Chun-Li becoming ingrained in popular culture. The game’s popularity has led to the creation of various spin-offs, including movies, TV shows, and comic books. Overall, Street Fighter is a classic fighting game that has stood the test of time and continues to be enjoyed by fans of the genre around the world.

Mortal Kombat is a media franchise centred on a series of fighting video games originally developed by Midway Games in 1992. The franchise has since grown to include multiple sequels, spin-offs, movies, and TV shows. The games are known for their violent gameplay, unique characters, and over-the-top finishing moves, known as fatalities. The latest Mortal Kombat movie, Mortal Kombat (2021), was released in April 2021 and received mixed reviews. The film was directed by Simon McQuoid and based on the video game franchise. The Mortal Kombat franchise remains a popular and influential part of the video game industry.

Golden Axe is a classic side-scrolling arcade beat ’em up game that was released by Sega in 1989. Set in the land of Yuria, the game follows three warriors on a quest to defeat the evil Death Adder and reclaim the legendary Golden Axe. The game is known for its hack-and-slash gameplay, unique characters, and memorable soundtrack. Golden Axe has since been released on various platforms and remains a beloved classic among fans of the beat ’em up genre. The game has also spawned multiple sequels, spinoffs, and adaptations. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Based on the popular animated TV show, this beat ’em up game allows players to control the four turtles and fight their way through hordes of enemies. With its fun co-op mode and colourful graphics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a retro arcade classic.

The Simpsons Arcade Game is a classic beat-em-up arcade game developed and published by Konami in 1991. In the game, players control one of the four members of The Simpsons family (along with Marge, Bart, and Lisa) in a side-scrolling adventure as they fight their way through various levels to save Maggie from Mr. Burns and Smithers. The game is known for its humour and colourful animated graphics, as well as its engaging multiplayer mode, which allowed up to four players to work together to defeat the enemy hordes. The Simpsons Arcade Game is a favourite among fans of the animated TV series and is considered by many to be one of the most enjoyable and entertaining beat-em-up games of all time.

Mario Kart is a popular racing video game series developed by Nintendo. It has been a favourite of gamers since the release of the first Mario Kart game in 1992. Players control characters from the Mario franchise as they race against each other on various courses while using items to gain an advantage over their opponents. The game features different modes of play, including time trials, Grand Prix, and Battle Mode. With its fun and colourful graphics, engaging gameplay, and player-friendly design, Mario Kart is a beloved classic that has stood the test of time.

The Evolution of Arcade Games

It’s hard to imagine a world without arcade games, isn’t it? It seems like every town had its own arcade hangout back in the day, where people of all ages would gather around brightly lit machines to burn through coins. Years may pass, but the retro arcade games of yesterday still hold a special place in our hearts. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the evolution of arcade games and why they continue to be relevant today.

The Early Years: Electro-Mechanical Games

Before the advent of video games, there were electromechanical games. These machines used simple electrical circuits, motors, and gears to create moving parts that the player had to manipulate. Some of the most popular electromechanical games were pinball machines, which experienced a surge in popularity in the 1940s and 50s. Back then, pinball machines were viewed as a form of gambling and were even banned in some areas. Eventually, pinball was legalized and flourished, paving the way for more complex and exciting machines.

From Pong to Space Invaders: The Rise of Video Games

In 1972, video games as we know them today burst onto the scene with the release of Pong. The game, which featured two paddles and a ball, was a smash hit and introduced the world to the concept of home gaming. Over the next few years, video games began to evolve into more complex machines, with Space Invaders being a prime example. Developed in 1978, Space Invaders was the first game to feature a high score table and multiple levels of play.

The Golden Age of Arcade Games:

The ’80s and ’90s saw a surge in arcade game popularity, with classic titles like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Galaga taking centre stage. The games of this era were known for their colourful graphics, catchy soundtracks, and addictive gameplay. It’s hard to overstate just how influential these games were, they helped cement gaming as a hobby for millions of people and inspired generations of game developers.

The Decline of Arcades: The Rise of Home Consoles and Mobile Gaming

Despite their enduring popularity, arcades began to decline in the 2000s. There are a few reasons for this, but one major factor was the rise of home consoles like the PlayStation and Xbox. Console gaming offered players a much more convenient way to enjoy their favourite games, and the online capabilities of consoles allowed for multiplayer gaming like never before. In addition, mobile gaming has exploded in popularity over the last ten years, with millions of people downloading games to their smartphones and tablets.

The Comeback: The Popularity of Barcades and Retro Gaming

In recent years, we’ve seen a resurgence in arcade game popularity, with barcades (bars with arcade games) popping up all over the world. This trend has been fuelled by a desire for nostalgia and a love of retro gaming. Some of the most popular games in barcades and retro gaming circles are classic titles like Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and Golden Axe. These games may be decades old, but they still offer a level of excitement and challenge that’s hard to find in modern games.

And that, in a nutshell, is the history of arcade games. From humble electromechanical beginnings to the flashy, immersive experiences of today, arcade games have come a long way. While they may not be as ubiquitous as they once were, retro arcades still draw in crowds of all ages. Whether you’re a fan of classic games like Pac-Man or a newcomer to the world of retro gaming and Mario Kart, there’s never been a better time to dive in and see what all the fuss is about.

The Appeal of Retro Arcades

Retro arcades have been around for decades. They have evolved from the simple blips on the Pong machines to the immersive, virtual reality games that we have today. Despite the ever-changing gaming landscape, retro arcades still have a special place in many people’s hearts.

One of the key appeals of retro arcades is the nostalgia factor. Many of us grew up spending hours at the local arcade, trying to beat our high scores or battling it out with friends. Even the sound of the machines can take us back to those days. In a world where everything seems to be changing so fast, it’s comforting to have a little piece of the past.

But nostalgia isn’t the only appeal. Retro arcades are also a great place for social interaction. It’s hard to beat the feeling of friendly competition. Whether you’re trying to beat your own personal best or taking on a stranger for the first time, there’s something special about sharing a gaming experience with others. And retro arcades are often designed to foster that sense of community. With a bit of luck, you might just make some new friends or even find a romantic interest.

But the appeal of retro arcades isn’t just about socializing. They offer an immersive experience that is hard to find elsewhere. These machines were designed to transport players to another world, whether it’s a mystical kingdom or a neon-lit street corner. And they often do it with a level of simplicity that is refreshing in our complicated world. With just a few buttons and a joystick, you can lose yourself in a game for hours.

Another great thing about retro arcades is that they are accessible to everyone. Anyone can walk into an arcade and start playing, regardless of their level of experience or skill. There’s no need to spend hours learning complicated controls or reading through a lengthy manual. Just pick up the joystick and press start. And because these machines often offer short gameplay sessions, they are ideal for people who have limited time to spare.

In conclusion, if you’ve never experienced the thrill of a retro arcade, you’re missing out on something special. Whether you’re looking to relive your childhood or just looking for a fun way to spend an afternoon, retro arcades have something to offer everyone. So grab your friends and head down to your local arcade like Urban Xtreme, you never know what new adventure awaits you.

The Future of Retro Arcades

Many have questioned whether the revival of retro arcades will maintain its popularity. But things are looking good for the coin-operated gaming industry. With the introduction of Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality technologies in the gaming world, developers are consistently working to incorporate this into more arcade games. The usage of VR and AR tech adds a completely new level of immersion, allowing gamers to place themselves into the game world as if they were physically there.

Furthermore, the classic gaming world is always evolving, with new games coming out. While classic arcade games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders, will never go out of style and will always have a place in arcades, the evolution and arrival of new games is exciting. In recent years, unique and exciting games have been introduced to the coin-operated gaming world to keep gamers engaged and intrigued.

But, as we continue to move forward, there is a need to preserve the legacy of classic arcade games. These games are historical artifacts that brought joy to generations and helped form the foundation of the modern gaming world. It is imperative to digitize and preserve these games so that they will not be lost to time and forgotten. Establishing preservation efforts and taking up the baton to preserve classic games will be crucial to keep the industry’s heritage intact for future generations.


After going on a trip down memory lane to the era of retro arcades, it’s safe to say that these gaming wonders are here to stay. With their immersive experience and accessible gaming, retro arcades have only become more popular with the rise of arcades and nostalgic gamers.

From classic games such as Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Space Invaders, to new virtual and augmented reality games, the future of retro arcades is bright. And it’s not just about playing games anymore; it’s about preserving the legacy of classic games and introducing them to new generations.

So, the next time you visit Urban Xtreme and play arcades, don’t be afraid to try something new and challenge yourself. And remember to be respectful of other players. If you need help, ask for it!

The world of retro arcades is constantly evolving, and it’s only a matter of time before we see new games and technology emerge. But no matter how much arcade games change, they will always hold a special place in our hearts. After all, there’s nothing quite like the sights, sounds, and pace of old school retro arcades.

Urban Xtreme is the place to be for arcade enthusiasts, with some seriously skilled gamers like Simon, the reigning champ at Mario Kart. If you’re up for a challenge, just ask Simon for a race – if you dare! Who knows, you might actually beat him, but don’t be surprised if he shows off his skills and leaves you in the dust. But hey, it’s all in good fun – that’s the beauty of it. So come on down to Urban Xtreme, and let’s see what you’ve got on the arcade floor!

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