GameRoom Articles
GameRoom Web Store
RetroBlast Reviews
RetroBlast Articles
Game Room Links
File Downloads
Site and Contact Information

November 2004 News Archive


NextArcade Officially Launches!
NextArcade Main PanelThe NextArcade game service from TLC Industries has officially launched. Offering brand new arcade-style games, NextArcade looks to keep the arcade gaming genre stocked with fresh new titles. (Full Press Release) Be sure to check out their game club and their offer of a free control panel with a one-year subscription!


Human Pac-Man Videos
Human Pac-ManI've mentioned this experiment in "augmented reality" before: a human Pac-Man game, with players wearing special gear that superimposes the game elements over the real world. Well, thanks to Keith Corcoran, I now know of some video of the game in progress! Now let's get a Robotron or Sinistar version going: "Run, Coward, Run!"


New Jukebox Software
Eliminator V2 Jukebox SoftwareThere's a new PC-based Jukebox program available, which looks like it will work well with MAME cabs: the Eliminator V2 by Jukebox Pro software. PR Quote: "This software has been available in Australia for the past year and has taken Australia by storm. Now it's available for the rest of the world."


The Ultimate Pinball Machine
The Magnificent Marble MachineWell, maybe not the ultimate, but at least the biggest. Check out this article over on Gameroom magazine about the 1975 gameshow The Magnificent Marble Machine, which was short-lived but featured an enormous pinball machine. How'd you like to have that machine in your gameroom? (Only if your gameroom is the size of an aircraft hanger, of course!)


Once Upon Atari DVD
Once Upon Atari DVDHere's something to read while you digest that turkey dinner: Contributing reviewer James McGovern has just finished his review of Once Upon Atari: The uncensored story of what happened behind the scenes at Atari. It's a DVD documentary of the wild and crazy early days of Atari, when complete creative control was a given and a hot tub in the office was just another perk.


New SlikStik Joystick Handles Now Available
New SlikStik HandlesThe new SlikStik balltop joystick handles are now available. These are very, very cool looking handles, with removable metal balls that are available in both stainless steel and anodized aluminum colors. What's the best part? The price — at $21.99, these new balltops are almost half the price of the old single-piece versions!

MAME 0.89 "Turbo Outrun Release"
Yup, another new release of MAME, with lots of changes. I'm particularly intrigued by the discrete sound code changes. (Of course, I'm also going to check out the newly enabled "Nitro" button in Turbo Outrun ;-)


Monster Fair Pinball by Littlewing
Monster FairLittlewing has announced their latest pinball simulation, Monster Fair. The game looks great, has a weird theme (aliens crash on earth and disguise themselves as circus performers to earn money to fix their ship?), and comes from a company whose products I've enjoyed since Crystal Caliburn years ago.

BYOAC Game Reviews
Looking for more reviews of retrogaming-themed games? Be sure and check out this thread over on the BYOAC forums. "NIVO" will be posting new reviews in this thread in the future, making it a great place to get suggestions on what games to check out next.


I'm back...
Okay, the family obligations are out of the way, now it's "me time" ;-) I'll try and get things moving this week on the review front, especially since last week wasn't as productive as I had hoped. Stay tuned...


Arcade Ornaments
Blinky in pewterHere's a nice gift for a fellow retrogamer: arcade-themed pewter ornaments for the Christmas tree. As fellow reviewer James McGovern said, "I can hear the thunder of the approaching Namco lawyers," so hurry if you're interested!

BYOAC Giveaway! is having a holiday giveaway, with lots of arcade goodies, ranging from autographed copies of Saint's excellent Project Arcade book (review) all the way up to a complete cocktail cabinet kit from Arcade Depot! Very cool, and it looks like they'll be giving away two gifts a week, so the odds are good.

More Coin-Op TV
There's another new interview up on the Coin-Op TV site, this time with Anson Sowby, Marketing Director for Jakks Pacific Inc's TV Games. (review). Be sure and check it out!


The Game is Never Over
Here's a very interesting article in Forbes about the retrogaming phenomenon, including a list of the top selling Retro games of 2003. (Gotta love it — they're using my tag line!)

VRz Gun
VRz GunHere's an interesting (and really freaky looking) PC gun: the VRz gun. At $495, it's an expensive gaming option, but it is wireless, and I am curious how it performs, and if it is even compatible with MAME. It emulates a mouse, so that's a start, but who knows...

Rap and Pinball, Remixed
Chingy's PinballLooks like rapper Chingy is a pinball fan: not only is his latest rap video pinball-themed, his glitzy web site even has a flash-based Chingy-themed pinball simulation! Now, I'm not a big rap fan, but I gotta respect anyone who loves the silver ball, and Chingy sure seems to be a fan! Check it out for some serious pinball/rap synergy.

Virtual Pac-Man
VR-PacmanThink Pac-Man is engrossing? How about playing a VR-enhanced game of Pac-Man, where you run around the real world wearing a VR helmet and seeing computer-superimposed dots and power pills? Sound like fun? You know where do I sign up for the beta testing on this thing?

New UK Distrubutor for X-Arcade
Direct from the press release: "Xgaming is pleased to announce it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with WOW Stuff Limited; for the sale of X-Arcade products in the United Kingdom."


Treasure Cove Pinball Decals
Treasure Cove Pinball DecalsThe first review this week (yes, there may be more than one!) is of Treasure Cove's decal sets. Offering both reproduction and original artwork, these decal sets can restore and improve the appearance of your pinball machine. Check out the RetroBlast Review Page for all the details.

Coming Up This Week
Hopefully this week I'll be able to wrap up the joystick roundup (yes, finally!), as well as start work on the trackball roundup. I'm also working on a review of Dream Arcade's excellent side-by-side cocktail gaming system. We'll see if the gaming gods smile on me this week and grant me the time to finish everything...


MAME Arcade Tokens!
ArcadeTokens.comThe designs have been finalized, the tokens are being produced, and now there is a web site where you can order the new MAME tokens: The tokens will be ready by Dec. 1st, and will ship shortly after that. Looks to be a great gift for your MAME friends, even if you don't have a token-operated MAME cab (I'll be writing up an article on coverting over to token operation soon!)


SlikStik Parts Store
SlikStik Parts StoreWell, it looks like SlikStik is expanding their product line again: this time they've opened up a "SlikStik Parts Store" that offers Happ joysticks, trackballs, and other accessories, such as T-molding. The cool thing is the prices: they're less than Happs! Of special note are the custom SlikStik monitor brackets, which can be used to mount an arcade monitor in practically any cab. If you're building a cab, be sure and check it out.

A Lot of Boxes...
Dream ArcadesYes, that's all one product. What is it? It's a side-by-side cocktail arcade system from Dream Arcades! It's a full gaming system: cab, computer, monitor — everything you need for MAME gaming. Just put everything together, turn it on, and get playing. I'm going to be doing a full review of the system very soon, and then? Well, stay tuned...

PowerUP Clothing Company
PowerUP ClothingWant some authentic, licensed retrogaming clothing? Here's a place to get it: PowerUP Clothing Company, which offers several different arcade-themed t-shirt designs (including my fave, Robotron!) Very cool (in a retro-geek way, of course ;-)


Treasure Cove Polishing Kit Review
Treasure Cove Polishing KitThe written portion of the Treasure Cove Pinball Playfield Polishing Kit Review (whew...) is now available over on the RetroBlast Reviews Page. Can this kit really bring a dull, scuffed pinball playfield back to life with a "showroom shine"? You know where to find the answer...

Kudos to Bay Area Amusements
I just had to post a note about the excellent service I received at pinball parts supplier Bay Area Amusements. I placed an order late yesterday, and in less than a hour had a shipping notice show up in my email! They've always had what I needed for my pinball machine, always been very fast (although this is a new record!) and they have very good prices as well. If you've got a pinball machine, be sure and check them out!


New Interview on Coin-Op TV
Coin-Op TVLooking for some good retrogaming video interviews? Robert Welkner, producer of Coin-Op TV, has just added a fourth episode this weekend with Steven Hertz, a premiere collector of all the Laser Disc arcade games. Check it out!


Treasure Cove Playfield Polishing Kit Video Review
Treasure Cove Polishing KitJust up on the Video Reviews page is a look at Treasure Cove's pinball playfield polishing and cleaning kit, a great way to get a playfield back that "brand new" glossy look. Look for the full review in a day or so (I've gotten caught up in playing my Dr. Who pinball now that the playfield is so shiny!)

Shielding Your Cab Speakers
Here's an interesting site:, a site with all sorts of information and products on reducing electromagnetic radiation (EMF). What's especially interesting is the section on shielding speakers, which can often be the cause of monitor distorion in a game cab. It may not be as cheap as installing "bucking magnets", but it may be easier...

Speaking of Speakers...
I just wanted to pass on this link to what looks to be my new "speakers of choice" for cab use: the Creative T3000 2.1 Speaker System, which includes a volume control pod with bass adjustment and a headphone jack. For about $50, this looks to be a good system, especially when you pair it with a nice pair of car speakers (see my article on MAME cab speakers for details!)


Cool New Joysticks Previewed
SlikStik's new Balltop JoysticksSlikStik just posted an interesting sneak peek of their new metal joystick handles, which include swappable balltops that will be available in both stainless steel and new colored anodized aluminum! They look great, and I can't wait to see how they look in a cab. According to the post, they should be available on within the next two weeks.

Now that's a Halloween Display!
Check out this link to a very creative retrogaming-themed Halloween display! Now that's scary...

New Retrogaming Magazine
Check out this link for information about "Armchair Arcade", a magazine devoted to retrogaming (especially old consoles and home computers)

EAE Electrics OptiBall TrackballA Possible MAME Trackball?
Here's something intriguing: the EAE Electrics OptiBall Trackball, an industrial optical trackball, complete with a PC-standard PS/2 connector! It's a German company, and I don't know if they have a US distributor, but it's worth a look. Thanks to Angel Moreno for the news!

The Ultra-Mega-Super-Hyper Game Machine
Here's something so innovative it's hideous. It takes the concept of the "FrankenPanel" to a whole new level, adding in dual monitors and...well, words just escape me on this one. Just go have a look.


SlikStik Solitaire Review
Hot off the keyboard is the written RetroBlast review of the SlikStik Solitaire-J Unit, now available on the RetroBlast Reviews Page. The Solitaire is SlikStik's new single-player unit. It's certainly large, but is it in charge? Check out the review for all the juicy details.

PinMAME 1.50 Released
Yes, the pinball-oriented version of MAME has been updated from version 1.33 straight up to version 1.50! Why? Because so much has been added and changed! Head on over to for full details on what's new.

Hey Y'all, Watch This!
Ever wondered what makes tempered glass different from regular glass? Want to know why pinball machines use tempered glass? Well, you're not going to get the answers here, but be sure to check out this video of some "field testing" of some old pinball glass anyway (click on the "Playfield Glass Test" link). See what it takes to break tempered glass, and marvel at the explosive results.

Pinball Machines and Web Sites
Here's a strange one (in a good way): an article on the Wisconsin Technology Network site comparing good web site design to pinball machines. It sounds weird on the surface, but there are some good points. Plus, it warms my heart to see someone actually analyzing what makes pinball machines fun...


Election Day Aftermath...
Sorry for the lack of news: I got caught up in the election coverage, and spent a good part of yesterday refreshing web pages while channel-surfing through the cable news shows. Needless to say, i didn't get to bed until early this morning, and I'm fried. I'll try and get some "real news" (i.e. retrogaming news) up later this afternoon. After a nap.


New Site Sponsor
I'd like to welcome a new RetroBlast sponsor, Dream Authentics. They've got some absolutely fabulous-looking MAME systems, ranging from the standard-sized Excalibur up to their amazing 4-player MEGA Quad unit. I gotta admit, I'm drooling right now...

49-way Joystick Mini-Review
49-way JoystickSteve Lilley-Hopkins (of MAMEWAH fame) emailed me to let me know he's posted a mini-review on BYOAC of his cab's new 49-way joystick. If you've ever considered adding a 49-way joystick to your control panel (or are just curious about what the advantages and disadvantages are), be sure to check out his posting. Thanks, Steve!

Back to News Archives