70's Arcade Oddities

Computer Space

The first of all video games (predating "Pong" by a year), this beautiful cabinet was sculpted from clay in the designer's kitchen and molded in fiberglass. The gameplay was said to be confusing, and it flopped right away. But look, it was futuristic enough to star in the movie "Soylent Green", set in the year 2002:

Space Flight

This lunar landing game was modeled after the popular crane-and-target cabinets. It had a built-in 8-track tape player that changed channels accordingly when you would succeed or fail. Check out the oscilloscope effect on the control panel! And those models! Why aren't these sorts of things still around?

Haunted House

Lots of shooting galleries were made in the 70's, but the black-light diorama and mechanical targets on this one are fantastic, and like "Space Flight", there's an 8-track tape player that provides music and sound effects. Here's a long video, but he gets inside the cabinet and shows some of the mechanics.


There were one of these at a Holiday Inn when I was vacationing with my family as a six-year old, and I remember it well: two players are scuba divers trying to repeatedly swim to the ocean floor and surface with treasure while sharks pursue them. Currently there are estimated to be somewhere between 5 and 25 left in the world.

Sexy Girl Pinball

This was manufactured in Germany and only distributed within Western Europe. It features a window on the table, which projects a selection of 200 (200! ) photos of models in increasing degrees of nuditude.

I actually have a 'virtual' re-creation of this game on my mame cabinet, but I never play it. For one thing, it's too hard to get the photos going. That requires you to pass through all four lanes in the top (they clear with every new ball) then hit difficult side targets to advance the pictures. It's also a slow design with few features. The best thing about it is the under-table projector. And the titties.

Dr. Mad's Monster Maker

I'm guessing it uses a two-way mirror and a Pepper's Ghost effect to turn your reflection into a monster. But did this actually exist? The only info I can find online is the above photo and a page from the sales flyer:

Maybe it never passed the prototyping stage, but wow. That's one of the coolest cabinets and coolest ideas I've ever seen for an arcade machine.

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