Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines

Opened three years ago, this small museum of playable machines recreates the arcades of the USSR from the 70's to the late 80's. From their website:

Arcade Games were a part of childhood and youth of Soviet people. They were made at secret military factories from the seventies up to the Perestroika. Forgotten and broken down Soviet-era arcade games are now being restored for Moscow’s newest museum and now it is possible to play and feel atmosphere of the passed epoch.
Around 20 of 37 different kinds of machines are now in working order. They operate with old Soviet 15 kopek coins, the hammer-and-sickle emblem of which itself conjures up a bygone time.

Here's one example, “Morskoi Boi” (Sea Battle):

This is the most popular of all the Russian games. It's a copy of Midway's Sea Raider as far as the interior is concerned, but the exterior is way cooler, with all the backlit knobs and dials.

A drawer at floor level pulls out to act as a step stool for children, midgets and amputees. The interior scene has lots of depth because it takes advantage of the cabinet's height; a parabolic mirror bounces your field of vision straight down (I'm currently designing an interactive diorama like this).

The player looks through the periscope, but there are also two windows up top for spectators to check out the action. The periscope swivels to aim, and a trigger releases torpedos. Scoring is simple enough: the numbers 1-10 on the right show how many torpedoes you've fired, and the numbers 1-10 on the left register your hits.

The enemy ships, which are filled with capitalist dogs, move across the diorama on a chain drive. A series of incandescent lamps chase in sequence and bounce off the glass water surface to simulate the torpedo's path. Strike! Another victory for the proletariate!

Ready to play a round? You don't have to travel to Russia to try this game. The museum's website has a flash version. Man your station and GO.

There's little else working on that website, but a blog of some kind has pictures and lots of descriptions of their visit here.

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