Video Games

Five of Our Favorite Arcade Games From ZapCon in Downtown Phoenix

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Spy Hunter While one can find ports and emulated versions of this 1982 classic on everything from the old NES and Atari 2600 to modern-day systems like the Xbox and PlayStation -- each utilizing Henry Mancini's memorable theme to Peter Gunn as background music -- nothing beats playing the original arcade version of Spy Hunter, especially when it's a rare cockpit version of the game. Though the pixilated graphics are practically Stone Age in comparison to today's hits, being able to sit down behind the futuristic yoke of the driving game helps one imagine he's actually a secret agent at the controls of the souped up G-6155 Interceptor and evading helicopters and dastardly villains.

Skateball Other than the chance to relive our childhoods, one of the man joys of ZapCon was getting to encounter both hard-to-find title or rare variants of vintage games, such as this customized version of the Bally pinball classic Skateball, from 1980. This skateboard-themed throwback is a relic of its groovy era, complete with back glass adorned with totally tubular artwork depicting shaggin' wagon, cats wearing aviator shades, and flowing locks. Plus, this particular machine had been customized with foot pedals that operated the bumpers, a la a skateboard. Rad!

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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.