The Arcade lives on at California Extreme 2011

The first thing you realize you miss is the sound. Bleeps, Bloops, tappity-taps, and Ka-chunks – it’s probably been ages since you’ve heard a goddamned arcade running at full swing. Thank the Lord Almighty for California Extreme, the Bay Area’s annual celebration of all things coin-op. Your price of admission? $30 to $40 bucks, or less, if you bring your own arcade cabinet. And so many do! All refurbished and runing like the day they were manufactured, and that’s not including unreleased prototypes.

Above: Like this TIMES TWENTY!

To say nothing of the fantastic panels, guest speakers, celebrity appearances, and game shows, you simply haven’t lived until you’ve walked onto a showfloor filled with HUNDREDS of arcade games set to free play! So to try and capture the shebang, I walked around the CAX 2011 hall snapping as many pics as I could. These were the ones that weren’t horrendous.

Above: Surely, even you younglings will recognize a couple of these?

Above: You can never have too many Robotron 2084s

Above: The whole Pac-Family was there! Not pictured: The rare, awful VG/Pinball hybrid that is Baby Pac-Man

Above: Here's a light gun game most people immediately vaguely remember...

Above: That's right, it's Cosmic Gang! Made famous in the movie... ah crap, I forget!

Above: Oh, Nintendo was certainly there. They didn't really have a choice

Above: Cocktail cabinets are old even by arcade standards

Above: Ah, and they're ideal for the lazy gamer who can stand standing

Above: Boxing Bugs. Isn't it about time we brought it back?

Above: Perhaps you recall games like Prop Cycle and Top Skater from the waning days of arcades?

Above: Okay, maybe gaming has always been gimicky...

Above: It wouldn't be arcade without Pinball, now would it

Above: Kill 'em (b)all!

Above: "Ball 1, ENGAGE!"

Above: Yeah, some of this stuff goes waaaaaaay back

SORRY! We had to split this into two pages. But keep going... it's pretty cool


  • Thequestion 121 - July 13, 2011 10:05 p.m.

  • gamegrid - July 13, 2011 6:35 p.m.

    The Act is available at one arcade location: Only a few exist out there though. And CAX isn't the only place in today's world to experience arcades. There are still hundreds of locations around the world which have coin-op arcades. There is a reason there are still over a dozen arcade manufacturers still producing games, they aren't just making them for home game rooms.
  • jimmdogg - July 13, 2011 11:23 a.m.

    Moon Patrol!!
  • Robotron2084 - July 13, 2011 5:08 a.m.

  • moan4stalone - July 13, 2011 4:40 a.m.

    Wish aladins castle was still around! Want more pics of that custom mortal kombat 2011 machine.
  • bensmart - July 13, 2011 4:38 a.m.

    haha we have a Prop Cycle at the local ten pin and it's decent quality as well. wish i could have gone.
  • foxyexplosion - July 13, 2011 4:25 a.m.

    This is so cool. Arcades should come back and have more beer.
  • Randomwordcombination - July 13, 2011 2:44 a.m.

    Hahaha, "Arabian"!
  • ericeman - July 13, 2011 2:23 a.m.

    If I'm not mistaken Mappy Land wasn't even released in arcades-- that would be the original Mappy and I'm not surprised people are fighting over it!
  • Pytor - July 13, 2011 2:12 a.m.

    Oh how I miss the good ole days of the arcades. sigh)
  • twishart - July 13, 2011 2:07 a.m.

    I spent a disgusting amount on TNG Pinball. Between that and Twilight Zone, I could have paid my way through college twice.
  • FizzyPop - July 13, 2011 1:36 a.m.

    no Polybius?? (those of u who havent heard of it, google it) or maybe it was there but u guys forgot from the amnesia 0_o
  • UsernameLoser - July 13, 2011 1:27 a.m.

  • DanAmrich - July 13, 2011 1:26 a.m.

    Who knew they made a Willow arcade game? Me. Duh.
  • Afrodisiac39 - July 13, 2011 1:23 a.m.

    CAX was pretty great this year, went with a friend and we had a lot of fun messing around with some of the goofier stuff there (oh Japan). Though I have to say, the highlight for me was getting home and seeing that the first Mii I got through Street Pass was Brelston.
  • WonsAuto - July 13, 2011 1:17 a.m.

    I'm a little too young too have experienced arcades' heyday, but I was sad when the one me and my friend went to between 1997 and 2002. I've got to go down to this thing with him someday.
  • chrisat928 - July 13, 2011 12:59 a.m.

  • adamstephenson - July 13, 2011 12:55 a.m.

    Wow, jealous. Its like the ghosts of all arcades get to come back one special day a year and live once again as the best arcade there ever was. I am sure your first time going to this is nostalgia overdose.
  • GamesRadarMatthewKeast - July 13, 2011 12:48 a.m.

    I feel a hole in my soul for having never played a Starship Troopers pinball game.
  • MouseKlok - July 13, 2011 12:42 a.m.

    WHAT!?! TWO PAGES!?! HOW DARE YOU MAKE ME CLICK!!! Awesome pics Chris. Wish I was there!

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