Curmudgeon Gamer
Curmudgeoning all games equally.
28 October 2005
Robotron: 2084 for $500
As a foolish teenager, I once brazenly disobeyed my father and went to the local arcade to get in a few games. For this transgression, I enjoyed a final meeting with corporal punishment. What game drew me to the arcade that day? Robotron: 2084.

Robotron: 2084 is a demoralizing game to play, both in theme (Mankind destroyed by his own creations) and difficulty. Yet, it is the only arcade game that I would want to play every day until I die. It's just that intense and I'm that stubborn.

In the near future, I hope to own a stand-up arcade version of Robotron: 2084, and it appears that it will cost significantly less than I had expected. Starting this holiday season, Target will be selling a multi-game system, in a reduced-size cabinet, for $500. In addition to Robotron, the cabinet plays Defender, Defender II, Joust, Bubbles, Splat!, Sinistar, Rampage, Root Beer Tapper, Wizard of Wor, Timber, and Satan's Hollow. It's pictured at right.

On eBay a single Robotron: 2084 stand-up sold yesterday for $810.

Now, I just need to convince the wife that this is a good idea.
--Matt Matthews at 20:56
Comment [ 8 ]

Comments on this post:

But look at how they're hunched over in that picture! It's not a full-sized cabinet, which is lame.

Further, it would have cost them little more to put everything in Midway Arcade Treasures in that thing. You can make your own one of these for not that much money.

Still, it's cool that Midway is making arcade cabinets again, even if they're got consumer use only, are hideously small, and will probably be engineered to purposely not allow for pay-per-play. The jerks.

By Blogger JohnH, at 31 October, 2005 01:07  

Look, at this point, anything that is smaller than a full-sized game is actually a bonus for me. I've already gotten a thumbs down from the wife, based partially on space concerns, but I'm planning to see if the game will fit into my junk closet downstairs. If it will, then I think I'm going to give it another go.

By Blogger jvm, at 31 October, 2005 17:40  

In Costco the other day I saw a full-size cabinet with something like 20 games in it, 'arcade legends' or something (I looked at the website and only found a tabletop style version). Instead of $500 it costs $2000 though.

By Blogger patternjuggler, at 03 November, 2005 21:49  

Why not just make a cabinet with your PC? I've got to believe this isn't anything close to the original internals, which has me also thinking it's just some sort of emulation hardware. Kinda kills the whole draw of buying a stand-up coin-op for me. (Course I also like games with controllers you can't get at home -- Ikari Warriors, Tron, Star Wars (original), Centipede (to some extent), Monaco GP, Atari's fire engine game, etc.)

Buy the original. Clean out the closet. Put stand-up in the place of all that junk. Enjoy.

By Blogger rufbo, at 04 November, 2005 10:09  

I've played the Ultracade stand-ups which, unless I'm mistaken, are emulation. The game seemed perfect to me. If this is close to that same quality, I'm game.

Also, I can't do the same with my PC, right now, because I don't have a legal way to play Robotron on my PC. I could track down Williams Arcade Classics for the PC, or perhaps there is a newer version, but will it work with a dual-joystick like the X-arcade? Lots of work, for something that might not pan out, I fear.

Finally, there is the problem that a shorter, smaller stand-up is in fact what I need for this closet. A full-sized cabinet will not fit.

We'll see. I'm hoping to find one in a store in person first, and then I'll make a more informed decision.

And, closet or no, the answer from the wife is "Absolutely NOT." I'm working on that...

By Blogger jvm, at 04 November, 2005 12:01  

I played the thing yesterday at Target and didn't notice the height thing - though it was likely on a stand. Building something 6 inches tall to place this thing on should be no problem.

I'm also unaware of how Midway's not allowing the thing to be "pay for play" makes them jerks. But anyway...

As far as I can tell, the code in the games is as close to the original as possible - even the bugs are the same!

For example, I'm an expert Robotron player - 25,000,000 points on level 6 back in 1982, I've pumped well over $250 into that brand, including William Arcade Classics, Robotron X (PC game), etc.

Anyway, there's this very specific bug that resets the game - three of the variables are that you have to shoot one of the Enforcers in a corner just as it fires. That doesn't trigger it all the time of course (I'm thinking the fourth might be related to score), but I've played enough to recognize what's happened when it does crash.

Anyway, this machine crashed in the exact same manner as the machines did in 1982. So, as far as I can tell, it's a perfect emulation.

By Anonymous JohnT, at 05 December, 2005 09:29  

John T...you're a liar.

The official high score is just shy of 1 million. No way you got 25 million. Are you sure you're thinking of the right game?

http://www.twingalaxies.com/index.aspx?c=22&pi=2&gi=3681&vi=1455

I consider myself pretty good with a high score of 321,250. It's not possible to have 25 million at the 6th wave.

I have played the smaller arcade machine you have pictured and it is OK but not as good as a full-size model. I have also played Robotron on a full size machine (Arcade Classics) and the play is much better. My friend owns both.

I would recommend buying the Arcade Classics machine...you get over 100 games...you get almost everything that's in the Midway machine plus Atari games and many others...no Namco games.

By Blogger PacoLoco, at 21 August, 2009 16:05  

I think John T , by level 6, meant game difficulty level. It's an internal setting made by the operator that controls how hard the game is.

By Blogger JohnH, at 21 August, 2009 21:31  

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