Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! Discs of Tron

Retro Game of the Day! Discs of Tron

Discs of Tron by Midway, Rob Dinnerman design. Arcade release in 1983.

A favorite of arcade maniacs everywhere, DOT was released a year after the landmark film (and original Tron arcade game). Word on the street is that this was originally intended to be one of the minigames which made up that original arcade, but as it wasn't ready in time, they scrapped that idea and released it as a standalone.

DOT was a very unique machine in its day. You stepped into the cabinet enclosure, which was unusual (this was more common for sit-down racing games) and engaged in over-the-shoulder combat with a rival who faced you, head-on. The game graphics were projected onto a transparent overlay which was backed by a hi-rez cardboard image, something also uncommon (well, this feature also did show up in Space Invaders I believe!)

The game had a tricky control setup - you used a dial to "aim"you attack disc, and a special controller to move your character around the larger levitating disc. A little awkward but it was different and novel. Between the whole setup the experience was very immersive for the time, and this cabinet (and game) absolutely stood out from the crowd.

I remember playing this for the first time as a (very) young kid at my local arcade, I fed it a quarter and got into it right away - I was doing quite well, too, but I swore I could smell something burning in the cabinet and it freaked me out, so I ran out of there and forfeit my game.

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