This week’s challenge to the Pop Culture League is to answer this question, What’s your earliest arcade or video game memory? I already discussed one of my earliest arcade memories in a past blog about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Arcade Game. So instead of rehashing that story, I'll tell anyone willing to listen about my memories of The Simpsons Arcade Game!
The year was 1991, it was summertime and my parents decided to take the family on a trip to Hershey Park in Hershey, PA. My kids still don't believe that there is a real town in America built on a Chocolate brand with an amazing amusement park, chocolate factory and Hershey Kisses for street lights. Anyway, we loved that place. My favorite ride was a roller coaster called the "Sidewinder". It would take you through loops in the standard forward style, then take you back through the whole ride backwards! AWESOME!
My parents gave us all an advanced allowance, so we could buy food drinks or souvenirs. I want to say it was like $10? Instead of these usual purchases, me and my older brother found the park arcade and spent almost all of our money on one machine...The Simpsons Arcade Game!
This side scrolling 4-player adventure game blew our minds! The graphics were so smooth and well rendered, it was like you were in control of an actual episode of The Simpsons where Homer, Bart, Marge and Lisa need to save Maggie from Smithers and Mr. Burns.
We played and played and played until we finally defeated Mr. Burns and saved Maggie, only to watch the Simpsons throw away the priceless jewel that Smithers was working so hard to protect. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN SET FOR LIFE! This ending was not very satisfying for a pair of kids who just spent a weeks worth of allowance each and an hour of their park time on a game, but man did we have bragging rights on the schoolyard for years to come!
That was the first and last time I ever played this game. It never received a proper home release on any Nintendo or Sega Systems. There was a Commodore 64 and an MS DOS port that were released, but those were not readily accessible. Then in 2012 an HD port of The Simpsons Arcade Game was available through Xbox Live and Playstation Network, but nothing can replicate the magic of playing a multi player arcade cabinet in public with other kids whose only bond is beating the game and having onlookers cheer you on til the end.
For more League Arcade Memories check out these guys:
The Last Hometown remembering Space Invaders
Mr. Smith reminiscing about Space Wars
Retro Ramblings: A Winner Is Him!
Green Plastic Squirt Gun visits Musée Mécanique
Nerd Nook takes us to Pizza Hut