Arcade Night

What would happen if you built an arcade machine and then no one ever came over to play it? Well that’s kind of what was happening with my machine. I don’t feel like I get nearly enough opportunities to play arcade games even though I’ve actually got a machine in my basement.

Arcade Night is my attempt to remedy that. We have a monthly night where some friends get together to play some arcade games. To add some interest, we put together a gaming bracket and have a set of games that everyone plays in a given night. At the end of the night we total up the evening’s scores and give out some cheap prizes.

We usually announce the gaming night on the mailing list (see below) rather than have it on a consistent Nth Saturday of the month. This will allow us to work around church functions.

NOTE: Want to play? Sign up to get announcements and updates on the gaming nights at the Reynolds home.

The rules

We have some loose rules for the gaming just so we all know what’s happening when:

  • Everyone plays for the highest score that they can get. We’ll be put into pairings for games that allow 2 players, but that’s just to save us a bit of time — the two players on the machine aren’t technically playing against each other. We’re really playing for a high score. Which in a sense means you’re playing against everyone.
  • In general everyone will play each game once. If there is time and we get to play more than one round of a given game, the score that will count will always be the last game played. UPDATE: We are probably going to have to make this rule more hard-n-fast than it has been in the past year. I’ve had a few people tell me that they really would like the arcade gaming to end a bit earlier than it has been.
  • Everyone is expected to know the rules and ins and outs of each game. Not knowing about “smart bombs” in Defender is no excuse for a low score! If possible, I’ll be posting the games we will be playing ahead of time via the email list, so you’ll be able to read up on any games you aren’t familiar with. And you’re always welcome to come over on other days for a little practice…
  • We’re obviously playing on my arcade machine. If something breaks during play, that game will be replayed after repairs are made. If repairs can’t be made, we’ll have to toss out all scores for that game and any pending games that rely on that functionality.
  • In terms of scoring and the goofy prizes, only folks who were able to attain a score on all of the games played will be eligible for the prizes.


I’ve decided to change up the scoring scheme that we used on the first arcade night. The previous system awarded points based on a simple ranking of scores from highest to lowest. The problem with such a scoring system is that it rewards someone who barely beats out everyone else and squeaks by a victory in exactly the same way that it rewards someone who blows out all the competition.

The new scheme I’ve decided to go with is to normalize all the scores into a range from 0 to 1 based on the width of scores from the lowest to the highest. These normalized scores will then be added together to form a total score for that player for the night.

To read about the various competitions and see the scores, click on the “frinkiac7” tag in the tag cloud on the left.

Here is a list of the games we’ve played in past arcade nights:

  • Asteroids
  • Asteroids Deluxe
  • Battlezone
  • Berzerk
  • Bosconian
  • Burger Time
  • Carnival
  • Centipede
  • Crazy Climber
  • Crystal Castles
  • Defender
  • Dig Dug
  • Discs of Tron
  • Donkey Kong
  • Donkey Kong Jr
  • Frenzy
  • Frogger
  • Galaga
  • Galaxian
  • Gyruss
  • Jr. Pacman
  • Lady Bug
  • Make Trax
  • Missile Command
  • Moon Patrol
  • Mousetrap
  • Ms Pac-Man
  • Pac-Man
  • Penguin Kun Wars
  • Phoenix
  • Pirates
  • Pirate Ship Higemaru
  • Pole Position
  • Popeye
  • Q*Bert
  • Qix
  • Rally-X
  • Robby Roto
  • Robotron
  • Scramble
  • Space Invaders
  • Spy Hunter
  • Star Trek
  • Star Wars
  • Star Castle
  • Super Mario Brothers
  • Tapper
  • Tinkle Pit
  • Tron
  • Tutankham
  • Vanguard
  • Wizard of Wor
  • Xevious