Saturday, February 29, 2020

Five Games to Play on Leap Day 2020

In honor of Leap Day, 2600 headed over to the American Classic Arcade Museum located at Funspot in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire to find and play five games that he feels are perfect for celebrating Leap Day. You might just notice a common theme involving parachutes...

Gottlieb's Sky Jump (1974)!

Sky Jump plays like a standard Gottlieb electro mechanical pinball game, which is not bad by any means. Sky Jump has the typical focus on bumpers and drop targets, bells, and of course the swanky 70's art style. Something about leaping out of a plane just screams Leap Day to me. 

Bally's Sky Kings (1974)!

Who knew sky diving would become a theme amongst competing pinball manufacturers? Released the same year as Sky Jump, Sky King is anything but a similar game. The designer Jim Patla decided to skip drop targets and go with two messenger balls (the two enclosed lanes with a captive pinball). The art style is also more cartoony and less groovy.

Atari's Skydiver (1978)!

Ok, there is definitely a common theme here. Without wasting time researching the history of skydiving for recreation, I think we can safely assume that there was a popularity spike in the 70's. Skydiver has a very unique controller that includes a metal oval that I am assuming is suppose to resemble the handle you pull to deploy a parachute. After you hit the jump button to jump out of your plane, you have to pull up on the metal ring to deploy your parachute. You then slide the ring left and right to guide your guy down safely to a landing flag for points. If you fail to deploy your parachute, you will smash into the ground. Your body twitches as an ambulance arrives. 

Sun Electronic's Kangaroo (1982)!

There was no way I could have a list of Leap Day games without including Kangaroo. Kangaroo has been a personal favorite of mine ever since I first played the port on the Atari 2600 Video Computer System. The game has great cartoony artwork and is just a blast to play. The sounds are great, especially the mother kangaroo's leap sound effect.

Alpha Denshi's Jump Bug (1981)!

Last on our list is one of my favorite oddball platformers. Jump Bug has you controlling a car as you jump, leap, and bounce all over the screen. Whether you are bouncing off of buildings or shooting aliens, the game is loads of fun play. With leaping being at the core of this game's design, I figured it was perfect to include on this list. 

Thank you for checking out our five games to play this Leap Day. You can find all of these games at the American Classic Arcade Museum located in Funspot. Don't forget to check back next week for a new podcast episode!

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