Sunday, March 21, 2021

Spring Themed Arcade Games!

Well, it’s spring again…spring 2021 to be exact. I figured after the year plus of pandemic living that it might be a good time to revisit some light hearted games that, to me have a spring vibe. With that said, let’s dive into three more games that are great to play during the spring!

It’s been two years since we last revisited this topic so I will review what makes a spring themed game to me. Simply put, any game with bright colors, plants, flowers, food..any game that just has that outdoor “spring” feeling. The type of game that has pastel colors that give you the warm fuzzies.

Dig Dug

We are starting off with a true classic. Between the cheery music, digging in soil theme, and flowers sprouting to let you know what level you are on, Dig Dug is full of spring charm. It also doesn’t hurt that the game was released in Japan in April of 1982. Any game with sprites designed by  Hiroshi "Mr. Dotman” Ono and described as a "strategic digging game” is sure to be a spring classic.

Pac & Pal

Now we are starting to dip our toes in the pool of obscurity. Pac and Pal was the third “in house” designed PAC-MAN game. Released only in Japan, the game continues the opening gates/doors theme of Super PAC-MAN. What makes this a spring game you ask? Why the bright pastel colors and chipper music! The colors have never been more cheerful, and the music more subdued. Throw in various references to Namco’s vast library and a ghost pal named Miru and you have a very different PAC-MAN game. Unfortunately this was a Japan only release. There were plans to release the game stateside, but they fell through. It’s a shame because the international version of Pac and Pal included changing Miru to Chomp Chomp from the Hannah Barbera PAC-MAN cartoon. Google search it and you will find some sweet custom arcade cabinets that people have made.

Hopping Mappy

Here’s another game that never made it to North America. Hopping Happy is the arcade sequel to Namco’s classic Mappy. The idea was to take Mappy from the Micro Police and have him chase after Goro and Meowkies on a pogo stick! While quite the departure from the original Mappy, the game still feels like Mappy thanks to the music and sprites. The gameplay is somewhat unique; a play on maze and grid style arcade games (think PAC-MAN mixed with Bomberman). The outdoor backyard setting mixed with some bright music simply screams spring. Oh, and Hopping Mappy was the 13th most popular arcade game for April of 1986 in Japan according to Game Machine so, there’s that.

Thank you for reading about more spring themed arcade games. Be sure to check back next week for more arcade goodness.

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