We pride ourselves on seeking out and restoring the best videogame titles of arcade history. One chapter has remained noticeably absent, however: The games of Encom, originally designed by programming wünderkind and arcade legend Kevin Flynn. Space Paranoids, Matrix Blaster, Vice Squad: a whole slew of them, thought to be lost forever.
That’s changing today, however. Thanks to the detective work of a few dedicated fans, we managed to locate an almost complete collection of Encom titles hidden away in a mysteriously abandoned game room. Beneath the layers of dust, they appeared almost untouched in the 28 years since they were created!
Now, we’re pleased to bring this exclusive lineup from Encom’s early days to the Ground Kontrol arcade floor of today!
The fearsome Recognizer made its debut in this classic title famous for its real time 3-D shaded graphics, an impossible computing feat in 1982. Cruise the canyons in your Tank, but stay vigilant or risk being Recognized into oblivion!
Don’t bother trying to top the world record score, by the way…it’s remained unbeaten since Flynn himself set it in his own arcade. “All in zee wrist,” as he would say.
Forget the 1999 movie; blast into the original Matrix with the classic top-down shooter that introduced “bullet time” to arcades. Pilot your Z-fighter through the game grid to blast Bugs in four directions. Things getting a little too intense? Hit the “Warp” button to slow down the action for a limited time.
Freeze, perp! Vice Squad gives the old game of Cops And Robbers an electronic update, with players facing off on opposite sides of the law. “Hey, if this is about those parking tickets I can explain, okay?”
Encom’s advanced video games sometimes seemed to defy the laws of physics, but nothing could have prepared arcade fans for Arc Wars, the first and only arcade game to feature an X-Y-Z monitor capable of drawing vectors in three-dimensional space. Spin the pitch, yaw and roll knobs to fling your glowing cursor through the air, drawing curves that deflect your opponent’s attacks. You gotta be good if you want to survive!
No arcade lineup would be complete without this smash hit! Race lightcycles, pilot a tank through the game grid, “upload” yourself via an I/O tower and infiltrate the MCP. It’s all in a day’s work for the world’s top security program!
(Space Paranoids repro cabinet artwork courtesy of Arcade Aid. Thanks, Zack!)