Yesterday, the Internet Archive – the organization responsible for documenting the literal history of the Internet – announced the Internet Arcade. Consisting of about 900 arcade games from the 1970s to the 1990s, every game in the arcade is emulated, playable in your browser, and best of all? Absolutely free. There’s a ton of forgotten gems here (anybody remember Nintendo’s Sheriff?) along with some of the best arcade titles in history, such as Street Fighter II. It’s a great history lesson if you’re interested in the evolution of the arcade, but the best benefit you can get from Internet Arcade as an indie developer?
Not only that, but it’s a great way to see how classic games used pure gameplay to lure players to spend their money on a playsession. While arcades are pretty much dead here in the U.S., there’s still something to be said about why they were so popular – and it isn’t because the home video game market hadn’t emerged yet. On the contrary: arcade titles spanning between the 70’s and 90’s (along with a few good ones in the 2000’s and beyond) had to be good. The gameplay had to be top-notch and unlike anything seen before it, and if it wasn’t? The arcade game was as good as dead.
If you need to be inspired with ideas for your upcoming indie game, want to borrow a gameplay-style for your next indie game, or simply want to see how certain gameplay styles were pulled off back then, then use the Internet Arcade as a point of reference. Plus, there’s just a ton of good games to play (just be sure to stay productive instead of spending hours playing games!).
Find an arcade game that inspired you to go further with a potential project? Let us know in the comments below!