We all love a list, so every Tuesday we’re posting one, on a variety of retro-themed topics! Feel free to share your own favourites down below — and let us know what other lists you’d like to see on future Tuesdays!
Arcade game preservation is, as we’ve previously discussed, super important. And one of the companies leading the way in this regard right now is Hamster with their long-running Arcade Archives and ACA NeoGeo series.
Working in collaboration with various rights holders, Hamster has released a huge number of classic arcade games for modern platforms — and these ports often come with excellent additional features such as dedicated high score modes for online competition, and caravan modes for time-limited play.
So this week for 10 of the Best Tuesdays, we thought it time we picked 10 favourites from the complete Arcade Archives and ACA NeoGeo lineup. So here they are!
Big Tournament Golf
Also known as Neo Turf Masters, Big Tournament Golf proves that golf can absolutely work in the arcade format. Offering exciting, enjoyable and well-presented gameplay for one or two players, Big Tournament Golf is a beloved Neo Geo classic with good reason. And it’ll have you shouting “ON THE GREEN!” before you know it.
Konami’s classic is a no-brainer for inclusion here; everyone loves Frogger, and you can’t get more Frogger than arcade-perfect Frogger. Fun fact: the iconic Frogger theme is actually a Japanese children’s song called “Inu no Omawarisan” or “The Dog Policeman”. Now you know.
Magical Drop 3
An absolutely frantic puzzler from the NeoGeo’s back catalogue, Magical Drop 3 has a markedly different feel from many of the classic “falling block” puzzlers of yore; rather than spending your time thoughtfully assembling combos, this is more about blasting matches as quickly as possible. And it’s a ton of fun doing so!
Money Puzzle Exchanger
If you thought Magical Drop 3 would be even better with Sailor Moon-inspired magical girls and small change rather than colours, then Money Puzzle Exchanger is for you. Despite being very obviously based on similar core mechanics to Magical Drop, Money Puzzle Exchanger is a distinct puzzle experience well worth taking the time to explore.
Get it for Nintendo Switch.
Irem’s classic side-scrolling avoid ’em up was the first game from the man who would go on to bring us Street Fighter, Fatal Fury and the King of Fighters. It was also a pioneer of parallax scrolling — and it’s a game that is a great means of practicing the core skills you need to get better at classic arcade games.
An early Namco title and rough contemporary of Pac-Man, Rally-X keeps its stablemate’s “collect things in a maze” formula but adds more frantic action as well as a strong focus on achieving score combos. It’s one of the most difficult games from the era, but it sure feels great when you start to get the hang of it.
A classic single-screen platformer from Jaleco with some of the cutest characters you’ll ever see, Rod Land is probably most famous for its excellent home ports by The Sales Curve — but the arcade original is well worth your time and attention, too.
Take Metal Slug, make it top-down and keep all the ridiculously violent humour. That’s Shock Troopers, one of the finest games from the NeoGeo’s back catalogue — and a great part of Hamster’s lineup for modern platforms. Super fun for one or two players at once.
An unusual one from Irem, this one challenges you to race against a field of 90 opponents across the United States using only your trusty motorbike. Combining challenging top-down vertically scrolling racing with simple “vanishing point” sequences, this is an oft-overlooked little gem from Irem’s back catalogue, and one that will keep you hooked.
One of the original “cute ’em ups”, TwinBee still holds up really well today with its creative power-up system, charming graphics and accessible challenge factor. Don’t let the cutesy art lull you into a false sense of security, though — this game can still put up a fight at times!