As a general rule, when I select a game to spotlight for my “Lost Arcade Classic” articles, I focus on games of the late 70’s or early 80’s. Those are the games from the “golden era” of arcades that we all remember with such fondness. But when I was thinking about what game to cover in this war-themed issue, I thought of a game released in the mid 80’s that I never even got to play until the early 90’s, yet it’s still a justifiable “lost arcade classic.” That game is Danger Zone by Cinematronics.
Cinematronics is recognized primarily for two important innovations in the arcade field. In 1977, they released Space Wars, the first game to use Larry Rosenthal’s invention of vector graphics. Its success would pave the way for later hits such as Battlezone, Tempest, and Star Wars, which all used vector monitors to produce their memorable visuals. After several years in the early 80’s of mediocre arcade releases, Cinematronics released the first fully animated laserdisc game, Dragon’s Lair. Using beautiful animation from Don Bluth, an engaging storyline and unique game play, Dragon’s Lair was the most successful game of the summer of 1983. However, the market was beginning to crumble for all arcade game manufacturers, and hit games were becoming few and far between. Danger Zone, released in 1986, was Cinematronics’ third milestone in arcade gaming, yet because of the tepid arcade environment of the time, it went virtually unnoticed. – Read the rest of the article here from Classic Gamer Magazine (courtesy of Old School Gamer)!
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