The Sound of the Underground
This week, a real piece of gaming royalty joined the Arcade Archives, as Hamster presented us with one of the most iconic and seminal gaming releases in the golden era of Bandai Namco: now available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
The arcade market, which was first introduced in 1982, is one of the most recognizable, memorable, and successful games of the formative era. Players guide an intrepid miner through a series of single-screen underground caverns, digging out tunnels, and battling the monsters. In a mechanic that just appears so blackly comedic to modern eyes, our hero defeats his opposition by injecting them with a gas line, then inflating their sorry bodies until they literally explode!
Enjoy the subterranean shenanigans in the video below, thanks to Hirudov2d, who is videoing the video.
Namco was a huge success, becoming the second highest-selling arcade machine for 1982. It would then receive a slew of home ports and several sequels, and would ultimately serve as the inspiration for the equally adorable and equally panic-inducing series. Furthermore, villain Pooka would become one of the publisher''s most well-known mascot characters, and ranks just under the posse as one of Namco''s most popular creations.
I love the character design, the sprites, and the use of color, and the music always brings me a smile to my face, (a gimmick in which the protagonist stands still always tickles me) Today, is still a compelling (if simplistic) title, and offers as much a challenge to modern players as it did many decades ago. It is certainly deserving of its reputation in gaming history.
It is now available on PS4 and Nintendo Switch for download, priced at around $8. It is also available on several Namco compilations, including one in the following categories.