• Graeme Mason

Namco New Games September Special



It’s been a super September on Antstream Arcade with a whole bunch of classic arcade games from Namco taking a bow on our service. On this week’s blog, we present five of our choice picks from this famous coin-op manufacturer, available to play right now on Antstream Arcade!




Pac-Mania

Since its monster hit Pac-Man first debuted in arcades, Namco has been busy releasing further

adventures of the small yellow fellow. This month on Antstream Arcade, we are proud to present

Pac-Mania, the universally adored classic that took the series into the third dimension and beyond

with its lovely isometric maze. Pac-Man is once more on the run from his spooky nemeses with five ghosts now relentlessly chasing him as he attempts to gobble up all those yummy dots. And while our round friend has a useful new jumping ability, and can use it to evade his pursuers, the

introduction of even more nefarious ghosts in later levels will have you frantically running for those power pills.


Ant-fact: There are three new ghosts in Pac-Mania: Sue (from Ms. Pac-Man) and a brace of new

jumping enemies called Funky and Spunky. Yes, really.

Ant-tip: Watch out for the special items that sometimes appear in the centre of the maze. The green bonus is especially useful, helping Pac-Man fairly zip across the screen.




Bosconian

From the golden era of arcade gaming comes Namco’s blaster Bosconian, a then-unique attempt to open out the shoot-‘em-up genre beyond its one-screen and static peers such as Namco’s own

Galaxian. In an overhead view, the player jets around outer space, destroying as many enemy

fighters and bases as possible. Free-roaming and frenzied, Bosconian may not be the most well-

known arcade games of the era, but it is certainly one of the most original, and fun.


Ant-fact: Bosconian employs a radar system, similar to Namco’s driving game Rally-X. It is also one of the first arcade games to feature voice samples.

Ant-tip: Pay attention to the computer’s voice alerts which warn the player of any incoming hazards such as missiles and spy ships.


Super Xevious

Namco’s Xevious revolutionised shoot-‘em-ups in 1983 with its vertically-scrolling landscape and

two-tier player attack option. With the game a smash hit, Namco followed up a year later with Super Xevious that, while similar in terms of graphics and gameplay, has a number of improvements and tweaks over the original. At the helm of the nimble spacecraft Solvalou again, there are several new enemies to conquer in this update, each more aggressive and challenging. With subtle map changes throughout every level, there’s plenty more to test your reflexes in Super Xevious.


Ant-Fact: With many expert arcade gamers completing Xevious on one coin, Super Xevious was

Namco’s attempt to present a stiffer challenge and consequently earn more money.

Ant-Tip: As in Xevious, moving ground targets can be tricky to eliminate. Anticipate their path and

bomb away, but always make sure you have half an eye on the skies.



Dig Dug

A world away from space invasions and laser blasts is this cute underground masterpiece from

Namco, and another favourite here at Antstream Arcade HQ. In a twist on the rigid maze of Namco’s earlier hit, Pac-Man, the player essentially creates their own maze with the objective elimination of the nasties (Pookas and Fygars) that chase them. These can be disposed of in two ways: either squashing them under a rock or inflating them with your pump until they explode. A critical and commercial success for the arcade giant, Dig Dug is another legend of the golden era of arcade games, and available to play now on Antstream Arcade!


Ant-Fact: With its relatively open field of play, Dig Dug encourages the player to make their own

strategies, giving it more depth – ha! – than many of its peers.

Ant-Tip: Rocks are your friends! But beware: they can crush the player as well as the enemies. Turn left or right after digging under one to avoid being squished.



Galaga

For many retro fans, Galaga is the big daddy of early Eighties shoot-‘em-ups, and we are proud to

have this legendary Namco game ready to play on Antstream Arcade, together with a high score

table that’s bound to be ultra-competitive! The sequel to Galaxian hit arcades in 1981 and quickly

became a massive hit worldwide. Upgrades over its famous forebear include a double shot, more

intricate enemy attack patterns and – most significantly – the boss Galaga which takes two shots to destroy and can capture the player’s ship in its powerful tractor beam. You might think that’s a bad thing, right? But destroy the boss who has snared your ship, and your colleague joins forces with its replacement, creating an even more devastating weapon of destruction.


Ant-Fact: Galaga has made cameo appearances in many films including most memorably 2015’s

Pixels starring Adam Sandler and Kevin James.

Ant-tip: Allowing your fighter to be captured is a well-known tactic but make sure you’ve got

another life spare otherwise it’ll be game over!


Also on Antstream Arcade from Namco: Dig Dug II, Pac & Pal, Baraduke and a little unknown game by the name of Pac-Man!

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