We are adding a seventh early 80s video game cabinet to the ever-growing Reclaim Arcade. The games is a bit niche, I first knew it as Crush Roller (which is odd given that was its name in Japan), but it is most popularly known in the US as Make Trax (1981). The game is pretty trippy, you are basically a paint brush that tries to paint the entire maze without being killed by two fish (I had no idea they were fish, I always thought they were paint drips in the shape of a tear drop) who patrol the area. What’s more, if one of several animals/objects are released and leave prints or tracks you have to repaint the effected area. It’s obviously inspired by Pac-man, with the fish like ghosts and the various animals/objects akin to fruit. The power-ups are basically paint rollers that give you enough speed and power to catch and crush the fish. The non-sensical nature of the whole enterprise is part of its appeal, and you can see the game play in the video above.
It’s our third Williams cabinet (the other two being Joust and Defender), so that makes a Williams trifecta for Reclaim Arcade, and we have our eye out for a fourth, namely Robotron—which may be Tim’s Total Reclaim restore project Interestingly enough, I saw a Make Trax machine last year in New Hampshire on Ebay right around the same time we started this insanity with the purchase of Centipede, but that one was sold given we thought we would have to go all the way to New Hampshire to pick it up—this was before Tim discovered the magic of Fastenal Express.* In fact, I’m kinda glad cause as of now this one does not have sound and a is a bit beat up in terms of cigarette burns and a few cracks on the control panel overlay, but the cabinet is original and the art was fairly simply so it’s solid. The sound issue should be fairly simple to fix thanks to Tim’s new interest, and if we need another original control panel overlay we can grab one pretty easy it seems.
I guess an obvious question is still to arise for me, how many stand-up 1980s video game cabinets make an actual arcade?
*As a side note here, it is crazy how expensive U-haul has become for traveling to retrieve a video game like this. We spent close to $500 renting a truck for one day and traveling roughly 250-300 miles to Maryland to pick-up four machine. Luckily it was a wash given we got several machines, but that price point makes picking up one machine a n0n-starter, where as Fastenal will deliver it within 30 miles for around $100.