There were a number of truly excellent puzzle games that came out in coin-op arcade form, and every one of them offered something different in terms of gameplay. While not normally associated with high octane arcade experiences, puzzle titles were a nice distraction from the fighting and shooting titles that dominated arcades at that time. They were also quite attractive to players who weren't too keen on guts n' gore.
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Today we're looking back at 10 truly awesome coin-op puzzle games from the past. We're focusing specifically on titles that added something new and interesting to the puzzle formula that madethem worth your investment.
What a classic! Capcom's ingenious take on the puzzle game formula involved building up crystal blocks of a particular color, then shattering them with a circular crystal to inflict massive damage on your opponent. The premise was shockingly simple, easy to learn, and required only quick reflexes to outpace your enemy.
The game's style is straight-up charming, taking Capcom's fighting game characters such as Ryu, Morrigan, Chun-Li and Felicia, and putting them through the Japanese super-deformed washing machine for a little extra fun. The result is a comical, light-hearted parody of the company's fighting titles, built into puzzle form.
SNK scored a few puzzle hits on the Neo Geo arcade system, and one of these was Magical Drop. What made the game especially fun was the grab n' switch mechanic that involved collecting various drops from different columns, and tossing them back up into those of a similar color to score points.
SNK's tongue-in-cheek approach was all over the game, featuring anime-inspired characters and sound effects that put a distinctly Japanese spin on the game. At higher levels, the game was always challenging, but never irritating.
Puzzle Bobble was the game that kicked off a myriad of smartphone knock-offs and for good reason. The play mechanics were deceptively simple, yet required a lot of eye coordination to master. Essentially, your task is to fire a bubble of a particular color into a nest of similar bubbles to pop them and score points.
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The trick was rebounding bubbles off the sides of the screen in order to hit their target, which sounds easier than it actually is. By the end of a few play sessions, your marksmanship was sure to go up. The classic Bubble Bobble feel translates well into puzzle form, too. It's a fun little game to kill an hour with.
In many ways, Columns was Sega's answer to Tetris, which had gone on to achieve great success on the NES. In arcade form, the game is practically identical to the Genesis version, and plays like a game all its own. Each column consists of three gems that can be shuffled to create vertical, horizontal and diagonal directions. Eagle-eyed players could also set up cluster attacks for more points.
Columns was in many ways a more relaxing form of Tetris. The dreamy music, ancient setting, and increasingly fast gameplay encouraged concentration above all else, though never at the cost of your sanity.
Everyone at some point has played Tetris! It's the great-granddaddy of puzzle games, and has gone on to captivate players all over the world. Its simplistic style of play masked a complex game that involved fitting various shapes together to form straight lines and prevent the screen from being clogged up.
It has since been ported to every platform known to man (and then some), but the arcade version of Tetris was a nice game to spot in the arcades, especially if you didn't have it readily available for play at home.Alexey Pajitnov certainly has a lot to be proud of.
Terrible name notwithstanding, Battle Balls was an excellent arcade game that took the classic puzzle formula and added a slight twist. The player would drop three balls in triangular formation down into the trough, and rotate them so as to create color combos and score points.
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The added complexity of this system made it slightly more difficult to pick up than other puzzle games already on the market, and therefore it's not as widely regarded as others on our list. However, a little practice exposes a great puzzle game that everyone should try out.
Klax is a puzzle game that stands completely on its own. The gameplay is very clever, relying on a conveyor belt system that transports blocks to the edge. The player's job is to grab these blocks in a tray, and lay them out accordingly in order to form a line and score points. With only 5 spaces to work with, this can get tricky, very fast.
The tray allows for several blocks to be held at once, with the topmost block being the first that will be dumped onto the play area. As the game gets more difficult, it becomes harder to plan ahead, which is where the fun comes in. This is one of the most imaginative puzzle games around.
This puzzle title put a spin on traditional tile-matching games with something a little different. The game's objective is to clear rows of slime-like creatures called Puyo by dropping and rotating them to form combinations. The trick is that Puyo may not connect diagonally, which adds a bit of challenge to the game.
The series has enjoyed longevity thanks to ports to a variety of systems, including iOS and Android. It may not be the first puzzle game that comes to mind, but it's definitely one of the most enduring.
Alexey Pajitnov is best known for creating Tetris, but he didn't stop there. Hatris is a variation on his puzzle game formula, but an entirely different game altogether. The object of the game is to stack hats on 6 character heads at the bottom of the play area.
Two hats are dropped at once, and can be swapped by the player and placed where best suited. That's also part of the challenge. The player must plan ahead and keep stacking identical hats in order to keep the play area clear, but it's easier than it sounds.
Who could forget Burger Time? This Data East classic is still renowned as one of the best of the original puzzle games for its quirky gameplay and visuals. The player is tasked with creating hamburgers by walking the character of Chef Peter Pepper across a grid-like structure reminiscent of Donkey Kong.
Enemy foods will chase after the good Chef, forcing him to navigate around the structure and crush them using the burger ingredients or stun them with pepper shots. It's equal parts action title and puzzle game, but definitely, one that requires some practice to get good at.
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Derek started out writing about video games way back in the mid-90s. Since then, he's gone on to write for Cinemablend and GamePro Magazine, to name a few. What keeps him going strong? Hard to tell, but a constant infusion of butter chicken might have something to do with it!
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10 Awesome Coin-Op Puzzle Games From The Past | TheGamer - TheGamer
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