Totally Rad Arcade Game Adverts of the 1980s

1. Wizard of Wor (1981)

wizard of wor

Like most any arcade game of the 1980s, the game itself falls way short of the brilliant advert.  Of course, we were accustomed to terrible graphics – we didn’t know any better, and were perfectly happy to drop a quarter for a few minutes of pixelated fun.

wizard of wor (2)

Wizard of Wor (1981) basically involved, running through mazes and shooting at anything that crossed your path. You could actually play two player in this game… and got points for shooting your partner!


2. Moon War (1981)

moon war

As you’ll see, arcade game advertising very much catered to their target audience: hormonally raging teenagers and young adults.   Hence, “The Ultimate Moon Shot”.


3. Future Flash (1980)

future flash

I have no memory of Future Flash, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say this is another example of where the artwork over-promises what the graphics can deliver.

4. Strike Zone (1988)

strike zone baseball

This is a baseball game, yet she’s dressed like a Dallas Cowboy cheerleader…. but then, does it really matter?


5. Cheeky Mouse (1980)

cheeky mouse

This game basically involved running around with a hammer smashing mice to death.  A truly inspired concept.


6. Crock Man (1980)

crock man

I can’t put my finger on it, but Crock Man looks very familiar.


7. Shark Attack (1981)

shark attack

In this game, you actually play the shark, and your job is to attack and eat humans.  They’ll throw harpoons at you, but it’s all worth it – every time you munched a human, a cassette tape inside the machine would emit blood-curdling screams.

shark attack 2

Yet again, a woman’s ass is used to sell an arcade game.   And it won’t be the last time….


8. Mad Alien (1980)

mad alien

Don’t let the girl with the automatic weapon and wedgie fool you; this is a simple car chase game.  Supposedly, you’re chasing after a car full of “mad aliens”, but with graphics this basic, you’ll never really know.


9. Streaking (1982)


It’s set up like Pac Man, but with a bizarre twist: you’re a naked woman trying to get her clothes back.  Instead of ghosts, there are policemen chasing after you; and there’s an element of danger from “eating too much”…. like I said – bizarre.


10. Tapper (1983)


The object: a bartender must fill mugs and slide them down the bar to patrons.  There were actually two versions of the game: one with Budweiser and the other with root beer (we wouldn’t want to corrupt the children, would we?).

The whole establishment is ablaze with excitement over her video game victory, yet their elation is nothing compared to the next…

11. Le Mans 24 (1986)

le mans 24

This game has literally knocked this woman flat on her ass.  Such is the power of Le Mans 24.

12. Jungle King (1982)

jungle king

Very similar to the popular game, Pitfall.  But instead of Pitfall Larry, you’re a Tarzan-like character swinging from vines and jumping over crocodiles.


13. Draw Poker (1982)

draw poker

When arcade games first came on the scene, there were card game varieties aplenty- which fit perfectly for a time when graphics still left a lot to be desired.


14. Spiker (1986)


Sadly, your volleyball opponents will look nothing like these two.  Playing arcade games in the 80s required a strong imagination.


15. Casino Strip (1985)


casino strip

Remember Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair?  Casino Strip is similar in that it’s a laser disc game.  Just insert more quarters, and the girls will disrobe.



Yeesh – you’d think they could’ve put a little more effort into constructing her speech bubble.

16. Astro Fighter (1980)

astro fighter (2)

If you remember Galaga and Space Invaders, then this game should look familiar.  What should also look familiar is this gal’s uniform; however, the game has nothing to with Star Trek.

Watch where you’re pointing that thing, will ya?

astro fighter (1)

Anyway, it looks like we’re finally out of quarters.  It was fun while it lasted.  Until next time!

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.