California Extreme 2011 – We were there!

by Mike

A couple of us (Josh and Mike) went to California Extreme 2011 over the weekend. Holy crap! I haven’t seen that many games in one room since the big arcade at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. It looked like most of the games were provided by individual collectors, so we want to send out a big THANK YOU to all the people who were willing to subject their classic and rare games to a couple days of abuse for our enjoyment! And thanks to Josh for taking several of the pictures you’re about to see below.

Nerds playing games

Fellow retro gaming nerds. My peeps!

Here are a few of my personal highlights and lowlights:


Donkey Kong II – Not an officially licensed Nintendo release, this game is brutally hard. The first level (Foundry) features a ridiculous number of moving platforms. It’s very easy to jump up and hit Mario’s head on another platform, causing him to plummet to his death. Mario had really weak knees before he started taking shrooms, so he also dies from falling a lot.

OK I think I got it this time - FUCK!!!

Pong – The classic. I’ve never seen an upright Pong arcade cabinet in person before.

Pong arcade game


Death Race – Apparently this game caused a lot of controversy when it was released. I don’t know how anyone could have been offended by this; the graphics are just little stick figures. I just thought it was funny. Of course I also laugh during the death scenes in the Saw movies, so maybe I’m the wrong guy to comment on this. There’s really not a lot of violence in this game since the pedestrians move faster than the fucking cars.

Mike playing Death Race

Do I look murderous?

Punch Out – Body blow! Body blow! Right hook! Uppercut! Knock ‘im out! Great fighting! You’re an up and coming boxer!

Punch Out

Hey, that kinda looks like C.B.!

Dig Dug is still fun. And hard. And cheap. Most of the time, Josh and I only died because 2-3 of the red enemies would bunch up and look like a single enemy.

Dig Dug

Me rocking my Soup Nazi shirt at the Dig Dug cocktail table.

Golden Axe: The Revenge of Death Adder was a fun game designed for 4 players. 4 small players. Not for 4 grown-ass men. I wish I had a picture of our group huddled around this machine.

Video Pinball – A really unique game that I had never seen before. It uses a mirror in such a way that you see very basic black and white graphics projected over a colorful physical pinball table.

The Classics – Battlezone, Missile Command and Galaga…in bite size form. Size didn’t matter here, the games were still bad ass.

The Classics

80's Arcade Game Goodness.


Alice in Wonderland – A very unique pinball game. There are 6 flippers, but none of them are in the usual spot at the bottom of the play area. Instead, they’re along the left and right sides of the table, and pointed away from the middle. Most of the time I just watched the ball slowly make its way down to the bottom, at which point I wished the flippers weren’t completely ass-backwards!

WTF is up with those flippers?

Dragon’s Lair sucks.

Bump ‘n Jump – Those who listened to part 2 of our first episode know how Derek feels about this game. Our friend Randy was suspiciously good at it.

Josh playing Bump 'N Jump

Josh playing Bump 'N Jump. Somewhere Derek was crying.

Tail Gunner II – According to Josh, this one sucked. It’s a vector graphics game that looks a lot like Star Wars (which was a good game), but with shittier gameplay.

720 – A skateboarding game with awful controls. The joystick is permanently stuck pointing away from the center. It can only be moved around the outer edge of the circle. I remember my brother playing this a lot when we were younger, but he was really into skateboarding then so maybe he had a higher tolerance for this game’s crap.

Touch Me – An overgrown predecessor of Simon with a suggestive name. This game has no screen; just a few buttons and lights and an enormous cabinet.


Touch you where?

One Response to “California Extreme 2011 – We were there!”

  1. Awesome! We have been watching crows heckle a HUGE red tail hawk that keeps eyeing my ch2iuahua&#8h30;along with the eagles and the coyote we have a regular wildlife epic going on here in pigeon point!

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