Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is for Zaxxon

It seems fitting that my final A to Z blog post for this year be about more than just an appropriately named arcade game.  I fondly remember where I first played this particular game, so I'd like to reminisce a little about it, as well as a related gaming topic for classic arcade games from the 1980's.

I first encountered Zaxxon at World of Burgers, which was an independently owned burger joint near the barbershop where I got my hair cut as a kid.  World of Burgers, as the name suggests, served all kinds of themed hamburgers inspired by world locations; e.g. the Mexican burger had guacamole and spicy salsa.  My favorite kind of burger, which I honestly haven't found the equal of anywhere else, was their bagel burger, which utilized bagels instead of the usual hamburger buns.  They were so good that for a time I was able to talk my mom into using bagels for the buns for burgers we'd have at home.  World of Burgers has long closed, but I always remember it fondly.  In addition to Zaxxon, I remember playing games of Pacman, Rally X, Donkey Kong, and other classic arcade games there.  The owner never complained about us coming in to get change to play the games either, for which I was always thankful.

Video game-inspired board games were also produced for several of the classic 1980's arcade games, and I ended up owning several of these, including Pacman, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Qbert, Centipede and, believe it or not, a Zaxxon board game.  The Zaxxon board game was a lot of fun, and I recall some fun rounds of it with family members.  Truth be told I suspect these games, and my sister's Ms. Pacman board game are probably at my folks' house somewhere.

As for Zaxxon the arcade game, I typically had problems judging the position of the plane in the fortress areas, usually resulting in me crashing into walls or getting shot by a missile rising up from the ground.  The game's initial toughness and resultant short games were a deterrent to me playing it enough to get good, which was a similar problem I had with other games like Defender.  My strongest memories of Zaxxon are the place I first played it and the related board game, which in some ways I actually liked more than the arcade game lol.

I had a lot of fun this year taking on the 2013 A to Z blogging challenge with my chosen theme of classic arcade games.  I hope you enjoyed reading about some of the games I grew up playing in the various arcades, pizza joints and restaurants.  I invite you to go back and read and comment on any of the earlier posts you may have missed.  As for what comes next in blogging, let's just say that when the writing itch strikes, I will scratch it on this blog.  Stay eclectic.

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