a repository for arcade related promotional flyers that are used by the coin-operated amusement industry to promote the sales of their games.
The product of a fusion between two already big flyer collections, the Arcade Flyer Archive is, since 1999, an evergrowing showcase of arcade flyers and a paradise for the video game enthusiast.
In wandering through the many images available (usually there are several flyers for a single videogame,) you will find amazing artworks covering the entire story of arcades from 1971 to almost yesterday (the database is constantly updated). From an aesthetical point of view this is enough to appraise the initiative, but there’s a great interest for those who like game design. The flyers are meant for promotion, so they have to sell both themselves (therefore be appealing) and the game they depict (therefore be concise and amusing). The usual convention is that the front of the flyer introduces the game, shows the machine, and gives a “tagline” or a very short debriefing, while the back explains the game mechanics. For instance, the ubiquitous Pac-man, is described as “a labyrinth of fun&amusement!” or, more nerdically, as an “a-maze-ing new 1 or 2 player full color video game. The back speaks of every aspect which defines gameplay, and it even has space to highlight how the bonuses work! By the way, I believe that the teletubbies were named after the ghosts in pacman, look: Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde (this one must be a step brother). Other examples of the same layout are, for instance, 1943 (I love this game!), or Metal Slug
, to name just a few.
Though the fast-paced nature of arcades almost forces one to think in easy to catch gameplay, I believe that if a game can’t be explained in a single sheet of paper, then there’s something wrong in its design. Aspiring video game designers, especially those on low budgets, will benefit from researching and studying the examples available. I highly recommend this site to everyone: it’s really worth a visit, and a great source of cool posters! 😀