informa
1 MIN READ
Blogs

Retro Game of the Day! Wacko

Retro Game of the Day is a daily look back at some of the games we loved - and some that we didn't - during the formative years. Today's entry is Wacko.
Retro Game of the Day! Wacko

Wacko by Steve Meyer, published by Bally/Midway for the arcade in 1983.

This game was sort of an unusual take on Robotron in some ways, although the two games were decidedly very different. Whereas Roboton was a moment-to-moment killfest the likes of which had never been seen before (nearly everything constantly blasted you from all sides of the screen), Wacko was a lot less hectic in some ways (you really just had to dodge enemies). However, there were more complex rules in place as the game stretched on. Enemies must be defeated in pairs, mismatched pairs created "mutants" which would need to be "unmatched" in order to be killed, larger creatures must be killed before smaller ones, etc.

The game was outfitted in an unusual cabinet housing, with a sloped marquee and panel, giving it a very unique appearance (and driving home the point that "this was indeed a zany game"). The goofy in-game graphics, though extremely garish by modern standards, were very impressive - they looked very detailed and colorful in its day.

Also of note was the control setup. Robotron used a dual-stick moving-and-firing system, and Wacko implemented a setup somewhat inspired by this. Movement of the player was controlled with a trackball, and two sticks were presented for 8-way firing (supporting either left- or right-handed players).

Wacko was an interesting, somewhat novel game. Of course it's legacy has not lasted anywhere as long as it's competition, but back in the day this was certainly an attention-grabbing game that provided a high level of challenge which would make even the most skillful players sweat!

Latest Jobs

Xbox Game Studios

Redmond, Washington
10.5.22
Technical Lighting Artist

Innogames

Hamburg, Germany
10.5.22
Game Designer - Elvenar

Six Foot

Houston, TX
10.3.22
Six Foot Director, Player Relations

Hometopia Inc.

Remote
10.7.22
Lead Engineer
More Jobs   

CONNECT WITH US

Explore the
Subscribe to
Follow us

Game Developer Job Board

Game Developer Newsletter

@gamedevdotcom

Explore the

Game Developer Job Board

Browse open positions across the game industry or recruit new talent for your studio

Browse
Subscribe to

Game Developer Newsletter

Get daily Game Developer top stories every morning straight into your inbox

Subscribe
Follow us

@gamedevdotcom

Follow us @gamedevdotcom to stay up-to-date with the latest news & insider information about events & more