A highlighted review from the http://www.gtw64.co.uk archives
In 1987 Firebird released Arcade Classics, a compilation of (wait for it) four classic arcade games, namely Space Invaders, Asteroids, Snake and Space Wars. It was neatly packaged with a front-end title screen with each game represented by its own arcade cabinet. It also featured excellent music from the legendary Rob Hubbard, who I saw a picture of just now and he looks freakily like one of the brothers from The Sparks. Not the singer, the guy on the keyboards who looked a bit like Hitler and seemed completely mental.Anyway, the game was well received and achieved a score of 90% in Zzap! magazine. Plans were made to release a sequel, imaginatively titled Arcade Classics 2.
Sadly though, the plans remained just that, plans. No work was ever done on the game according to Dave Korn, and unless we can get more information, such as what games were being considered for inclusion, it seems a typical Games That Werent open and shut case.
Its a shame this release never made it past planning, a budget release of arcade games, made lovingly, always goes down well with fans, who are wary (and weary) of overpriced compilation cash-ins that are released merely to milk a bit more money out of devoted fans. Another four arcade classics for £1.99 would have been a loving addition to the C64 games roster and youd have thought it would have been a sure-fire money maker for Firebird, but presumably the original didnt sell well enough so what could have been an interesting series of compilations ended before it really got started.
Thinking back on it, I’m fairly certain that I was intent on putting Missile Command and Defender (and maybe Frogger?) clones into it, and beyond that I was open to suggestions from the Firebird office crew – in particular, my project manager Colin Fuidge (a great bloke and still my friend to this day). I think we kicked a few ideas round but I don’t recall us even getting as far as writing down a speculative list on paper. Colin might remember better.
Incidentally, there’s a story about the original Arcade Classics that I haven’t shared widely yet: when Colin and I first drew up and signed the contract for its development, the proposed title that the game was to be released under was “Four Unreleased Computer Knockouts”! ;) We nearly got away with it too, but someone in management spotted what we were up to and told us to change it, and that’s when we came up with the “Arcade Classics” name.
Thanks Dave, i’ll get the main write up at https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/arcade-classics-2/!