Monthly Archives: May 2013

Launch Party Recap

My thanks again to everyone who came out for the TDE 15th Anniversary/Re-launch Party. It was a tonne of fun and there was a lot of retro game goodness. Here’s a few pics of the night:

Pitfall running on the Intellivision, a video game console by Mattel

Pitfall on the Mattel Intellivision


Playing Pac-Man, a home video game for the Atari VCS/2600

Playing Pac-Man on the Atari VCS/2600


TDE Mugs

TDE Mugs



The room

We’ll be having another contest on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

The Real Feel of Pinball At Your Fingertips

Want to replicate the feel of real pinball on your iPad? It’ll cost you. We’ve talked on this blog before about the iCade wooden iPad holder, and the Arcade Duo by Atari, both of which add sturdy joysticks and solid button arrays to your retro video game experience on the iPad. But the Duo Pinball by Discovery Bay Games does the same thing for pinball games on the device. The drawback is that it only works with one pinball game.

You can check out more details here.

The Dot Eaters 15th Anniversary Re-Launch Party

Tomorrow, May 16 we will be holding a shindig to celebrate our 15th anniversary online, as well as the launch of our revamped site, which came online May 1.  The details are as follows:

The venue will be Saviari Tea & Cocktail Lounge, located at 926 King St. West.  It’s at the intersection of King W. and Strachan, the next major intersection West of Bathurst St., in Toronto, Ontario.

View Larger Map

The event will run from 6:00pm to 8:00pm.  There will be classic video game stations set up to play, including Mattel’s Intellivision and the Coleco ColecoVision. We will also be running a game tournament, playing Atari’s infamous 2600 version of Pac-Man.  Here’s how the prizes will break down:

1st Prize: a $50 dollar EB Games gift card

2nd Prize: a pair of tickets to the Game On exhibit currently running at the Ontario Science Centre.  This is an amazing exhibit of the history of video games, from PONG right up to modern systems and games.

3rd Prize: a $20 dollar gift card for A & C Games, a video game store specializing in retro games and systems.

In addition, each winner will receive a retro video game T-Shirt from Chop Shop Goods.  As well, there are 50 discounted tickets to the Ontario Science Centre for everyone, first come first served.

The event is free to attend, and there is a $5 registration fee to enter the Pac-Man competition.  There is a cash bar, and appetizers will be served.  To RSVP for the event, please shoot an email to or use the contact form on this site on the Contact Us page.

See you there!

marquee for Breakout, an arcade video game by Atari 1976

Google Celebrates Breakout Anniversary

It might come as a stinging shock to people that Atari’s Breakout arcade game is 37 years old.  Some of the sting might be mitigated, however, by the clever way in which Google has seen fit to pay tribute to the milestone.

Breakout was a clever one-player riff on Atari’s first (and, in fact, the world’s first) mass-produced coin-op video game PONG.  Instead of two-people bouncing a little blip of a ball back and forth with paddles, one person could bat the ball with a paddle situated along the bottom of the screen, against a wall of bricks that would shrink in size with each impact.  The speed of the ball would increase as the size of the brick wall would decrease, leading to a mad scramble to eliminate the bricks before inevitably missing the ball and losing a life.

The game was conceived by Atari co-founder Nolan Bushnell, but actually assembled by an early, vegetarian hippie Atari employee and his nerdly friend.  Their names were Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

To see Google’s own riff on the concept, just enter Atari Breakout into their image search field.  For more history of Breakout, consult your local Dot Eaters entry.

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience

The Japanese take video games seriously. So seriously, in fact, that the phenomena of the video game arcade, all but dead (but yes, enjoying a slow renaissance via “Barcade”-type venues starting to pop up) in Western culture, continues to thrive in Japan.

100 Yen: The Japanese Arcade Experience is a indieGoGo-funded documentary covering the evolution of video arcade culture in Japan. It is a fast-paced thrill-ride through a dizzying and electric video game landscape, accompanied by the obsessed gamers, committed companies and manic games that make the Japanese market what it is. 100 Yen is available on DVD now, and looks to be well-worth dropping some coin for.

100 Yen website

100 Yen: The Teaser Trailer from Strata Studios on Vimeo.

Wolfenstein Returns

Perhaps you’re like me, and the original Castle Wolfenstein, made by Silas Warner and Muse Software for the Apple II in 1981 and the C64 in 1983, defined your computer gaming experience back in the day. And perhaps Activision’s 2001 Return to Castle Wolfenstein remake, itself a re-telling of id Software’s seminal 1994 3D remake of the original, helped to define the modern online shooter in your mind.

Well, the news from Gamespot is that B.J. Blazkowicz is back for more two-fisted adventures with Wolfenstein: The New Order, announced today by Bethesda Softworks. The game is being developed by MachineGames, a Swedish outfit made up of former key members of Starbreeze Studios, makers of The Darkness and the Riddick games.

As I said, Return to Castle Wolfenstein was a watershed game, not necessarily for its rather pedestrian single-player campaign, but more for its amazingly well-tuned and just plain fun online component. Pitting Nazis against Allied forces, the simple-yet-deep strategy and wonderful level design destined the title for greatness. Here’s to raising a stein to the success of this new entry in the Wolfenstein saga.

via Gamespot

Resetting The Dot Eaters

Welcome to the new Dot Eaters. To commemorate our 15th year in existence, we have totally revamped the site from top to bottom, in order to provide a better experience while examining our antiquities. The retro systems, games and companies we cover now all fall under the “Bitstory” section, with each article given its own page. Navigation throughout the site is streamlined and optimized to make getting to content easier. And, of course, there’s the new visual presentation you see all around you.

To celebrate, we are having a launch party, complete with classic game consoles set up that people can play. You can check out the details on our Facebook event page. I hope you enjoy the new look and feel of the Dot Eaters, and please share your opinions with us.