My experience with arcade games comprises a few goes on Time Crisis, Bust-a-Move or House of the Dead while holidaying at the seaside, but I'm assured by the plot of Tron that arcade gaming was once a pretty big thing. Short of a time machine or a sudden windfall of cash, it might be hard to recreate that bygone era, but thanks to Facepunch there's a chance of it living on in virtual form. The Garry's Mod/Rust developers have just announced their next prototype, named Arcade. Arcade is a game about being in an arcade, with a novel multiplayer mode and potential VR support.
A confession: I dislike almost all of the deified classics of early arcade gaming. Space Invaders? Rubbish. Tetris? Boring. And Pac-Man? Well he can just do one. Fortunately, Namco realised that they'd created an interminably dull top-down avoid-'em-up, and made Pac-Man Championship Edition DX+, which fixed the formula by adding an escalating cacophony of lights, sound, twitch maze navigating action, and - well - fun. Previously it had been locked away in the hidden world of the Windows Store. Now it's now due for a proper PC release, with a Steam listing announcing a late September launch.
Everybody's been flipping their bikes over Trials Evolution. You need to go head-to-head with your pals at a party, they say. You don't know fun till you've revved through rings of fire, or gone flying over the handlebars into an endless cavern below, they say. If you avoided dropping money on Trials before, envisioning your friends racing ahead of you as your own bike pathetically slid backward down a butter-slicked incline, you can rest easy; Steam's now got a demo version up for the unsure.
I've arrived a bit late to the Chompston party - the celebrity guests have all left, and the Pac-Man-themed power-pellet food has gone cold - but I'm too busy playing this engrossing, free arcade game to care. It's a mash-up of Pac-Man and Bomberman, essentially, but with a musical twist that generates a tune as you chomp dots and lay bombs. As you progress (as in Pac-Man, you complete each stage by eating all the nummy dots), smarter enemies emerge, though interestingly the levels themselves are randomly generated.
Blizzard have snuck the long-awaited StarCraft 2 Arcade into the world in the form of the patch 1.5.0 beta. The Arcade allows users to share custom maps and mods, rate and review each other's work, and find multiplayer matches.
The update splits the Battle.net UI between 'StarCraft 2' and 'Arcade' tabs, the latter highlighting popular custom games and sessions with open slots.