Superman Arcade Game

Superman Arcade Game

Retro Coin Op Synopsis

DC Comics’ Man of Steel finally made it to the arcades in 1988, fifty years after his first Action Comics appearance (but three years before Marvel Comics’ most popular character, Spider-Man, would get his own video game). Superman had starred in an early Atari 2600 cartridge back in 1979, but with a new animated series airing on CBS, Taito decided it was time to take the Krypton native to the video game big time.

In the Superman arcade game, Supes took on the forces of Emperor Zaas, an alien bent on conquering the Earth. The Man of Steel battled Zaas’ fellow evil extra-terrestrials through five different rounds, moving from Metropolis to San Francisco, Las Vegas, Washington, D.C., and finally to Zaas’ spaceship. Each of the first four rounds featured three distinct stages (the last had five), mixing and matching some of the most popular game styles of the time.

The superheroic action started off with a little Double Dragon-style fisticuffs (and footicuffs), Superman punched and kicked aliens in a side-scrolling fighting stage. In the second type of game, Superman took flight, punching and kicking more aliens in a vertically-scrolling battle over city skies. Finally, the Kryptonian got to use his famous heat vision, blasting asteroids and, yes, even more aliens in a side-scrolling action game. Bosses had to be defeated before Superman could move on to the next round, getting closer and closer to a showdown with Emperor Zaas himself.

All the familiar fighting game extras were there—cars and other objects to be lifted and thrown, power-ups, even two-player action with a red-suited Superman—but not even the Superman family name and the familiar John Williams Superman movie score were enough to tear players away from Double Dragon and the emerging puzzle game trend. As a game, Superman made little impact, but the Man of Steel flew on to continued success in comics and cartoons.

Arcade Machine Release History

1988 - Superman

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