Retro Coin Op Synopsis

One of the biggest non-video arcade games of the 1970’s was foosball. This tabletop version of soccer pitted two players against each other as they spun rows of small player figurines suspended on horizontal rods to kick a ball towards a goal. Foosball caught on quickly and became a long-term favorite that is still found today in arcades, bars and restaurants. Like any arcade success, it has inspired plenty of similar games. The best and most successful of these psuedo-foosball games is Chexx, a game that applied foosball elements to the sport of hockey.

Chexx was played in a cabinet whose design was similar to a foosball table, with one noticeable difference: it was topped by a thick, oval-shaped dome made of see-through plastic. Through this dome, the players watched the action unfold on a playfield designed to look like a hockey rink. This playfield was filled with tiny figurines of hockey players: each side had 5 players and a goalie mounted on horizontal rods, just a like a foosball game. Unlike foosball, though, the movement of these rods made the figurines move back and forth across the field instead of rotating vertically. Thus, the figures actually appeared to be ‘skating’ across the rink. The hockey rink illusion was completed by a small scoreboard mounted inside the dome.

Another major feature that distinguished Chexx from foosball was sound effects. The game used a convincing set of electronic sound effects to perfectly duplicate the sounds of an excitable hockey crowd, right down to the cheers and boos. These sound effects added a new level of excitement to the competition as players moved the rods back and forth to get the figurines to swat the puck towards a goal. Chexx was usually played as a one-on-one game, but game play could easily be expanded into a two-on-two format. This arrangement was nearly as popular as one-on-one, especially in Chexx tournaments.

Chexx was the first game put out by Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE) in 1982. It was an instant smash hit and soon became an institution in arcades and any other place that welcomed foosball-style games. ICE went on to put out several sports-theme table games like Kixx, a soccer-styled variation on Chexx, and Full Court Fever and Street Fever, two popular basketball-shooting games.

In recent years, ICE has remade their original hockey hit as Super Chexx. This newly-improved version features a scoreboard that can register goals, shots on goal, period and running time all at once and has proven itself to be just as popular as the original model. In fact, the popularity of Super Chexx is so consistent that ICE manufactures a few hundred models every year specifically for people who want to buy them for home use. Super Chexx was also used in a successful tournament promotion done in major National Hockey League cities by Bud Light Beer (the national sponsor of the NHL). Almost twenty years after its introduction, Chexx continues to satisfy the competitive urge in sports fans everywhere.

Arcade Machine Release History

1982 - Chexx

Arcade Game Sub Categories

table games

Machine Manufacturer