HG101 Presents Arcade Cult Classics is now available!

Our latest book, HG101 Presents Arcade Cult Classics is now available! Paperbacks are available on Amazon.

Many of our books focus on publishers (Sega, Konami, Taito) or genres (shoot-em-up, beat-em-up). Our Cult Classics line started back in 2018 with NES Cult Classics, which is a catch-all for all kinds of interesting and cool games that didn’t fall into any other these categories. It seems like the preferred YouTube/SEO terminology is “hidden gems”, but it was too late to course correct whenever that term took over.

Most of the games covered here are 1990s Japanese arcade games, but there are a few older titles and a couple of European developers. Companies covered include ADK, Jaleco, NMK, Westone, UPL, Technos, Gaelco, and TAD. Some covered games include Astyanax, Aurail, Cabal, Blood Bros., Blue’s Journey, Clockwork Aquario, The Cliffhanger: Edward Randy, Demon Front, Dolphin Blue, Hammerin’ Harry (and its home sequels), Kid Niki (and its home sequels), Kyros, Magician Lord, Shock Troopers, Momoko 120%, City Connection, FixEight, Cannon Dancer, Psychic 5, Toki, Avenging Spirit, Dynamite Duke, The Outfoxies, Snow Bros., Ninja Combat, Penguin-kun Wars, Soldier Girl Amazon, Ninja-kun, Thunder Hoop, and many others! What we ended up with is a lot of side-scrolling platformers, run-and-guns, gallery shooters, Bubble Bobble-like single screen platformers, and other offbeat titles. You can find a full list of covered games here.

We covered most of Irem’s shoot-em-ups in our Guide to Shoot-Em-Ups Vol. 1, so this book covers some of their other titles, like Mr. Heli, In the Hunt, and Ninja Spirit. Similarly, Toaplan got a huge feature in Guide to Shoot-Em-Ups Vol. 2, while this book covers a few of their other lesser known games like Wardner and Demon World. Try to pick out all of the characters featured on the front and back covers!!

This is one of the “most HG101” books we’ve put out in awhile, the kind you can flip through when perusing MAME looking for something new to play. Since we began work on this book a few years ago, some of them have even been officially re-released, either as part of Hamster’s Arcade Archives series, or ported to the Evercade retro console. Hamster doesn’t do the best job publicizing their game releases outside of Japan, so we hope this book will help explain what some of these lesser known titles are.

It’s also worth giving an extra special thanks to the MAME developers, and emulator developers in general. If not for them, nearly all of the titles here would’ve simple been lost to time, given the transient nature of arcade games.

In addition to purchasing the book, either though Amazon or Itch.io, you can also get digital copies by pledging at least $5 to the site Patreon, which also includes our previous book, The Bride of Retro Horror. Further pledges give even more books! You’ll also get access to hundreds of bonus episodes of our Top 47,858 Games of All Time podcast, as well as voting rights for future topics. It’s the best deal!

This book took a lot longer than we initially planned. Next, we have another Sega volume planned, this one focusing on on their 8/16-bit console games, including Sonic the Hedgehog, Shining Force, Phantasy Star, and a whole lot of Master System games. We’ve been working on this simultaneously alongside the Arcade Cult Classics book, so the good news is that it shouldn’t take too much longer. Please look forward to more news soon!

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