Spacies, a name derived from a shortened ‘Space Invaders’, played a big part in my life in the 80’s. Raised in small town New Zealand, there wasn’t much to do.
When spacies hit the scene it was HUGE.
A few friends and myself would travel to Palmerston North and find the new games at the Regent Cinema, Burger Joints, namely Gibs, and arcades like the Wizards Palours. I can remember when we would find a new game. This would be about as exciting as it got for us and we pump in the 20c coins to try and have our 3 letter names written on the top of the High Scores list. The Lindauer Fish ‘n’ Chip shop in Woodville was our main source of new games when we couldn’t get to PN. The word would spread like wild fire when there was a new game in town or you got knocked off the High Scores list. My main opponents and good friends included RAT, HEP, PUD and the KERR brothers. But MAL , me, could always be found in the top 10 or on top. I was unbeatable at a few games and once played Bomb Jack from 10am until the shop closed at 9pm on one credit.
In 1984 we opened our very own Arcade Palour. My sister was the manager and the machines were supplied on a split share basis from a guy in PN. I can remember hanging out in that smokey, dimly lit shop with all the cool kids. The best part was walking around in there with a big pocket full of ‘crossed’ 20c pieces which would allow my brothers and I to play for free and when the machines got emptied we would get all our ‘crossed’ coins back. With those coins and my Ghostbusters jacket, I was King. My little brothers and I would even sneak to the shop after hours and play Video Games. I also ‘invited’ some mates to come along too.
This was it. It was heaven.
But all good things must come to an end. We grew up and that was it. We closed up shop. Another parlour opened up quite a while later and we did hang out there but the games weren’t the same. BMX took over the empty space and we raced our bikes all over NZ. Freestyle BMX took over. I built a bunch of ramps on our front lawn and we would spend hours perfecting tricks with a bunch of friends from PN.
In 2003 I came across Defender on the Internet. Man, I loved that game and I would play it for hours while working night shifts. This rekindled the flame and I was soon playing more of those old favourites.
The birth of spacies.co.nz happened when I built myself a Tabletop cabinet, hacked up a keyboard, soldered a bunch of wires to joysticks and buttons, loaded in some games and then posted pictures on a few websites. I got lots of positive feedback on that machine that I decided to sell it to build another. Then ball slowly started moving. I thought to myself while working, “I could do with a website”. I called a friend who builds them, showed him the machine and a deal was done. He builds a website, I build a machine. Its grown into a full time business and I have built countless machines, which are sent all throughout NZ.
I am sure a lot of people out there can relate to lining up your 20c pieces across the glass to secure your place in the queue to play your favourite game. Now you don’t have too, you can play all those classic games in your own home or bring back a slice of retro to your workplace or business.
Show your kids where it all began.
Bring back those memories.
Whatever your reason for investing in a Spacies machine, remember….
THE GAME IS NEVER OVER.