Arcade Castle: A Gaming Podcast

Welcome! You've reached the home of the Arcade Castle Podcast, a podcast that looks a little at video games, a little at board games, and those things that got a little bit of both. While most podcasts tend to look at the latest and greatest, we have opted for a far darker path through the sprawling realms of digital and analog games. For lying between the two genres is a pile of games few dare to play, games that often defy categorization. Bizarre chimeric creations and licensed games abound here. Found in thrift stores and online, studying these games will be a global effort a countries across the planet send these objects to the Arcade Castle for examination. Why do we do this? To determine how well these board games capture the essence of their parent franchise. To see how the strategies, gameplay, game mechanics, player challenges, and player roles are translated from the digital realm of video games to the analog base of the board game. Can we learn anything about design and gameplay by comparing how a single franchise is represented in two different mediums? Can one inform the other? That, and who doesn't love board games and video games?
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Arcade Castle: A Gaming Podcast






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Now displaying: March, 2018
Mar 26, 2018


Amid rising tensions, Arcade Castle chills with a Cold War Simulator on the Odyssey II from 1981. Utilizing a mathematical formula from the C.I.A. and real world scenarios torn fresh from the headlines (well, fresh in 1981 anyway), Magnavox created Conquest of the World. The third (and final) entry in the Master Strategy Series by Magnavox, Conquest of the World takes advantage of the expanded memory on the video game cartridge to create a 1v1 games that implies additional strategy on the screen and, when coupled with the board game portion of Conquest of the World, provides a in-depth gaming session for players picking up the joystick and board game. Or so Magnavox claims...


In this episode of the Arcade Castle Podcast, John and Patrick play another weird blending of video game and board game courteously of Magnavox. Pulled from the annals of time, Arcade Castle finds an interesting time capsule. A video game board game that blends elements of RISK and AXIS & ALLIES yet requires players to engage in battle through the Odyssey II to determine the outcome of global conflicts between nations, all of which is filtered through Cold War tensions. Can this game with overtones from the Cold War prove to be a hot ticket to fun? Or is it consigned to the No-Man's-Land between Board Games and Video Games?

Conquest of the World Gameplay!!!


Episode Outline


00:00 - 25:00: Arcade Castle discusses an overview of the Master Strategy Series from Magnavox as well as the Conquest of the World. The discussion then turns to the Cold War nature of the Conquest of the World and Arcade Castle discusses their own recollections, memories from that time as well as games they have played that also focus on the Cold War.


25:00 - 50:00: Arcade Castle turns their discussion to the specifics of the Conquest of the World, including its contents and how the Conquest of the World is played, both as a board game and as a video game.


50:00 - 70:00 - After their examination of the game and how it plays, Arcade Castle turns their attention to some of the issues Conquest of the World has in terms of gameplay and balancing power between players as well as taking the game to task for its claims that it is based on the 'real-world' calculations of power between counties. They offer solutions to these problems.

Manual and Cartridge


Formula for Perceived Power


Mar 7, 2018



In this episode of the Arcade Castle Podcast, we take the first word of our podcast quite literally by playing two arcade themed board games released by Milton Bradley in 1983: Pitfall! and Jungle Hunt. As Arcade Castle plays two jungle themed board games intended for players far younger than they, can they survive the hazards of the trail? Or succumb to the pitfalls and traps?

In Pitfall!, players move forward or backward along the surface, jungle trail, or the underground, cavern trail in their attempts to collect enough treasure to prove themselves as an adventurer brave enough to climb the mountain at the end of the game to collect the diamond. However, as players brave the jungles and caves of Pitfall! they must overcome a variety of hazards that include voracious crocodile, rolling logs, fires, cobras, and the eponymous pitfalls. If players are brave enough to enter the underground caverns, they may find themselves face to face with the vicious scorpion and may find themselves staying in the caves as a permanent resident...


In Jungle Hunt, players traverse the wild jungle interior to try and save the jungle girl from a tribe of hungry cannibals. But players need to navigate a forest of vines to swing their way to victory. Clever use of movement points can move one's adventurer closer to the goal, while moving other players further away. Additionally, players must beware the jungle gorilla or find themselves knocked from the vines to the jungle floor and forced to work their way back into the vines and into the game. Can you save the jungle girl? Or find yourself facing an angry gorilla instead?

Episode Outline:

00:00 - 22:00: Arcade Castle discusses at length their memories of hometown arcades, their favorite arcade cabinets, and why birthday cake, exercise, and jungle gyms are a bad combination.

22:00 - 38:00: Arcade Castle turns their attention to the first game they played in their Arcade Double Feature: Pitfall! They discuss their relationship with the game, Saturday morning cartoons, and how a board game can provide strategy and choice while still being aimed at younger children.

38:00 - 54:00: Arcade Castle looks at the second game of their Arcade Double Feature: Jungle Hunt. They discuss how NOT to make a board game for children, adults, or anyone in between. Can an arcade game with little content be successfully crafted into a board game?


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