List of Types of Arcade Games

By Mitch Reid
Arcade games require skill and luck.

Arcades are entertainment outlets that originated in amusement park midways. These venues featured numerous games that were encased in cabinets. Only an individual with a handful of tokens or coins could play the games. Today, you can find arcade machines in various public locations such as malls, movie theaters and restaurants. Some people even buy the machines for personal use.

Video Game Machines

Arcade video games cater to various genres. For example, you can play classic games such as “Space Invaders,” “Frogger,” “Tron” and “Pac-Man” in arcade machines. Arcade machines also house fighting, shooting and racing video games that multiple players can enjoy simultaneously. Titles such as "Tekken," "L.A. Machine Guns" and "Mario Kart Arcade GP" have appeared in arcades. In most cases, you can buy console versions of arcade games for private use.

Pinball Machines

Pinball machines are mechanical games that require you to score points by bouncing a metal ball around a playfield. While older machines only featured a plunger to launch the ball onto the field, later innovations led to the introduction of flippers, which are used to ricochet the ball in different directions. "Humpty Dumpty" was the first pinball machine to feature flippers. "Pin*Bot," "Tales of the Arabian Nights" and "The Addams Family" are a few examples of iconic games.

Redemption Games

Redemption games award a certain amount of tickets based on your skill. You usually can redeem the tickets for prizes at a booth in the arcade. "Whac-A-Mole" is a popular redemption game that issues tickets as you hit mechanical moles with a soft mallet. The moles appear sporadically from several holes on the playfield. Skee ball, a game that requires you to roll balls up a slope and into holes, is another redemption game.

Merchandise Games

Merchandisers are games that offer you a chance to win prizes based on your performance or luck. Merchandisers come in many forms. For example, claw crane games require you to pick prizes out of a machine by using a mechanical claw. The claw has a weak grip, so you must determine which merchandise is easiest to move. In claw crane games, the prizes usually are stuffed animals. However, some merchandise games, such as Stacker -- a game where you align rows of blocks -- offer more expensive prizes, such as DVDs and video games.

About the Author

Mitch Reid has been a writer since 2006. He holds a fine arts degree in creative writing, but has a persistent interest in social psychology. He loves train travel, writing fiction, and leaping out of planes. His written work has appeared on sites such as Synonym.com and GlobalPost, and he has served as an editor for ebook publisher Crescent Moon Press, as well as academic literary journals.