The long and twisted tale of the Nibbler arcade game


Originally published at:


You can play it online at the Internet Arcade


Nice. I don’t think I ever came across that game in the arcades, but I discovered it in MAME about 15 years ago and it became one of my favorites. I used to be really good at it, but I tried playing it not too long ago and I guess these old fingers aren’t as nimble as they used to be.


I was never good in the arcades, but I have oddly fond memories of the minor companies. I don’t remember Nibbler, but Ladybug was a favorite, as well as NATO defense.

MAME is great for things like these and Nibbler.


this was my game–

i was really good at this game. the video shows it at its hardest levels. i competed in the first annual 7-11 video game contest which turned out to be the only contest they ever did. i got a third place trophy at the finals in dallas, a t-shirt, and a voucher for 1000 tokens at any aladdin’s castle video arcade. it was a beautiful game with a sophisticated controller.



Yay Robotron!


My game was Elevator Action.


Mine was relatively obscure: Gravitar. Asteroids ship traveling through caverns with weird gravity shooting back at gun bunkers and picking up fuel. Can be played in Mame but not many are in existence because it’s cabinet was a generic design easily upgraded to newer games.

What I hated was the algorithm games, that you could win by remembering their patterns. I have a crank theory about all video games evolving from the UR games, Asteroids and Space Invaders. Space Invaders involved patterns, but Asteroids was all improv. You could have style at Asteroids. To me it was a little like the difference between pool and bowling.


Gauntlet for me!


pretty sure that’s what they called me in high school


Oh man. Forgot about that one, but I’ve got 8bit music stuck in my head now.


…and that squish sound.


Was there some software change that made putting things under a cut impossible for people who prefer to use blog view?

  1. Snake 1
  2. nibbles.bas
  3. Pizza Worm


So not a futurama game?


Reminds me of my kids’ current obsession with


As a fellow Tempest fan, my hat is off to you and your young self. Tempest is indeed a beautifully designed game and while its controller is just a simple looking knob, it’s so sensitive that playing the game feels like ballet.


Seems legit.