The Simpsons arcade cabinet

Japan, 1991

Videogame Objects and artworks
Photograph by Egmont Contreras, ACMI.

The Simpsons had only screened one season when Konami released this side-scrolling beat em up in 1991. It wasn’t that Konami knew how successful The Simpsons would be, it’s that they already had the foundation for the game. Two years earlier they’d developed the Teenage Mutant Nina Turtles arcade game and applied the same mechanics to The Simpsons, which featured almost identical play style and button mashing combat. What set The Simpsons apart was the accurate voice renditions, with the TV show’s main cast voicing the characters in the game.

Players can control either Homer, Marge, Bart or Lisa as they use unique fighting techniques – punching or swinging a vacuum cleaner, skateboard or skipping rope – to rescue Maggie after she’s kidnapped by Smithers.

Unfortunately, Lee Carvallo isn’t in the game so you can’t swing a three-wood golf club.

A brief history of The Simpsons arcade game from YouTube channel PatmanQC - History of arcade game documentaries

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The Story of the Moving Image → Games Lab → GL-02. Cluster 2 → GL-02-C01

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