The Magical Mystery Arcade

The first series of Mystery Arcade was a great success for me – I got to play some awesome video games, and my brother got to experience them for the first time. I’m so jealous.

And with Series 2 coming very soon, with increased production values and a slightly-too-long first episode, I wanted to make a quick post to discuss it a little. Y’see, I’ve always tried to make obscure retro games our schtick on Broken Circus, but for a long while I haven’t had the time to commit to it. It’s why there’s been such a drought of real content between Series 1 and 2; those videos really do take up all the time I have left. My hope is to try to manage my time better and start to pump out some standalone videos for my channel – game reviews, hardware, and silly stuff like that. It probably won’t be the quality of someone like LGR; working full-time at an uncreative job has that effect on ya’.

Perhaps now that I’ve done editing S2, I can take what I’ve learnt from doing that and transfer it into S3. That’s the best part about any creative process – you learn stuff as you’re doing it, so whatever you do next will (hopefully!) always be a bit more efficient and a bit better because of it. You can even see that in evidence during the course of S2; the quality of editing really improves towards the end versus the start, mainly because of the amount of time it took me to do it all.

I’ve personally been fascinated by all the different versions of games that we’ve played, and sometimes – rarely – finding that the home versions were a little bit better than the arcade originals. Spoiler warning, but this is even more true in the games we played for S2. Not telling you why here, but if you know your gaming history, you’re already halfway there.

The home version comparison in the 90s was actually a little disappointing – again, you’ll find out why. In future series, I plan to return to the 80s, because just one series can’t possibly hope to cover the wealth of great games around in that era.

And that’s not even getting into the 70s…hoo boy, now there’s a history lesson for ya’!

One more thing. Each of the thumbnails for S2 (bar one) is hand-drawn by your humble narrator. While most of them have made it unscathed, one was just far too complex and detailed to be a suitable thumbnail. In light of that, I’ve stuck the original, uncropped scan to this very post. In black and white, of course, because I only coloured the part that I needed to. See if you can guess the game – probably isn’t too difficult.

An ink illustration, showing two robots outside a garage. One is sat in a car seat, surrounded by the debris of his vehicle; the other is leaning on a tyre, looking on with disappointment.

You can watch the full series over on Broken Circus.

About LunarLoony

IT support technician by day, artist also by day, video game enthusiast by day as well. Not keen on doing things by night... when else am I supposed to sleep? I have been making internet things since about 2005, and advocate for personal websites and blogs and things. I also run Broken Circus, where I make short films about video game history!
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