Friends, a couple of days ago on Facebook I was in a conversation with Willie – a friend and video game and toy historian – who heads up Arcade USA as well as being a member of the Atari 5200 Super Community! podcast. In addition Willie along with his co-host, Arkay produce the Toy Tomb podcast. Willie was kind enough to let me start sharing some of the Arcade USA YouTube videos here on the Pop Culture site, much like Earl Green with his Phosphor Dot Fossils episodes. What better way to introduce you the Toy Tomb podcast than with this mini-episode that focuses on the fascinating and impressive 1981 electronic board game known as Dark Tower. For those of you of a certain age you will probably recall the memorable television commercial that featured none other than Orson Welles as it’s spokesman. I certainly can remember seeing that advertisement and it made an impression on me – however I was not fortunate enough to actually get my hands on the Dark Tower game – although I did have a cousin who owned it and I looked upon it with envious eyes. I had already been bitten by the Sword and Sorcery bug thanks to the likes of Conan the Barbarian and Dragonslayer. So this new board game – featuring a sleek and black plastic tower with an electronic keypad at it’s base – that sat in the middle of the board called to me like a siren’s song. A large part of that draw was also because of the beautiful artwork for the game provided by Bob Pepper – an artist that managed to raise the bar on his work on Dark Tower with Milton Bradley’s fantasy based card game known as Dragonmaster.
On this particular Toy Tomb Podcast Mini show, both Willie and Arkay share their own memories on Dark Tower – where they were first introduced to it and why it made such an impression. Furthermore Willie details the steps he has taken to get his hands on a copy of Milton Bradley’s Dark Tower and show a little video on how he was able to repair the 38 year old electronic game. The duo touch upon some of the controversy that sadly helped to end what could have been a bright future for the game series and how the enduring popularity has led to new technology being used to play the classic version of the game.
By the way, towards the end of the podcast… which just happens to be a video in this case – both Willie and Arkay talk about the proposed Return to Dark Tower game by Restoration Games – here is the teaser trailer for that upcoming release.
Now then prepare to journey backwards in time to the medieval world of Dark Tower with Arkay and Willie as they discuss this STILL impressive board game.
I want to thank Willie once again for allowing me to begin to share some of the Arcade USA videos with you – make sure to check out his Facebook page as well as The Toy Tomb and the Atari 5200 Super Community! podcast.