Friends, by the time that 1994 had rolled around, the arcades of my youth had sadly all but disappeared. While the likes of Showbiz Pizza and Games People Play had gone away – there was at least the small arcade at the local mall as well one near the Cobb Theater in my neck of the woods. But they didn’t really hold a candle to what I remember from my youth – generally the lineup of games offered at these spots were a mix of classic games such as Pac-Man and Galaga with maybe one or two newer titles. One of the things I’ve mentioned over and over again on the Diary of An Arcade Employee podcast as well as the Facebook page – is that while the arcades I frequented as a kid were impressive, I’ve come to realize we missed out on so many games. The other day I was writing a post for the Diary page that had to do with the 779th arcade title to be revealed at the legendary Galloping Ghost Arcade in Brookfield, Illinois. The game in question was Cyber Sled, a two-player vehicle shooter that was released by Namco in 1993 – one of the comments on the post asked if it played like T-MEK, which was a game I had never heard of before. Doing a quick search online I stumbled across not only videos of the game in action but a treasure trove of promotional videos released for the game!
Now these videos were uploaded by Gary Stark, who the Wikipedia entry for T-MEK says is the one responsible for producing the arcade title. The game was developed by Atari Games and then released into the arcades in 1994 by Time Warner Interactive. That promotional video apparently was show in what I presume were arcades as Stark mentions on the video:
“This video was used in a 7 city tour to create user interest and promote the game.”
T-MEK allowed two Players, with a divider in the middle, to sit in a half-cockpit environmental cabinet that featured a subwoofer below the seats so you could feel the hits your Mek tank was receiving. In addition the cabinet also possessed two speakers facing the Player as well as two in the rear… so it was probably a pretty loud game. Furthermore three of the T-MEK cabinets could be linked up allowing for six Players to go head to head with each other – surely this was used for tournament play?
After watching these T-MEK promotional videos I am very sad that I never had a chance to jump into a futuristic hover tank and try to take out the Nazrac the Eliminator. What about yourself though, did you play this in an arcade back in the day?