There were some games in the arcade that looked different than the others. These were the vector games. These games didn’t have the square-based graphics of a Pac-Man or Kangaroo. They had linear graphics, graphics composed of lines. To me, they looked similar to the old 3-D wireframe computer graphics you would sometimes see in real world computers as well as movie computers like the one in Escape From New York.
I didn’t think much of vector graphics back in the day. I found the square-based graphics to be more aesthetically pleasing and easier to follow. While at the California Extreme Arcade and Pinball Show (yeah, I know, it’s getting old), though, I saw a whole host of vector graphics games that changed my opinion. While the vector graphics still seemed less detailed to me, they were also crisp, vibrant, beautiful, and exciting. Here’s a few I encounted:
Asteroids (which I only knew as an Atari 2600 game and so didn’t know it was Vector):
Star Castle (this is the game the 2600 Yar’s Revenge was based on. The colored circles were actually on the bezel!)
My favorite arcade look will always be the Pac-Man/Dig Dug/Galaga look. That’s classic arcade to me. But I have to say that the Vector look is a lot better than I gave it credit for.