We’ve got more Atari news to share today, this time in regards to a slightly obscure remake of a 1983 arcade release that was then called Food Fight. Let’s get into both that and the upcoming Food Fight Frenzy, designed by new Arcade Heroes advertiser, Slackerz Inc.

Food Fight OG

Released in March of 1983, the timing on Food Fight’s arrival was unfortunate. That was right after the industry had jumped off of the financial cliff and was belly flopping towards the water. That didn’t make the games released then inherently bad, it just meant that they wouldn’t perform as well as many players stayed home.

Designed by General Computer Corporation (the same guys who created Crazy Otto/Ms. Pac-Man), this put players in the shoes of Charley Chuck. He’s a kid who is hungry for ice cream and he’ll throw any food he can to get that cone. It is a single screen game, where you run from the right side to the left, and food is your weapon against the opposing chefs. If you have a particularly good round, it’ll do an “Instant Replay” of the action, where this might have been the first video game to employ such a feature. This is also one of Atari’s few early games to feature a central character that wasn’t a square or a vehicle.

If you find this in an original cabinet, Food Fight is a treat in itself. Made at the height of Atari’s cabinet creativity, it used a special cut of the sides and was lathered in artwork. It also came with a hall effect joystick for smooth analog control.

The game only received two official ports, both in 1987 (one for the Atari 7800, the other on the Atari XEGS). It has popped up on the occasional Atari compilation, most recently the Atari 50th Anniversary Collection. It was never remade/updated until very recently, and now there’s a second remake entry to add in Food Fight Frenzy.

Food Fight Frenzy

The genesis of how this remake has come around is explained in this video posted by Indie Arcade Wave:

If that is tl;dr for you right now, a brief summary is:

Brian at Retro Arcade Remakes had already worked something out for bringing Warlords back to the scene, but wanted to do the same with Food Fight. He had been in contact with Atari before the pandemic but movement was stagnant until the new CEO, Wade Rosen, came in and things have changed for the better.

Slackerz Inc. became involved as they are local to RAR, and already put out a retro remake style game with Galactic Battleground. That was focused on PvP space battles for up to four players. Warlords already had that in place, so the idea became: “What if Food Fight was a four player game?”

The game pits 1-4 players against each other in the Food Fight arena, which looks just like the 1983 game instead of taking on a modern appearance. Working with Retro Arcade Remakes, the game will come in a cocktail format and they’ve faithfully recreated the original analog joysticks. As you can see above, it shares a design with Warlords, which Retro Arcade Remakes has also been working on for a while. RAR is aiming to start shipping Warlords this Summer. Food Fight Frenzy will come later, but it will be this year.

Note that this is a prototype cabinet, the final should have artwork on the control panel. The Atari “Fuji” also lights up in different colors. As I noted in some older videos about this, Warlords has been designed to replace the rare cocktail cabinet that originally had been a big collector’s piece out there. I used to own one of those, but alas, it just didn’t earn well in a modern arcade environment.

The gameplay in a sense, is more competitive than in the original.  Its player against player instead of just trying to reach an ice cream cone. In this video, you can see the game in action, thanks to a direct capture that I was sent:

Midwest Gaming Classic

The game’s debut is at Midwest Gaming Classic, which started yesterday and runs through the weekend. Joe of Indie Arcade Wave & Slackerz Inc. in particular has organized an area focused on indie games, where you can find Food Fight Frenzy, Warlords, Ice Cold Beer remake, Galactic Battleground, and Astro Crow’s Jai-Alai Heroes. Beyond that, there is a large retro arcade area that features both video games and pinball (it is shown in this video below, just ignore the thumbnail 😛 )

What do you think about both Warlords and Food Fight coming back to arcades? Are these the kinds of games that would draw you into an arcade? Or would you rather grab one for your home game room? Note that these will not be priced like Arcade 1ups as they are not made for that market first, but for the commercial one. Thus, pricing is going to reflect that different need.

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