Monday, February 12, 2024

The Classic Map Arcade

Mapbox Tetris

Tetris is an iconic puzzle game that has captivated players for decades. Originally released in 1985 by Alexey Pajitnov, the game challenges you to fit differently shaped blocks, called tetriminos, into a rectangular playing field. By rotating and maneuvering these falling pieces, you aim to complete horizontal lines, which then disappear and earn you points.

While Tetris has had an enduring appeal for nearly 40 years it has also always had one major drawback - it has had no maps. Now thanks to Darren Weins we can now finally play a game of Tetris superimposed on top of a map of New Jersey.

To rotate the shapes just use the arrow keys on your keyboard. You can also make the Tetris game-board 
bigger or smaller by zooming in and out on the map.


Mappy Races

During my wildly misspent childhood I was a huge fan of Whittaker's horse racing arcade games. The Whittaker brothers were pioneers of the British arcade scene. For decades their iconic horse racing machines introduced small children to the delights of a life-long gambling addiction. 

The Whittaker mechanical horse racing machines involved a number of small model horses racing over a short distance. Before the beginning of each race players could insert money into the machine to bet on individual horses.

My Mappy Races horse race simulation was largely inspired by the Whittaker horse racing arcade games.  It is a very simple horse race simulator which uses Leafletjs to animate two colored map markers racing around the course of the Epsom Derby. The player starts with a purse of $100. The player can bet any amount on either the blue or red horse. When a race begins the two horse map markers follow the track of the Epsom Derby, traveling at random speeds. At the end of a race if you bet on the winning horse then the purse is increased by the amount you bet. Lose and the money is taken from your purse.

Driving Simulator on Google Maps

Out Run was one of the great arcade driving games of the 1980's. Now we can't offer you an online version of Out Run but we can point you towards the fantastic Driving Simulator on Google Maps.

This driving simulator allows you to drive a car (or bus) around on top of a Google Map. We have to warn you that Driving Simulator on Google Maps is a fairly simplistic driving game. The game does not have any crash detection physics. You can therefore drive through buildings and on top of rivers and oceans. 

I find the fun of this driving simulator comes from desperately trying to stick to the roads and in driving around the maps of famous cities (especially in the satellite mode).

OSM Map Asteroids

Readers of a certain age may remember the Atari video game Asteroids. Asteroids was one of the most successfully computer games of the 1980's, the golden age of the arcade. The object of Asteroids was to control a spaceship while avoiding and destroying asteroids. If (and inevitably when) an asteroid managed to hit your ship you lost a life. 

Asteroids is of course a classic game which deserves a permanent place in the arcade Hall of Fame. However how much better would Asteroids be if you could shoot maps rather than asteroids? Well now you can find out with OSM Map Asteroids.

Sliding Puzzle Map

Sliding image games, also known as 15-puzzles or tile puzzles, are classic brain teasers with very simple rules. The objective of each game is to rearrange the scrambled tiles to form the complete unmixed-up image by sliding tiles into the one empty space on the puzzle. Only one tile at a time can be moved into the vacant spot. Only tiles adjacent to the empty space can move.

Darren Wein's Sliding Puzzle Map allows you to play a sliding image game using the map of any location in the world. To create a game you just need to click on the location that you wish to play. A sliding puzzle map will then be automatically created using the map of that location. Press the 'New Game' button and the map tiles will be mixed-up. All you have to do is slide the map tiles back into the correct order.

Under Maintenance

The following section of the Classic Map Arcade is currently Under Maintenance. At the moment Map Breakout and Geo Guns both appear to be out of order. Hopefully they will be fixed in the near future.

Map Breakout

The classic Breakout arcade game, first released in 1976, is probably one of the most addictive computer games ever created. In fact all that was missing from the original Breakout game was a map. That has now been rectified with the release of Map Breakout. 

The purpose of the original Breakout game was to destroy rows of colored bricks by deflecting a ball with a player controlled paddle. In Map Breakout the rows of colored bricks have been replaced with a map of the world. Your objective in the game is to keep the ball in play using your paddle and knock out as many countries as you can. Use the 'a' and 'd' keys on your keyboard to move the paddle left and right. I can't find a 'start' button so I've just been refreshing the page to start a new game.

Geo Guns

Geo Guns is an impressive tank fighting game that takes full advantage of Google Maps' 45°(Bird's Eye) satellite view. 

With Geo Guns you can engage in a tank battle anywhere on Earth. You can choose from a number of pre-set battlefield locations for your tank fight or simply enter a location into the map. After you have selected your location the four tanks in your army are displayed at the bottom of a Google Map. The enemy tanks attack in waves from the top of the screen. 

To defeat the enemy tanks select one of your own tanks from the map and click on the tank that you wish to attack, or click anywhere on the map to move to that location.

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