An epiphany about the early Data East games

So I’ve had a bit of an epiphany on the late 80s Data East releases like Torpedo Alley and Secret Service. While these games took a fair bit from what Williams was doing at the time and didn’t have the best build quality (they had to say their flippers can break walnuts, how impressive), I’ve gotta say that it really wasn’t a bad start for them. Secret Service has some nice flow with the orbits and the ramp, Torpedo Alley has this weird flipper up the middle that actually works rather well, Monday Night Football has the center ramp that’s fun to make and the game properly balances… there’s honestly a lot to like here and I feel that if the build quality was better, the games wouldn’t be so negatively received. I’m not saying I’d prefer them over the newer games, heck no, but they aren’t as bad as they’re made out to be in my opinion.

Also, David Thiel killed it on sound design for these games. The first time I played Laser War was an experience.


These games are great games. Not sure who’s badmouthing them, but when they come up in tournaments, I look forward to playing them.

1 Like

They’ve been badmouthed for a while from some sources. The new code’s done wonders for a lot of these games.

blessed are the programmers who redo the code on old machines, or at least fix the problems


The playfield layout of Torpedo Alley is like no other in pinball…pure awesomeness! Has great flow and rules too. Such a blast to play!