The 1980s was a boom time for video games. Every mall had an arcade, and 25 cents bought you a few minutes of challenging gameplay. The bigger the challenge, the sooner your money was gone. A whole roll of quarters (or more) might disappear into the slot in an afternoon.
Fast forward a few years. The Atari 2600 game console brought simple versions of those arcade games into the home. They weren’t as pretty, but they didn’t cost 25 cents to play. Soon after that, home computers like the Commodore 64 and the Amiga brought better graphics and more options for game developers. What followed was a flood of amateur video games. Many were terrible, but some became classics.
Hundreds of these early video games are now available to play on Antstream Arcade, a free game platform you can download for Windows, Mac, Android, and Linux. Antstream has familiar arcade classics like Pac-Mac and Space Invaders, plus home computer favourites like Boulder Dash, Pit Stop, and Impossible Mission. It’s like a time capsule of 80s home computer gaming.
While writing this review, I spent a few happy hours replaying Jumpman, Gauntlet and Dig Dug. I forgot how fun and how difficult some of those early games were.
All the games are free to play if you’re willing to put up with some advertising. If you like what you see, you can pay an annual fee to get rid of the ads.
Some greeting cards have little chips inside that play music or recorded messages. Most of these cards are mildly funny or slightly annoying, but they’re usually forgotten soon after the card is opened.
Joker Greetings makes unforgettable versions of these cards. The little audio clip plays once, then plays again. Then again. Then again. It won’t stop until the battery dies.
The Mother’s Day card says “Mom! Mom! Mom!” over and over. For baby showers, there’s a crying baby that never sleeps. If you’ve ever said, “I can’t thank you enough” – well, now you can. There’s even a version that lets you record your own personal greeting, which will start playing when the card opens and repeat over and over.
If your victim is sufficiently annoyed, they might try to remove the sound chip. Good news for you: when they rip open the card, there’s a handful of glitter that will go everywhere.
Joker Greetings prank cards sell for about $12 each.