The first antiwar game?

I recently discovered Drop Zone 4, an old arcade game released in 1975 by Meadows Games. The game’s designer, David Main, was a pacifist and designed a feature for the game that would give the player a free play if they dropped all their bombs without hitting a single ship. When the bombs hit the water, there is a splashing sound effect.

While Drop Zone 4 isn’t exactly an antiwar game (the object, after all, is to blow up ships by skillfully timing bomb drops!) the ‘pacifist Drop Zone 4′ play mode is a design that was purposefully added to the game – long before the unintentional “Pacifist Contra challenges or the Pacifist Contra minigames in Contra 4. However, when Meadow Games found out about the mode, they claimed it was a “special bonus for novice players.” (However, this wasn’t mentioned in copies of the game’s flyer).Guess that makes Ghandi a “novice” too, but when there’s real-life consequences it’s a true test of strength to play that way.

The only other game Main was credited with making was the arcade game 4-in-1 (1976) which was a compilation of four ball-and-paddle games : Flim Flam, Tennis, Flim Flam Hockey, and Knockout, all earlier releases by Meadows Games. Meadows Games didn’t produce any more arcade games after 1978.

What is David Main doing now? He started Mainnovation in 1979 and has done engineering and consulting works since. Check out his homepage for more information.

Screenshots coming soon!


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