Wizard of Wor prototype: "Invisible Monsters"

Hailing frequencies open… Forums Phosphor Dot Fossils Arcade Gaming Wizard of Wor prototype: "Invisible Monsters"

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    Does what it says on the tin, I suppose. [LINK]

    Not long ago, a Craigslist ad for a strange arcade title called Invisible Monsters popped up on Craigslist in the Chicago area. The buyer who managed to grab it, Troy F., sent us these pictures and also stated what history he was able to find out about it: “The seller’s father was a dentist in Chicago. One day, this guy came in for dental work and couldn’t pay the normal way…but he had some arcades to trade. That’s how it came to be in the sellers family.”

    It seems plausible that this person who traded arcades for dental work is one of the game’s creators, or just someone who worked at Bally/Midway who ended up with the game. Back in the early days of arcade gaming, no one really thought about these games being valuable down the road, especially for a game that would end up being improved and mass-produced.

    As for the game itself: “The play of the game is basic and there is no speech. It appears to be a never before seen Mini Cabaret Cabinet. The marquee and cpo say “Invisible Monsters” with Bally midway copyright underneath dated 1980. There are no serial numbers on the cabinet. The ROMs say I.M. in hand written ink. Someone else noticed the unusual cut out where the cpo (control panel overlay) is. This was a two player game…the normal Pacman Cabaret cab didn’t work….so they cut away the sides on the cabinet so 2 people could stand side by side. This is unique to this game only I believe.”

    As it is, this is the only known version of this game in existence. Prior to the Craigslist ad, nothing was known about it, including that WoW was originally called Invisible Monsters. Troy is trying to get a hold of Mr. McHugh to get more details about this prototype but so far he has proven very difficult to get a hold of. I’m sure it would be interesting to find out more as to how the concept came about and how it evolved into what Invisible Monsters would become.

    Steve W
    Steve W
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    I love that creepy alien artwork on the marquee. And the gameplay looks like it’s pretty good, more linear mazes to the released version (kind of reminded me of playing Wizard of Wor inside a Jawbreaker II level or something). I hope that the current owner will see the wisdom of getting the ROMs backed up and archived so they can be playable for future generations. My ultimate wish would be for a MAME ROM dump, but there’s so many hoarders of unreleased and/or undumped games out there I won’t hold out hope.

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