The Game: It’s the ultimate, cataclysmic battle between good and evil – expressed as a variation on the basic theme of Phoenix! Hellish green flying demons try to formation-dive your well-armed, devil-fryin’ vehicle at the bottom of the screen. Each time you knock one of this gargoylesque beasties out of the sky, they drop a piece of a bridge you must drag over to the appropriate spot on the screen. When you’re close to completing the bridge, the Prince of Darkness sends in some heavier artillery – a spooky floating demon head who spits fire at your cannon – to do away with you. Once you’ve toasted the flying meanies out of the sky and cross the bridge, it’s time to do battle with Satan himself, though he starts out looking a little bit like that cute little mascot you see on cans of deviled ham. (Bally/Midway, 1981)
Memories: While it presents some interesting variations – bridge-building while shooting? – Satan’s Hollow really had little to distinguish it from the other dozens of Space Invaders variants which had been appearing in arcades for three years at this point.
The graphics were prettier (though, in my opinion, not that pretty), there was music instead of abstract sound effects…but that doesn’t affect the game-playing experience much for me. One wonders if Bally/Midway was hoping to sell the game on the pre-requisite controversy that they expected to appear around a game involving the devil – controversy which ultimately failed to really materialize.
However, given that I only ever saw one Satan’s Hollow coin-op in my arcade gaming heyday, when I frequented several arcades, the thought of controversy may indeed have killed this one off – by putting off arcade operators on the thought of anything which would further the already somewhat shady view of arcades held by parents and community leaders.