The Game: The town square or the local golf course seems like a reasonable place to set up a huge row of dominoes, doesn’t it? Well, your on-screen protagonist sure seems to think so, and your job is to help him set up his dominoes without allowing any of a number of on-screen “enemies” – such as absent-minded shoppers pushing carts, bees, or a bemuscled bonehead – to knock the dominoes over. (Bally/Midway, 1982)
Memories: Another incredibly fun and offbeat coin-op from the gang at Bally/Midway, Domino Man was a whimsical little number which set all of its action to the music of ragtime maestro Scott Joplin. If only for that reason, this was one of the few arcade games that my mother used to get a kick out of (not that she tried it herself, of course – she just kept chuckin’ quarters at me, bless her heart).
Even when it was brand new in the arcades, I thought Midway’s Domino Man was a really cool game for another reason – it struck a victory for scrawny geeks everywhere (such as myself). In one animated intermission (shades of Pac-Man), Domino Man runs up to the bully character, gives him a mighty whack about the midsection with an oversized domino, and the bully’s pants proceed to drop, revealing a goofy pair of boxer shorts. Okay, so maybe this wasn’t the populist call to arms for geekery that Revenge Of The Nerds was, but in that era of games where one was called upon to pull macho stunts like raiding an entire armed installation single-handedly, I thought this was pretty cool stuff.