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Boxing Bugs was an old vector arcade game released by Cinematronics way back in 1981. This particular title was designed and programmed by Jack Ritter. It had a rather low production run, and was never very popular.

Boxing Bugs is a game that would probably be completely forgotten if it wasn't for the vector obsession that many arcade collectors are afflicted with. This is the kind of game that no one actually thinks is good, but for some reason people will still pay $100 for a nameplate for it on eBay, simply because it is "rare".

The game

This is kind of like a reverse of Star Castle. You control a cannon inside an enclosure in the center of the screen. You have to blast the baddies to keep them out of your little area. You can either shoot them, or hit them with your boxing glove. You control all the action with a spinner, and a few pushbuttons.

My personal opinion of this game is that it is more fun than playing Pong by yourself (Pong is two player only), but less fun than playing Pac-Man on a machine with a dead monitor. In other words, this title wasn't very good.

The Machine

Boxing Bugs ran on expanded version of the basic Cinematronics hardware platform. It added a ROM board and a color conversion board which allowed a color game to run on the otherwise monochrome Cinematronics vector platform. It used a Wells Gardner color X-Y monitor, and shipped in a rather unremarkable yellow cabinet that had plain "Cinematronics" sideart painted on. The cabinet was similar to the one used for Speed Freak, but not exactly the same.

The control panel featured an optical spinner with three action buttons on either side of it.

Where to play?

You are probably going to have to resort to the emulators to play this title. There are not a lot of working copies of this game floating around, and chances are slim that your local arcade will have one. But you can play this game using either MAME, CINEMU, or Retrocade. Technically you are supposed to actually own the the games that you play in emulators. But I won't tell anyone if you decide to play it in an emulator. The emulated version of this game currently does not have working sound, but it is otherwise working.

Don't waste your hard earned money on a real Boxing Bugs machine. Leave this one to the hardcore vector collectors. It is simply too expensive to purchase for the limited gameplay it offers. If you do stumble upon one cheap, then be aware that this game uses an very uncommon X-Y monitor that will be difficult to repair if it goes out.

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