|H. A. A. G. 2017 expo|
|Location||Houston, Texas, U. S. A.|
|Dates||October 20-21, 2017|
|Vectrex role||Two Vectrexes were present at the show.|
The Houston Area Arcade Group, or H. A. A. G., is an annual gaming expo based in Houston, Texas, U. S. A. and was founded by Keith Christensen. Its first show was on May 25th, 2002 at the local Fitzgerald’s music club. 52 arcade and pinball games were slated to appear, all set on free play (after an attendant paid an admission fee), along with a Tron and a pinball contest were also held. People could also buy, sell and/or trade games, along with tips at a gaming clinic were held.
The show has since grown to having up to (or over) 200 standalone arcade and pinball games, along with guest speakers brought in for lectures, more contests/door prizes were included, an extra day was added to the shows, miscellaneous entertainment machines have since been brought in (such as slot machines), music videos, concerts and movie screenings were ran, many vendors have also been added along the years and kickoff parties have been held elsewhere before an expo.
This expo was held on October 20 - 21 at the 290 Crowne Plaza hotel in Houston. The majority of games at the show included many arcade coin-ops (several dozen) from the 1980s, such as Commando, Pengo, Monaco GP, Robotron: 2084, Blasteroids, Ms. Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, Rally-X and many more. There were also various MAME, PlayChoice cabinets and Retropies (having several games each, if not several dozen).
Several dozen pinball games were included in the batch, ranging from tables from the 1970s (Nip-It, Flash, Future Spa), 1980s (Joust tabletop and Baby Pac-Man, a pinball/video game hybrid), 1990s (Deadly Weapon, Doctor Who) the 2000s (AC/DC, Lexy Lightspeed and Heads-Up) to a virtual pinball tabletop (Pinball FX, which ran several hundred tables, many being emulated versions of real pinball machines [such as Kiss] to original tables [such as El Dorado, although not the same as the El Dorado pinball machine from the 1970s]).
Many home consoles/games were also brought in, which included the Sega Genesis, Atari 2600, Atari Jaguar, SNES and PlayStation, among others. Computer systems were also in attendance, which included several Atari home computers, the Commodore 64 and Apple II.
Along with many games/consoles/computers was a pinball tournment, workshops (covering arcade repair and pinball restoration) and many speakers, which included game historian Patrick Scott Patterson and video game designer Brian F. Colin (of arcade Rampage), among many others.
There were also many vendors at the show, which ranged from selling pinball machines to various merchandise, along with many raffles with door prizes awarded and the local band Consortium of Genius played a concert.
There were also two Vectrex display stations at the expo on this weekend, being from Re:Play Games and Starship Films (see Gallery).
Re:Play Games is a local Houston video game store. One of their many tables had a Vectrex, complete with a Vectrexians Vectrex Wrap, a VecMulti filled with games, several overlays and Vector Pilot, Clean Sweep, Armor Attack, Rip Off, Scramble, Star Hawk, Berzerk (two copies) and Spike games available to play.
The other table at the expo that included a Vectrex was from Starship Films. Although used mostly for promoting his movie releases (such as Conjoined) with promotional posters and the like, filmmaker/writer/director Joe Grisaffi also had one of his personal Vectrexes on display running the homebrew game based on his movie of the same name of Dead of Knight.
(vector arcade cousins)Edit
- Many arcade games that would be cloned for the Vectrex were at the expo, which included Missile Command (cloned as the Patriots games for the console), Mad Planets (Mad Planetoid Test Wk from Vectopia), Asteroids (Rockaroids series), Centipede (Vectrepede from Spike Hoppin'), Defender (Protector LE/Protector/Y*A*S*I), Frogger (V-Frogger, Karl Quappe), Galaxian (Vectrexians), Gravitar (Gravitrex Plus), Moon Patrol (Vector Patrol), Star Wars (Star Fire Spirits off Vecmania), Tempest (Tsunami from Tsunami/VIX), Joust (Joust Evolution) and Pac-Man (Clean Sweep).
- The arcade original of Scramble (ported to the Vectrex) was also at the show. The arcade game Berzerk was also slated to appear as well but ended up not making it to the expo.
- An Omega Race arcade cab was also present, which had several vector arcade games running, which included Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back and Star Castle, among others.
- A Vectrex also appeared at the 2011 expo with a Sean Kelly Multicart, along with one or more possibly appearing at several other shows over the years (currently unconfirmed).
This article was featured from July - August, 2019.