HiScore 2011: UK Classic Arcade Game Tournament

Arcade_BarnThis past weekend (19-20th March, 2011) saw the happening of an amazingly fun weekend in deepest, darkest Exeter: a coming-together of around forty enthusiastic gamers, willing to see who was best at various classic arcade games. This happening had a name: HISCORE!

Located in a couple of breezeblock-based units, in a business centre/warehouse, on a massive industrial estate, is a wonderful place called the Arcade Barn, which is the home to around 40 classic arcade cabinets - with new ones arriving and older ones breaking down all the time, the place really is like stepping back in time, only without the clouds of cigarette smoke and with more friendly people. This is the venue that played host to HISCORE 2011, organized by Mat Corne, based on his enjoyment of the USA's own Funspot tournament.

It was all simple enough: everyone plays on ten pre-selected games, as many times as they want, and tries to get the highest score possible. This was to be verified by a witness, and recorded into the database, with everyone's totals tallied up into the main leaderboard bit. The overall player with the highest score would be the proud recipient of £100 - lovely! The local news got a bit carried away with the story, with the Exeter Express & Echo excitedly claiming that the nation's "top gamers" would be coming together. The reality was more like 40 people who were up for a good time, albeit a slightly more competitive good time than usual. And what a good time that was!

The ten games in the tournament were as follows:

Crazy Kong:

Dig Dug:

Juno First:


Mr. Do!:



Road Runner:

Track & Field:


Arcade_Barn_4As the scores become available online, this article will be updated with the individual top-scores for each game, but the undisputed winner of the entire tournament (as well as one hundred of your lovely British pounds) was Manchester's Steven Kielty, who finished on top in most of the games, and is some sort of intergalactic video-gaming monster - his Pac-Man skills have to be seen to be believed, so being the UK arcade champion is an award well-deserved! Your own correspondent here managed to finish in 28th place (oh my!), but still had fun. He achieved high scores on Joust, Time Pilot and Trog, none of which were in the tournament. Ah well!

Other highlights of the weekend - besides the obvious social aspect of it all - included mini-tournaments on Carnival and Pengo, with prizes of £15 for the highest scorer on each machine, plus the setting of a new world record on Bubble Bobble, achieved by Somerset's Olly Cotton. Again, the specifics will be added later, but Olly's score was somewhere in the region of... SIX MILLION! Goodness gracious!

So overall, an amazingly fun weekend for everyone involved, and this opportunity is being taken once more to thank Mat Corne and the owners of the Arcade Barn, Shaun and Aran, for all their hard work over the weekend. And it's all happening again next year, so here's hoping we'll be seeing you all there. More pictures now:



The high scores have now been uploaded to the HISCORE website. Go to this page here: HISCORE: The Results

From here you can click on the name of each competitor to see how they fared in each game, as well as finding out a bit about each one of them - their favourite arcade game, their biggest "Claim to Gaming Fame" - perhaps deducing from these choices the reasons for each gamer doing so well/badly.

Last Updated ( 28 March 2011 )  


(Link to this comment) Speedle 2011-03-24 09:07
Awesome stuff! Would have been all over the Outrun cab myself! Love that game :)

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