Sundance was the little arcade game that couldn't. Cinematronics produced this title in 1979. It was an interesting game, but there was a big problem. You see they contracted with a cheap vendor to make the 23" monochrome X-Y monitors. That vendor used a defective carbon coating inside the picture tubes. After a short amount of time the coating would begin to flake off, and the monitor would self destruct. These games were typically plugged in by their new owners, who were greeted with an instant light show as electricity arced around in the picture tube and burned it out. Most of these games didn't even survive long enough to take in a single quarter.

A few of them lived a bit longer, but the bad X-Y monitor eventually took all of them out. By the early 1990s the game had already become nothing more than a legend. Just a tale that people talked about. Few people had ever actually seen a working copy of this game back in 1979, and there certainly weren't any around almost 20 years later.

The game

The object in Sundance was to catch little suns that bounced back and forth between a pair of grids, which move closer and closer together as the game goes on. The controls consisted of a matrix of 9 pushbuttons, along with a 10th button which could make the little sun explode.

Cabinet Information

Sundance came in the same basic cabinet as the more common Rip Off and Tailgunner. It featured flame themed sideart, and also had flames on the monitor bezel and around the coin door. The monitor bezel was orange, in order to give the game a bit of color. Most of these cabinets were instantly scrapped, as game conversions weren't real big in 1979, and a cabinet with a bad monitor isn't very good for a conversion anyhow.

The Rebirth of Sundance

A few very dedicated vector collectors managed to track down a working boardset for this game in 1997. Soon after a few empty Sundance cabinets surfaced. Since then it appears that around 3 of these machines have been pieced together in total. Which puts this game in the ranking for the title of "Rarest arcade game ever." But it isn't even close, as there are many games that simply do not seem to exist at all anymore (Sprint 8 for example).

MAME supports this title partially. You can watch the attract mode, but you can't play it. So until they fix that, there is simply no way for you to play this game.