Welcome to Insert Coin! A loving look at the arcade classics of the past. Oversized stands, greased up light-gun peripherals and a bag full of tokens pretty much defined arcade gaming for many of us. But few games managed to be as magnificently terrible yet addictive as Mad Dog McCree. So you just going to stand there all day whistlin’ Dixie, or are you going to slap leather and fill your hand with some iron?
Light-gun games weren’t anything new by the time that Mad Dog McCree rolled around. Duck Hunt had players wishing death on that damn sniggering dog and Hogan’s Alley had players brushing up on their marksmanship. But few games had ever committed themselves to creating a scenario for razzle-dazzle shooting, as effectively as Mad Dog McCree. And that’s because the game was a rarity: It was a full on interactive western movie that you were taking part in.
Naturally far too tech-heavy for the cartridge-based home consoles of the time, Mad Dog McCree used a revolutionary new technology instead. Laser-Discs. Back then, laser-discs were about the size of a dinner plate and ten times heavier, but the only medium around that could successfully store full-motion video that could react to your actions in the game.
And with a proper budget, actors and story, Mad Dog McCree looked convincing and ahead of its time. It was also a bigger pile of crap than the Jonah Hex movie.
Mad Dog McCree didn’t always work the way it was supposed to. Maybe you were able to fill your hand pretty quick, but nailing that all important kill-shot may not have registered with the game, resulting in a quick death for you and wasted coins. The game was notoriously glitchy and prone to temperamental gameplay sessions where the gun refused to register shots or shooting your foot resulted in an instant kill. None of this matterered of course, because Mad Dog McCree was a novelty game that drew in crowds a’plenty.
It was the closest that any western fan had ever gotten towards living the high-life of a high noon shooter, outside of dysentery that was caught from a camping trip. And with a massive arcade stand and a TV that could flatten a building if it ever fell down, Mad Dog McCree was a legend that just about everybody had to try at least once in their lifetime.
Last Updated: June 2, 2015