Arcade / Rock-Ola 1982

Nibbler is a classic arcade game developed and manufactured by Rock-Ola in 1982. It is a maze chase game where players control a snake-like creature known as Nibbler, with the objective of navigating through mazes while consuming various objects to grow longer and score points. The game features increasingly challenging levels with faster gameplay as players progress.

Rock-Ola, a prominent arcade game manufacturer during the golden age of arcade gaming, released Nibbler in 1982 to capitalize on the growing popularity of maze chase games. Inspired by the success of games like Pac-Man and Snake, Nibbler offered its own unique twist on the genre with its mechanic of continuous growth and progressively difficult levels. The game was designed by programmers Joe Ulowetz and John Jaugilas.

Upon its release, Nibbler garnered favorable reviews from both players and critics alike for its addictive gameplay and challenging mechanics. Its colorful graphics and catchy sound effects contributed to its appeal, earning it a dedicated fan base within the arcade gaming community.

Nibbler itself did not have direct sequels or spin-offs, but it shared similarities with other maze chase games of its era such as Pac-Man and Snake. However, Nibbler did see various ports to home computer systems and later compilations of classic arcade games, keeping its legacy alive among retro gaming enthusiasts.

As with many arcade games from the early 1980s, Nibbler is considered relatively rare today. While exact production numbers are not readily available, it is believed that a modest number of cabinets were produced. Due to its rarity and nostalgic value, well-maintained Nibbler cabinets can fetch high prices in the collector’s market, with values varying depending on factors such as condition and originality.

The hardware of Nibbler consists of typical components found in arcade cabinets of its era. Below is a list of some of its relevant parts for possible repairs:

Monitor: CRT monitor (e.g., Wells Gardner K4900 series)
CPU: Z80 microprocessor
Memory: ROM and RAM chips
Control Panel: Joystick and buttons
Power Supply: Standard arcade power supply unit
Cabinet: Wooden cabinet with artwork and decals
Sound System: Amplifier and speakers
Wiring Harness: Connections for power, controls, and monitor
For repairs and maintenance, enthusiasts may need to source replacement parts from specialized vendors or salvage components from other arcade machines of similar vintage. Regular upkeep is essential to preserve the functionality and authenticity of Nibbler cabinets for future generations of players to enjoy.

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