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International Arcade Museum® — Killer List of Videogames®

Computer Space Computer Space - Japanese Logo - Katakana / Kanji

Computer Space - Cabinet - Video Game Marquee


This is the first ever arcade video game. The game is a basic space-war type game where single players control a rocket ship and face off against two flying saucers or, in the two-player version, players battle each other.

Computer Space was produced by Nutting Associates in 1971.

Nutting Associates released 14 machines in our database under this trade name, starting in 1968. Nutting Associates was based in United States.

Other machines made by Nutting Associates during the time period Computer Space was produced include: Astro Computer, Computer Quiz, Computer Space Ball, Psychic, Paddle Derby, Missile Radar, and Table Tennis


Name Computer Space
Developer Nutting Associates (United States)
Year 1971
Type Videogame
KLOV/MOG # 7381
Class Wide Release
Genre Space
Conversion Class unique
# Simultaneous Players 1
# Maximum Players 1
Game Play Single
Control Panel Layout Single Player
  • Buttons: Rotational (left, right)
  • Buttons: 2 - Fire MissileThrust
Sound Amplified Mono (one channel)
Cabinet Styles
  • Upright/Standard
Instructions Computer Space Instructions Image
Control Panel Computer Space Control Panel Image
PCB Computer Space PCB Image

Game Introduction

The game takes place in outer space. The player controls a rocket ship. The enemies in the game are a pair of flying saucers.

Game Play

The rocket ship controlled by the player can be manuevered through space using rotational buttons and a thrust button. The fire button is used to make the rocket ship fire missiles.

When the two enemy flying saucers attack, they will fire missiles at the rocket ship. The player must have the rocket ship fire missiles at the flying saucers to destroy them.

The object of the game is for the player to have the rocket ship to destroy the flying saucers more times than the flying saucers can destroy the rocket ship, the player must also try to have the rocket ship outscore the flying saucers in order to get extended play in hyperspace. If the player attains hyperspace the playfield will turn from black to white and feature a vision of daylight in outer space. The game will end if the flying saucers outscore the player's rocket ship and time has expired.

Computer Space KLOV/IAM 5 Point User Score: 3.23 (5 votes)

Fun Factor: 3.45

Overall Like 3.40
Fun (Social) 2.40
Fun (Solo) 3.00
Collector Desire 4.80

Technical Rating: 3.00

Gameplay 2.80
Graphics 3.60
Originality 3.40
Sound/Music 2.20

Personal Impressions and Technical Impressions each account for half of the total score. Within the Personal Impressions category, Like carries a little more weight than the other factors.

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More pictures


This was the first arcade video game. Its creator, Nolan Bushnell, set forth the basic design that all dedicated arcade games would follow. A board or set of boards to run that particular game not a multipurpose computer, a display, controls, coin acceptor and separate power supply. The coinbox in this game was a paint-thinner can.

According to one estimate, 1500 of the twoplayer cabinets were released.

A yellow Computer Space cabinet can be seen in the 1975 movie, Jaws, during the arcade beach scene approximately 40 minutes from the beginning.

Computer Space also appears in the 1973 movie, Soylent Green, starring Charlton Heston. It appears briefly on screen being played by a woman while policeman Heston is visiting the apartments owner.

A yellow Computer Space game can be seen several times in the music video Brimful of Asha by the band Corner Shop.

Cabinet Information

This game is housed in a fiberglass cabinet. Most of them had metal-flake paint jobs of varying colors. The one-player and two-player cabinets differ slightly. The one-players control panel is offset, and the cabinet molded along a sweep to accompany it. The player controls are all buttons. The twoplayer cabinet has a Chevron shaped control panel, a vague V shape to the lower front of it, and uses both joysticks and buttons for the player controls. Both machines have a single coinslot in the control panel. In April 2007, we were able to find and obtain the only white Computer Space machine ever made. It was a prototype taken to a tradeshow back in 1971 to demonstrate the first created coin-operated videogame, and is the oldest coin-operated videogame known to exist.


WWW httpwww.emuunlim.comdoteatersplay1sta1.htm

In the two-player version of this game, one player controls a rocket ship and the other player controls a flying saucer. Also, in that version, one player tries to outscore the other player.

VAPS Arcade/Coin-Op Computer Space Census

There are 14,743 members of the Video Arcade Preservation Society / Vintage Arcade Preservation Society, 9,468 whom participate in our arcade census project of games owned, wanted, or for sale. Census data currently includes 164,437 machines (6,893 unique titles).

Very Common - There are 84 known instances of this machine owned by Computer Space collectors who are active members. Of these, 82 of them are original dedicated machines. 2 of them are only circuit boards which a collector could put into a generic case if desired.

For Sale - There are 7 active VAPS members with a Computer Space machines for sale.

Wanted - Popular - There are 24 active VAPS members currently looking for Computer Space.

This game ranks a 24 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census ownership records.

This game ranks a 40 on a scale out of 100 (100 = most often seen, 1=least common) in popularity based on census want list records.

Rarity and Popularity independently are not necessarily indications of value. [More Information]



Foto-Finder® (Books)

  1. The Encyclopedia of Arcade Video Games Kurtz (ISBN 0764319256) Page: 5-7; Color photo Price guide: No
  2. Arcade Fever Sellers (ISBN 0762409371) Page: 14; Color photo

eBay Listings

Click to search eBay for Computer Space Videogame machines and related items.

Click to search eBay for Nutting Associates for machines and parts.

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Ebay Compatible Application

Computer Space Video Arcade Machine Post Card Original Nutting Item

Auction ends in: 3 weeks, 5 days


Nutting Computer Space Arcade Original Power Supply

Auction ends in: 3 days, 23 hours


RARE NOS Computer Space Video Arcade Game Nutting Coin Return Cup Tray

Auction ends in: 2 weeks, 1 day


Nutting Associates Computer Space - Promotional Postcard NOSĀ 

Auction ends in: 1 week, 4 days



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