Something of a legend in the arcade seen, Atari’s Beavie & Butt-Head was never actually released. There were ROMs of it all over the internet, but a real, physical arcade cabinet was never officially created. At least not for retail arcades.
Leave it to Galloping Ghost Arcade to have one of the only original cabinets in existence. There’s a nice little IGN article talking about the game as well, so you know it’s a big deal, haha!
As for the game itself, it’s a side scrolling beat ’em up: nothing new to the arcade scene. I didn’t know why the game was cancelled, but the above linked IGN article stated a test group didn’t like the gameplay. Playing it myself it was just kind of average… I feel like the game was going for the “Oh cool, it’s Beavis & Butt-Head!” appeal to gamers seeing the cabinet, and playing it without expecting an amazing experience.
The cabinet itself is pretty cool too, with lots of art assets from the show and game. Seeing it then, and even writing about it now, really brings back memories of watching this show on MTV while I was growing up. The crudely drawn characters, frankly kind of creepy animation style, and the absurd humor and violence lend themselves well to a beat ’em up. It’s a shame the game didn’t get the same treatment X-Men and The Simpsons received. Then again, those were Konami games, and Atari didn’t really have any notable beat ’em ups I can think of.
A cool little piece of arcade gaming history worth checking out!
*Played at Galloping Ghost Arcade, Brookfield, IL 2019