American Laser Games

Last updated
American Laser Games
Industry Video games
FateBought out by Her Interactive
Headquarters Albuquerque, New Mexico
Key people
Robert Grebe (Founder)

American Laser Games was a company based in Albuquerque, New Mexico that created numerous light gun laserdisc video games featuring live action full motion video. The company was founded in the late 1980s by Robert Grebe, who had originally created a system to train police officers under the company name ICAT (Institute for Combat Arms and Tactics) and later adapted the technology for arcade games. Its first hit game was Mad Dog McCree , a light gun shooter set in the American Old West. By mid-1995 they were recognized as the leading company in the medium of laserdisc-based arcade games. [1] Almost all arcade games released by the company were light gun shooters and a number of them also had an Old West theme.


Later, the company turned toward compact disc technology to release its games. Ports of its arcade titles were released for the Sega CD, CD-i and DOS computers equipped with CD-ROM drives. The company was particularly supportive of the 3DO, not only releasing versions of its games for the console, but also offering a modified version of the 3DO platform as an upgrade kit for existing arcade video game cabinets, supporting compressed video versions of their games at a lower cost. In 1995, American Laser Games released Mazer for the 3DO home market and Orbatak (3DO-powered) for the arcade - their first and only in-house non-Full motion video based games. The company also released a series of light-gun controllers, including the 3DO Game Gun and the PC Gamegun, for home computer use. The latter proved unsuccessful due to its poor accuracy.

American Laser Games lasted until the mid-to-late 1990s, by which time it had begun making "games for girls" for the PC under the moniker Her Interactive, beginning with McKenzie & Co. [2] In response to a major slump in the arcade industry, American Laser Games ended its direct manufacturing of coin-op machines in November 1995, [3] and turned its focus to developing games for the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation. [4] This failed to revive the company's fortunes, and revenues in 1996 were roughly half of the $16 million it generated in 1995. [5] At the end of 1996 ALG laid off a third of its staff, Jan Claesson replaced Grebe as president, and the company began focusing primarily on the Her Interactive line, cancelling all the games in their mainstream line except for Shining Sword. [5] The company eventually closed its doors and was bought out by Her Interactive, which had been spun off before ALG closing and is still making games as of January 2018. In 2000, the development and publishing rights to all of the games that were produced by American Laser Games were purchased by Digital Leisure, Inc from Her Interactive. Many of these games were then re-released for the PC and in DVD TV game format.


Light gun arcade games

Other games

See also

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<i>Mad Dog McCree</i> 1990 video game

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<i>Crime Patrol</i> (video game) 1993 live-action video game

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<i>The Last Bounty Hunter</i> 2003 video game

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<i>Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold</i> 2003 video game

Mad Dog II: The Lost Gold is a live-action laserdisc video game produced by American Laser Games, released for the arcade, Sega CD, 3DO, CD-i and DOS, the first release being in 1992; the quality of the video is the lowest on Sega CD. A sequel to the moderately popular Mad Dog McCree, the game abandoned the rather simple style of the original, introducing elements that can be considered "Hollywood", including dynamic shootout scenes and in-game music, as opposed to the original's almost complete lack thereof. Like the first game, the player follows the storyline and is required to quickly shoot certain enemies to proceed on the quest. The game was re-released by Digital Leisure in 2003 on DVD-Video and again in 2009 on the Wii as part of the Mad Dog McCree Gunslinger Pack, a compilation that also includes the first Mad Dog game as well as The Last Bounty Hunter.

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Who Shot Johnny Rock? is a live-action full motion video laserdisc video game produced by American Laser Games and released in the arcade in 1991, as well as for MS-DOS, Sega CD, 3DO and CD-i in or around 1994. As part of a series of similar-styled games released by the company, Who Shot Johnny Rock? introduces a different setting than most of the others, while maintaining almost identical gameplay. The game was re-released by Digital Leisure around 2003 with updated video and sound, in addition to several bonus options.

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Orbatak is a video game developed and published by American Laser Games for the arcade. A 3DO Interactive Multiplayer version was announced but never released.


  1. "Draw, Pardner!". Next Generation . No. 10. Imagine Media. October 1995. p. 27.
  2. "CD-ROM games for girls." Guardian. New Straits Times. June 1, 1995.
  3. Webb, Marcus (February 1996). "Arcadia". Next Generation . No. 14. Imagine Media. p. 29.
  4. "Taito, ALG Exit Arcades". GamePro . No. 90. IDG. March 1996. p. 17.
  5. 1 2 "More Layoffs for Video Game Companies". GamePro . No. 100. IDG. January 1997. p. 33.
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  9. "NG Alphas: Shining Sword". Next Generation . No. 20. Imagine Media. August 1996. pp. 78–79.
  10. "Shining Sword (ARCHIVED)". American Laser Games. Archived from the original on October 29, 1996. Retrieved 28 April 2016.