Author Topic: Where did you play Arcade Games growing up, and where do you play them now?  (Read 229 times)

When I was a kid there was an arcade at our local mall called Tilt, which up until recently I didn't know was a national chain. But my earliest memories of playing arcade games were from there. Particularly when I was about 5 or 6, I remember playing Hard Drivin, STUN Runner, and Street Fighter II. I also remember wanting to play Mortal Kombat, but there was always a bunch of scary teenagers around it and my parents wouldn't let me when they'd take me. Around this same time my dad used to take me to a local sports bar called No Frills Grill that had Super Off Road as well as several pinball machines including Terminator 2 and The Addams Family. As I got older I continued to go to Tilt until around 1997 when Tilt started to have less and less arcade games and they tried turning into a Discovery Zone type place with maybe 10 or so arcade machines. Also at this time they built a Dave and Busters in Denver and I completely fell in love with that place as a kid. Many of my best arcade memories and some of the best birthday parties I ever had or went to were held there. They had an incredible selection of arcade games when I was a kid. They are still there, but sadly they aren't as great as they used to be.


Funny enough there are now way more options for playing arcade games than there was when I was younger, however many of them leave a lot to be desired. The Dave and Busters I mentioned is still there, but most of their machines are either ticket dispensing machines or fairly shallow arcade machines like Fruit Ninja on a big TV. They do have some good games still, but unfortunately they are a shadow of what they used to be in the late 90s and early 2000s. There is also a place called Round 1 that has a bunch of import arcade machines and it's one of my favorites around in terms of both selection and quality of their arcade titles. We have several retro arcades in my area as well, the best is a barcade chain called 1UP. They have pretty much every classic arcade game and pinball machine you can think of between their three locations, one of which is only a couple miles from where I live. There are a few other classic arcades in the area, although I've either never been to them or haven't been in a long time. Sadly one of these is going out of business soon, probably because they decided not to adopt the barcade business model which seems to be a necessity for establishments like this. Other than the places I mentioned I've noticed a lot more bowling allies have started to carry a lot more arcade machines and pinball again which is very much so appreciated.

aliensstudios

I remember as a very little boy going to this place called Nickel-A-Play in Arvada Colorado. I wasn't a gamer back then so I didn't really care too much about the arcade machines and instead opted to play skeeball, air hockey and the basketball game. Of course we also went to Chuck E Cheese and Dave & Busters a lot, and we were at the Westminster Mall which had a great arcade at least twice a week, but the machine I remember the most was a Namco machine in a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant. It was pretty much the Namco Museum compilation in arcade form. Me and my brother beat both the Dig Dug and Pac-Man arrangements on that machine. Other than that I've gone to some arcade and pinball conventions but I've never really gone out of my way to go to an arcade.
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azure

There are 3 specific places I  can remember playing arcade games.

The main place I remember is a local pizza joint within my hometown. My family would always go here as it was close to the video rental store as well. They had a Daytona USA, Cruisin' USA, and a Street Fighter cabinet. I do not remember exactly which one, but given the time frame I assume it was 2 or Third strike. I spent countless quarters here as a kid, good times.

Next up was the movie theater of course, can't remember what it was titled back then, it's been renovated multiple times now. This was in another town over so didn't go here as much, but they had a load of games. House of the Dead, MK, Crazy Taxi, Jurassic Park etc. Most of the time I was more excited for the arcade games before/after the movie, than seeing the actual movie itself.

Last two I will lump together as one. A local grocery store had some kind of SNK multi-cab type deal that I remember playing Metal Slug on a lot while my mother was shopping. The last one was a camp ground that I went to a couple times with my family that had an X-men arcade cabinet in the laundry area. I must have beaten that game a crazy amount of times if I recall correctly.

Most of these places mentioned also had pinball machines as well, but I didn't really care for pinball that much back then. Unfortunately I don't even recall what themes they had either. There are more one-off places I played arcade games at, but they are vague in my mind.

What a trip, thanks for this post! I didn't even realize I remembered this much about my old arcade stomping grounds  :P

Nowadays, the only place I get to play arcade games is conventions and at this awesome local barcade we have. They have a ton of multicabs with all the arcade titles you could want, as well as some authentic ones.


rayne315

When I was growing up I never got to go to any arcades (mainly because none existed around me) so just about the only arcade experience I had was the off hand arcade machine at walmart or the Chuck E Cheese when it existed for only 2-3 years near me.

now a days I have a bar I like to go to called Analogue that has 2 locations less than 10 minutes apart. they have roughly 100+ arcade and pinball machines and is a cool place to hang. Im trying to convince the owner to build another in my more immediate area because its about an hour drive from me.
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Flashback2012

As a younger kid, it was Chuck E. Cheese's and Showbiz Pizza Time. Those places were packed to the gills with arcade machines. I remember being dismayed when Dragon's Lair showed up and it wanted .50¢ a play instead of only a quarter!

In my tween and teen years it was places like Bally's Aladdin's Castle, Putt-Putt Golf, and Malibu Grand Prix. Aladdin's Castle was my favorite and I had two birthday parties there. The Putt-Putt Golf had a decent sized arcade attached to it and the Malibu was a go-kart track that had a HUGE arcade.

Mid to late teens was Tilt in the malls and at the time the grand daddy of arcades was Time Out on the Court. Originally a Sega venture, they sold it off before I started working there but that was during the heyday of the fighting game scene, pinball machines galore, and just about every deluxe arcade cabinet you could think of.

By the early 2000's, almost all of them were gone. The anchor store to the mini mall the Aladdin's Castle was in had closed and that entire building got torn down. It's now a post office. The Putt Putt was torn out forever ago and is now a Kroger parking lot. Malibu held out the longest being a go-kart place first but it's an abandoned lot now. Time Out was gutted and it sat in what is now the deadest of dead malls in the area.

There's a couple of places around the area where you can play arcades. Most of them are barcades which is totally not my thing. In the mall where Time Out used to be is a retro store/arcade.

One other I thought of which I never got to go to, only having walked past it several times was a Sega City they built in this new mall that was actually below a United Artist movie theater. I remember wanting so badly to go in there as it had a ton of neon lights and you could hear the blaring of 90s Sega arcade cabs from the outside. Still to this day that place remains an enigma as all my memories of it are little snapshots of walking past it. Unfortunately it was only there for a couple of years before it was removed, along with the theater and turned into a sporting goods store.

I only went to a few arcades growing up, all of them are closed down now I think. I always hated the fact that people would hog the racing cabinets, and the fact that they cost $.50c for a short race. And when I did get on the racing cabinet I never could really get a chance to enjoy it. I remember the 1990's arcade cabinet and machines were almost everywhere there is a vary few left for us to enjoy today.

If arcades were still around en mass, I would only like them pay money wise if I could pay an admission fee to get into the arcade and play on the machines and cabinets  as much as I want. the same with laser tag games

I did have a chance to play skeeball unlimited chances for free at a place I used to go to though
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 06:52:42 pm by oldgamerz »
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As a kid for a short while there was a small arcade within walking distance of my house, which was pretty great.  Didn't last.  Otherwise there was a local video store that had one of the D&D arcade games and I think another, but they had the D&D one for a long while.  At one point in like the mid 2000's, me and some friends tried to buy it off of them for like 400 bucks lol

There was a Neo Geo multi-cabinet at a laundromat.  Pizza Hut for awhile had one of those Super Nintendo cabinets with like Super Mario World for abit and then had I think was Strikers 1945.  This was all in a pretty small town.

Nowadays it's hit or miss.  Luckily a brand new arcade just opened up close by, filled with classic arcade games and there's a few at the mall that they added.  I've been down to Miami to hit up a great little arcade there and a Dave and Busters that opened up recently, so I can check there for newer stuff.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2019, 08:09:32 pm by kamikazekeeg »

Oh to answer the thread question it was

1: "The Red Barron Arcade Barn" only once with my dad
2: Chucky Cheeses "Birthday party"
3: Cesar Land "Birthday Party"
4: Some "local movie theater many times"
5: Town (local city name) Sportsplex sixth grade field trip
6: Some laser tag joint now closed down and turned into a flea market " at another "Birthday Party"

No arcades now :(
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

Just about every place I could think of use to have arcade games.
Liquor stores, comic book stores, pizza places, donut shops, restaurants, Walmart, bowling alleys...even the pier at the beach.

My friends older brothers/sisters would take us to Chuck E Cheese, River Town, Tilt, Noah’s Arcade, Disneyland Arcade, golf land, Malibu Showboat and Golf n’ Stuff (as seen in the Karate Kid).

Dave and Busters has turned into mainly ticket redemption or interactive machines (driving, shooting etc.). There’s a few indie arcades ~25 miles away, but I haven’t checked them out yet.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 03:22:33 am by betelgeuse »

Just about every place I could think of use to have arcade games.
Liquor stores, comic book stores, pizza places, donut shops, restaurants, Walmart, bowling alleys...even the pier at the beach.

My friends older brothers/sisters would take us to Chuck E Cheese, River Town, Tilt, Noah’s Arcade, Disneyland Arcade, golf land, Malibu Showboat and Golf n’ Stuff (as seen in the Karate Kid).

Dave and Busters has turned into mainly ticket redemption or interactive machines (driving, shooting etc.). There’s a few indie arcades ~25 miles away, but I haven’t checked them out yet.

Walmart today near where I live has a small arcade but rarely any people play in there
(PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY)
Life on earth is only temporary and If you believe in God and do good in life. You can continue to live with any possessions  you desire, in the afterlife, as long as you do good and don't do evil in real life.

ferraroso

I used to play games either at Sun Games or at World Games (preferably at the latter one). These used to be the two major (and rival) arcades in downtown Campinas (my hometown) up to 2008 or so, when both closed. Up to the late 90's they used to have some light gun, shmup, beat 'em up, football and Daytona USA machines, but from the early 2000's onwards, people would go there almost exclusively to play fighting games, mainly The King of Fighters '98 and 2002.
Other than that, it used to be very usual to find fighting game machines (most of them pirated) in almost any dirty watering hole (boteco or botequim) around the city and I would often spend a couple of bucks in one of them in my way home from school or work.

I don't know of any surviving arcades (or pubs where you can play pirated machines) back home, but here in Japan it is pretty common to find an arcade anywhere I go. However, being mostly focused on rythm games, UFO catchers and pachinko-for-kids-like stuff, just don't offer the kind of entertainment that appeals to me anymore...
« Last Edit: May 18, 2019, 08:40:26 pm by ferraroso »

The main place I would play as a kid was at a nearby Aladdin's Castle in the mall.  They had the big Star Wars Trilogy cabinet, so it's not like I needed anything else.  I even had a birthday (maybe even 2?) there.

Dave and Buster's was fine until about 4 or so years ago when they started becoming a token eater rather than a place with actual games on the floor.

There's a local company called Game Galaxy that sells games and doubles as an arcade.  There's one really close by and one about an hour away.  If I ever get the urge for pinball I can always head there.  The owner actually bought my boxed Atari Jaguar last summer.



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mark1982

When I was a kid I mainly went to Fun Factory and Chuck E Cheese to play arcade games. During that time it was games like Rampage, Beast Busters and Spy Hunter that were pretty popular. Then later when I was older Street Fighter II, Samurai Showdown or beat em ups like X-Men were in. Loved going to them with my friends and brother or whenever my mom went grocery shopping, she would give me $2 and I could make that last until she was done. ;D I still have some Chuck E Cheese game tokens till this day, kept them for remembrance, along with some other arcade tokens from other places.

When I was teenager I moved to Asia and I mainly remember the arcades in Shanghai China and they were massive, and when I say massive I mean 2-3 floors of just pure arcade games! This was during the whole Tekken, Virtua Fighter, KOF, MVC, Time Crisis era. I went there a whole bunch after school, mainly playing Capcom fighters, Tekken, and Sega racing games with friends. I use to participate in Tekken 3 tournaments, did pretty good as well, use to win 2nd or 3rd prize. Could never beat the local champion, cool dude gave me pointers all the time and he looked like Iori from KOF... talk about cliche but it is what it is.

Now days there are still plenty of arcades in my area next to movie theaters, but they're mainly full of ticket dispensers or rhythm games. I see a lot of claw catchers or UFO catching machines as well. I haven't stepped in one in years, just pass by once in a while, but they do seem full with teenagers so at least there is still a business for it.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2019, 11:02:25 am by mark1982 »
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stealthrush

Some of the first arcade games I've played were Captain America and The Avengers at Pizza Hut, Galega (table-top) at a local pizza joint. World Heroes, Samurai Shodown, Street Fighter II at my local super market. Plenty of times in the early 90s I would visit Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop and would play a handful of machines. I remember seeing a large cut-out poster of the upcoming Sega CD fighter Brutal: Paws of Fury. 

Great memories of my parents taking me to Grand Prix Race O Rama (Boomers!) in Florida. It was a huge venue of arcade games with kart racing and other attractions. I have fond memories playing; Dig Dug, Virtual-On, Die Hard Arcade, Metal Slug, X-Men Vs Street Fighter, Mega Man Power Battles, Spawn in the Demon hand (lucky to play this one), Pac Man, Bomberman World, Power Stone, Last Bronx, Dead or Alive, Daytona USA, Tech Romancer (lucky to play this one on arcade) Dungeons & Dragons, The Simpsons, Street Fighter EX, The King of Fighters 97, Rival Schools, Gunbird, Street Fighter III, Marvel Super Heroes, Power Instinct, King of Monsters, SVC Chaos (was one of the last times I went before I moved).