If you find yourself in or near London or Nottingham and you are looking for something to do, here is some news that might help with those plans, we have a couple of new locations to discuss!
Novelty Automation (London) – The name of this location might sound like some sort of industrial engineering firm but what awaits visitors upon the grand opening on Feb. 11th is going to be a one-of-a-kind coin-op experience. We have mentioned the work of Tim Hunkin before, he specializes in creating electromechanical arcade machines and he has featured them at his Under The Pier Show seaside arcade pictured above. According to Tim:
Novelty Automation is a mix of humour and engineering. It’s a new home for my arcade machines, with some guest machines made by kindred spirits. I’d run out of space in my Under The Pier Show seaside arcade and felt it was time for a new adventure.
I started my seaside arcade ‘The Under The Pier Show’ in 2001 with a missionary zeal to ‘re-invent’ amusement arcades. Arcades used to be at the forefront of technology, but have been in decline since the early 1990s when arcade games could no longer compete with home computer games. Although my arcade has thrived, I now realise it could never help other arcades. My machines are too expensive to build and the themes are probably too odd. ‘Novelty Automation’ is a bit different. Its part of a tradition of one-off London entertainments and irreverent humour.
Finding a location quite like this would be a challenge, thanks to the hand-made effort that has gone into each unique machine. While I normally like to post partial rosters of games the location would have that people would recognize, you likely won’t recognize many here: Money Laundering, Microbreak, Alien Probe, Divorce, Pet Or Meat, Test Your Nerve, My Nuke, The Chiropodist and a few others. I certainly think it would be cool to have one of these kinds of machines in a typical video arcade but it is a difficult item to offer here in the US where the expectation would be for it to vend tickets(which really misses the point but that is what customers are used to here). I wish Mr. Hunkin the best of luck in the business and if you are near the location, check it out!
Here is the My Nuke game he will have available, which should give you an idea of what to expect:
National Videogame Arcade (Nottingham) – [Thanks to Jeff Grover for the tip] Once I had a co-worker who said he was suspended for lying in grade school for telling his teacher he had visited Sherwood Forest in the UK. It is also not a lie that the city of Nottingham is a real place and while they will forever be associated with the legends of Robin Hood, the city is gaining an attraction in March that should raise their profile through arcade legends instead. Called the National Videogame Arcade, they are working with “Nottingham Trent University and the Science Museum” to provide 5 floors (33,000 sq. ft. total) of arcade and other gaming goodness. Granted, a lot of the “12,000 objects” they will have available to play will include game console items but it will include video arcades to play as well. That would be too large of a list to share but I imagine that when complete they will have something comparable to FunSpot or Galloping Ghost Arcade here in the US, both of which have over 400 games on the game floor. Likewise we wish them the best of luck in the endeavor as maintaining that many games is a real challenge in itself. [National Videogame Arcade Website] [Engadget story]