I was going to have this news as a part of the Newsbytes for the weekend but so much is accumulating for that post as I research that I decided it is better to separate these items into their own post.
Free Play Retro Arcade opens In Richardson, TX – This brief video covers a new retro arcade that has opened in Texas just yesterday. By the name of Free Play, they have 60 games to start off with, many of which you can check out in this quick video posted by the Dallas Morning News. Since it is a Retro focused arcade, they have many classics including Asteroids, Burgertime, Galaga, Joust, Mario Bros, Ms. Pac-Man, Robotron 2084, Rolling Thunder, Space Invaders, Tempest and many more. For a little more information, you can visit the business’s Facebook page here. Go and check them out if you are nearby!
UPDATE: Bit Bar Opened Earlier In 2015 in Killeen,TX – Thanks to Anna for the tip on this, it came in shortly after I published the post so I might as well add this location to the news. Also in Texas is the Bit Bar, which opened in July earlier this year. By the name you know they have drinks on tap but they also have a selection of arcade games, which from their website appears to cover 25 games at this time including: Alien Vs. Predator, Andro Dunos, Area 51, Captain America & The Avengers, Crossed Swords, Demolish Fist, Final Fight, Galaxian, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Giga Wing, House of the Dead 1, Lucky & Wild, Metal Slug, Mortal Kombat II, Ms. Pac-Man, Off Road Challenge, Samurai Shodown, SF Rush The Rock, The Simpsons, Street Fighter II, Tekken 3, Terminator 2, World Heroes and X-Men Vs. Street Fighter. You can visit their Facebook page here (where they have a stronger focus on visiting with their lady bartenders moreso than I’ve seen other bar/arcades do) or their main website here. They also apparently show Mystery Science Theater 3000 every Monday, which is certainly different 😉
Retro Arcade Museum Opens at the Indiana State Museum – Arcades and universities have long had a cozy relationship. That has existed ever since Galaxy Game (the very first coin-op video game, before Computer Space and Pong) was installed at Standford University in 1971. In recent years the news has been mixed on certain game rooms being able to survive on campuses but for the Indiana State Museum, they have decided to take a page from the current model used by most retro arcades out there, using an entry fee with games on free play instead of pay-per-credit. As this news coverage shows, their museum has a nice variety of games (and unfortunately some MAME stuff which they should technically be avoiding) but among the legit cabinets they have: a new Killer Queen; Gauntlet Legends, Gyruss, Hang-On, Operation Wolf, Paperboy, Pole Position II, Popeye, Q*Bert, Roadblasters, Silver Strike 2009, Star Trek Voyager, Star Wars Trilogy Arcade, Tekken 3, Track & Field and more. If you are near that campus go and check them out…and hopefully those MAME cabs will go before too long since that still isn’t legit for them to use in a commercial setting.
Ikuri Arcade Open In Tampere Ikurin Finland – Here is one I missed until now as it has only been promoted in Finland but better late than never. Having opened in January 2015, the Ikuri Arcade is more pinball hall than arcade, offering a nice variety of tables to play including: Buck Rogers, Centaur, Flash Gordon, Frontier, Indiana Jones (Williams), Ironman, the Lord of the Rings, Paragon, Playboy, Road Show, Spiderman, Star Trek (Stern), Star Wars Episode I, Twilight Zone, Whitewater and more. I don’t see much traffic from Finland so I doubt my suggesting you go there will do much but just in case…check them out if you ever find yourself in Ikuri! [Ikuri Arcade Webpage]