It’s time to get everyone up to speed on the latest arcade & amusement locations to have opened their doors out there. If you are involved with a location that opened recently or is opening very soon (in the next few weeks), then please let us know so that we can include the facility in our next locations post!
Before we begin, there’s news of another FEC chain expanding as Punch Bowl Social plans on adding 11 more locations to the existing 17 sites they have, by the end of 2020.
The Game Preserve #2 (Webster [Houston], TX)
Let’s start with something…big. Opening their second location in the state, this one boasts 11,000 sq. ft. of gaming space, definitely making it a “Texas sized” kind of place. As it is “down the road” from NASA there, they are also calling this the NASA location. In addition to a ton of quality artwork & murals, live music, alien spaceship DJ booth, food (and letting you bring your own food in), they have a massive video arcade and pinball space to play in. If I was to try and list most of the games they have, this post would go on for too long, so here’s a low quality video that gives you ten minutes of walking around the space and showing many of the games. Suffice it to say, it’s got to have at least 100 games, probably more. Not sure that they are close to Galloping Ghost yet, but they’ve got plenty of space to expand:
The Game Show (Lombard, IL)
If you hit up the Yorktown Mall in Lombard, then you’ll find a fresh arcade there by the name of The Game Show. Using the now-standard Free Play entry pass that classic/retro arcades love, they have two tiers, one of which covers pinball. I haven’t seen that model used with too many pinball-centric places, as pinball tends to have higher costs with the maintenance (and locations are far more willing to buy brand new, $6000-$10,000 pinball machines, while they tend to hold to a principle that they can’t buy anything newer than 199x). So having a second, more expensive tier for the pins makes sense; they also have newer pins at $1 a play. I also say that, and there’s another location below that also is doing the FP model and has a lot of pinball 😛
For The Game Show, they have 40 games on-site, including: Arch Rivals; Bride of Pinbot pin; Cruis’n World; Hydro Thunder; Joust; Ms. Pac-Man; Pengo; Ranger Mission; Ring King; SF Rush 2049 SE; X-Men (4p); Zombie Raid and more. For the pins that do not require an entry fee and are just $1 a play: Star Wars (Stern); Batman (Stern); Guardians of the Galaxy; Deadpool; The Munsters & Black Knight: Sword of Rage. They’ve got a website here or visit them on Facebook.
Laffy Happy Arcade (Karnack, TX)
This one was sent our way by someone involved at the location after our last locations post. Karnack is a rural town, which means that you often don’t have a lot of out-of-home entertainment options to go for. They have a strong focus on food (particularly pizza), but have space for coin-operated games. Browsing their Facebook page, I don’t see any indications of them having video games, but if you like redemption & Skee-ball, they’ve got you covered.
The Pinball Arcade Museum (St. Petersburg, FL)
[Via Replay Magazine] This location is making the most out of 2,000 sq. ft., with a solid focus on classic video as much as they are highlighting pinball. Opening their doors on August 1st, they are also following the Free Play model of a classic/retro arcade business, although they don’t have the separate area or charges for that like The Game Show does above. Either way, The Pinball Arcade Musuem will feature a total of 60 machines to play, including: Cyclone pin; Dig Dug; Dirty Harry pin; Donkey Kong & Donkey Kong Jr.; Gilligan’s Island pin; Moon Patrol; NFL Blitz; South Park pin; Space Invaders; Stargate (video); The Addams Family pin Tri-Sports; World Cup Soccer pin; Xybots and more. They seem to have landed some nice local media attention so far, and the best place to follow them at the moment is on Facebook.
Round 1 USA Update:
Now open at the Southland Mall in Hayward, CA; more pics at this tweet.
Sega Opens Their Fifth Store in Akihabara. This one is deviating from the standard pattern (that I know about), in that it has a space dedicated to “retro games” as well as American ones. In one of the photos, it shows some pinball machines, some of Sega’s games that are a few years old now (Rambo and Transformers 1), as well as some Sega competitor games Cruis’n Blast, Pac-Man Battle Royale and some others.
As always, we wish these locations the best of luck in their business, but also if you find yourself anywhere near one of these venues, be sure to do more than glance or say hi, support them with your dollars!