June Location Watch #2: More New Arcades Open in GA, TX, AZ, MA, OK, The UK and NZ

arcadehero June 25, 2021 1

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Welcome to part 2 of our June Location Watch. If you missed Part #1, click here. This was broken up as there were so many locations opening their doors for the first time that it was better to stretch it out so that all locations could better get some attention. This one also heavy on international locations, particularly in the UK.

Once again, H/T to both Intergame Online and Replay Magazine for covering these, as that’s where I found most of them

High Score Arcades #2 (Southampton, UK)

Let’s start with the second location for High Score Arcades, an entry fee/free play location with a mix of old and new titles in one space, landing in at 60 total games to enjoy. The location-specific games list features: 2Spicy, Asteroids, Cruis’n Blast, Dariusburst Another Chronicle, Dig Dug, H2Overdrive, In The Groove 3, Manic Panic Ghosts, NERF Arcade (with a projection screen, I believe), Sega Rally 3, Space Invaders, Star Wars Battle Pod, and plenty more. That also includes some pinball machines – something that I’m seeing pop up more in UK locations.

Location #3 will be opening soon in Farnborough, so stay tuned for that. Their main website is here.

Arcade Hub (Hull, UK)

For another free play location, head over to Hull, where you’ll find “over 25 arcade machines & 4 pinball machines” available to play after you cover the admission fee. Those titles include Defender, Demolition Man pinball, Frogger, Galaxian, Kangaroo, Juno First, Killer Instinct 2, Lethal Enforcers, Mr. Do, Ms. Pac-Man, OutRun, Q*Bert, Space Invaders, Star Trek (Data East), Super Mario Bros., Virtua Racing, and more. Find their website here.

Arcade Hub - Hull

The Carousel (Lincoln, UK)

This new bar/arcade features two levels of food, drinks & fun, offering an extensive arcade with games placed throughout the facility. They also have some traditional games like shuffleboard and darts. For the arcade, some of the titles they have are Dance Dance Revolution A, Daytona Championship USA, Mario & Sonic at the 2020 Olympic Games Arcade, Time Crisis 3, and several arcade sports games. Find their website here.

Blue Ghost Arcade (Woodstock, GA)

This new retrocade bar in Georgia has been open for about two weeks, and has around 40 games available to play, along with several console setups to expand further on gaming fun. For the arcades, they have a selection that goes from the 70s to the 00s, such as Asteroids Deluxe, Big Buck Hunter Pro, Centipede, Dig Dug, Donkey Kong, Galaga, House of the Dead 2, Mortal Kombat 2, Pole Position, Rampart (2p), TRON, X-Men (4p) & more. They also have four pinball machines at present. Find their main website here.

Blue Ghost Arcade, Woodstock, GA

Play2Win (New Plymouth, NZ)

We don’t hear about arcades in New Zealand very often, but they do exist, and now one more is added to the mix with this FEC that opened in New Plymouth. There aren’t many photos of the arcade space, but a few of the games I noticed: Maximum Tune (3? 4?), Overtake DX, Super Bikes 3, Space Invaders Frenzy, and plenty more to round out around 40 machines. They also have an extensive redemption selection, putting a strong focus on winning prizes through eTickets. Their official website can be found here.

Airtastic #5 (Newtownabbey, NIR)

The fifth location for a trampoline park/FEC has opened in Northern Ireland, the company taking over a 50,000 sq. ft. space that used to belong to Toys R Us. There isn’t a list of games or photos that I’m sure are just for this location, but the arcade space looks like what you would expect to find in a modern redemption-focused arcade (mostly redemption with some non-ticket video games). Find their main website here.

Eightytwo #2 (Houston, TX)

Some years ago, before I was doing these regular Location Watch posts, we reported on the opening of a bar/arcade in Los Angeles called Eightytwo. Fast-forward to today, and they have made it through the pandemic, opening a second location in Houston, TX. Their line-up consists of classics from the 80s & 90s, featuring titles like Altered Beast, Area 51, Burgertime, CarnEvil, Donkey Kong, Double Dragon, Frogger, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Medieval Madness pinball, Metal Slug 3, Ms. Pac-Man, Sopranos pinball, Smash TV, Tempest, The Walking Dead pinball, Tron: Legacy pinball, Turtles In Time, Virtua Cop 2 and plenty more. Find the Houston location here.

FatCats #9 (Queen Creek, AZ)

I’m familiar with FatCats, as they are headquartered here in Utah – I’ve also been to their South Salt Lake venue a few times (which is where I first saw Ice Man before it was even announced that the game was released). They are closer to your traditional bowling alley/FEC than a place like Dave & Busters, although this newest location has a movie theater as a part of it, which is a little bit of a surprise (I haven’t heard of any new theaters opening post-pandemic, although I don’t really track that news). Either way, their expansion into Arizona sure drew a crowd. I’m not sure of the game mix on this one since it’s an FEC and they rarely offer such lists, but it would be all modern with a mix of video and redemption pieces if judged by what I’ve seen at their other locations. This particular location has a Facebook page here.

Level 99 (Natick, MA)

This one is not an arcade, so I almost skipped it, but it is interesting in that it’s kind of doing what Two-Bit Circus does, in creating their own arcade-style “challenges” that people can play all throughout the 48,000 sq. ft. facility. Perhaps they’ll add some arcade machines into a room at some point…

Freeplay Bar/Arcade #2 (Worchester, MA)

I kept this one off of the last post as it said it would be open by the end of June, but we’re only four/five days out now and there’s no announcement that I can find as of yet. It could be one of those last minutes deals but doesn’t hurt to highlight them here. There isn’t a list for this location on their website as of when I write this, but the Providence location has plenty of classics from the 80s & 90s, both in video games and pinball (surprisingly, most of the pins are older too – most places like this will jump on newer pins, which tend to be more available). I imagine that the list will be similar in nature for this new location – hopefully, they’re open this next week and it won’t be a mystery anymore! The main website is here.

Round1USA – Oklahoma City, OK

It looks like Round1USA is back into opening locations – I wasn’t sure when they would start up again, as they were opening places at a steady pace before the pandemic brakes put a stop to that. Since there’s no games list to check out, you can safely assume that it will be similar to other R1USA locations, with a modern mix of video games (including a variety of titles that you would normally only find in Japan), crane machines, redemption, and other attractions.

Last but not least, H/T to Arcade Belgium for sharing this video tour of arcades in Akihabara, filmed last month:

That’s all for now – if you find yourself near any of these locations (or know someone who does), then show them your support by giving them a visit and doing more than just looking around saying how cool they are – buy tokens or cards and have some fun!

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