Welcome to Location Watch, a series of posts that focus on brand new arcade businesses that have opened their doors recently. We cover them from any part of the world, splitting the news up between different world regions. Growth in this regard seems steady but given what I’ve seen from my business this summer, I hope that it’s been good for everyone, including the newcomers to the scene (this has been the slowest start to a summer I’ve seen in years, excepting 2020). We’re also seeing more openings for this Watch in Europe than in the US, so it seems that some of the electrical issues that were slamming ops last year might have subsided.
Find the last Location Watch here; Big thanks to everyone who sends in links about these as well as stories from Replay Magazine and InterGame Online. If you have a new venue that recently opened that we haven’t covered before, please let us know!
Quasars (Corpus Christi, TX)
Gamers looking for some classic arcade gaming in Southern Texas can rest easy now that Quasars Arcade has completed their move and opened a new location. Some of those games include Area 51/Maximum Force, Blitz ’99, CarnEvil, Gauntlet Dark Legacy, Guitar Hero Arcade, Mario Kart Arcade GP, Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Time Crisis 3, and plenty more. Find them online here.
Point Break Arcade (Panama City, FL)
Also in retroish arcades with the free play model, but over in Florida is the newly opened Point Break Arcade. They are in the heart of the city, “just half a block from city hall,” and have two floors, although from a recent post on their Facebook page, that floor is mostly sparse at the moment. They also aren’t strictly classic games, finding a mix of old and new including one of Konami’s Bishi Bashi games, Centipede, Crazy Taxi, Donkey Kong 3, Initial D3, Jubeat, KLAX, Step ManiaX (one of the few newer titles), Time Crisis 3, Turtles In Time and several pinball machines (007, Deadpool, Ghost Busters, The Mandalorian, The Simpsons Pinball Party, Total Nuclear Annihilation, etc).
Past Times Arcade (Girard, OH)
I’d seen Retro Ralph mention this place recently, an impressive venue that opened with a whopping 600 games. With that many titles I won’t bother listing some out but if you’re looking for some world class retro gaming and can’t make the trip to Galloping Ghost, this is the place to be. They use the free play model and for now, don’t charge any extra to play the pinball machines (some venues with this business model do so, due to higher maintenance costs). They are also closed Mon-Wed, so that is something to keep in mind if you are planning to visit. Find their website here and check out the guide video below:
West Seattle Arcade (Seattle, WA)
I caught word of this arcade right after publishing, so throwing it in quick. They have a mix of video games and redemption, with some Japanese candy cabs spiced in there along with an Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade DX. Find them on Facebook.
Realms Arcade (Boise, ID)
When I saw the words “all ages” and “family friendly” for this new bar/arcade, I was assuming that there might be some restrictions on hours or something but in looking over their website, I can’t find any – or if the arcade area is sectioned off from the bar or something. I still wouldn’t assume that they’d be serving alcohol to those underage, it’s just that most bar/arcades tend to have some posted stipulations about that. Anyways, their game selection looks somewhat like the Point Blank Arcade above, where they have classics (Area 51, Asteroids, Berzerk, Defender, Joust, Mortal Kombat II, Ms. Pac-Man, Point Blank 2, Smash TV, etc), pinball (Aliens, Dracula, Lord of the Rings, Revenge From Mars, Star Trek, many others), but also feature some newer Japanese titles (Chunithm, Groove Coaster, Sound Voltex, etc). They also have a bunch of console games available, including the Dreamcast, PS2, GameCube, Switch and more. There’s also this news article that gets into more detail about the venue, if you are interested.
Level One Arcade Bar (Mesa, AZ)
Replay Magazine mentions that this is location #2 for this arcade bar company, the first being found in downtown Gilbert, AZ. Their selection is heavy on pinball and the classics, as you can read about here. The rarest game from that list is Sega’s M.V.P., which I’ve never seen in-person and never played; I also don’t recall seeing it listed at another arcade (although I wouldn’t be surprised if Galloping Ghost has one).
Level Up Pinball Bar @ Wild Axe Throwing (Beavercreek, OH)
Replay also reports that an axe throwing business recently decided to elevate their offerings (you could say, level up, harhar) with the addition of a pinball section. There are 23 pins to play, including the rare Aliens, and 12 arcade games, which includes an Ice Cold Beer (not sure if it’s the Taito original or the new remake). Find their website, here.
FEC Openings & Updates
Galloping Ghost Arcade Expands – This had been mentioned on a previous Newsbytes but reposting in case you had missed it.
Family Entertainment Group Adds Three More Texas Locations To Their Portfolio – The company has taken over the existing arcade rooms in this situation, looking to expand the entertainment options with “state-of-the-art” games and a redemption desk.
Chuck E. Cheeses Celebrates 200th Remodeled Location – In case you didn’t know, CEC is the largest arcade chain in the world, with several times more locations than Dave & Busters and Round1USA combined
New Chuck E. Cheeses For Union, NJ – Jdevy also found a video walk-around of this location. Surprisingly, the video side of things is a little more grown-up than you might expect from a CEC these days (they have 2x Halo cabs, 4x Nitro Trucks, a Transformers HA, etc.).
Peter Piper Pizzeria Opens In Kansas City – While these appear to be focusing more on food than games, they still have the latter.
Dave & Busters Expanding Into India & Australia – India in particular has been exploding with new locations so this is an interesting move on their part.
Top Golf Coming To West Des Moines – They don’t have an arcade, although it wouldn’t hurt for them to grab a Golden Tee at least
Flipper- und Arcademuseum (Seligenstadt, Germany)
The last time I posted a Location Watch, I was contacted by someone from this venue, where they stated that they have “around 250 Pinball and Arcade machines on two Floors.” That large selection includes video games from the West as well as Japan, although I cannot find a list of titles. One stipulation is that they are only open “once a month, every first Saturday in the month” – by how I understand it, laws involving arcades in Germany tend to be quite restrictive but it might be easier to do it this way and as a museum. Visit their website here.
Game Night (Kerpin, Germany)
Since we’re talking about Germany, here’s another new one called Game Night. Located outside of Cologne, they are an FEC with a wide variety of new games, they even have some pinball machines. Some of their new video titles include Hot Wheels: King of the Road, Pump It Up, Space Invaders Frenzy, Storm Racer G, Storm Rider 2, Wicked Tuna and more. Visit their website here.
We’ve got two locations that have the same or a very similar name here but are in different parts of Europe and are not operated by the same company (as far as I can tell). These would also be different from High Scores Arcade that is located in California (and is soon opening another location).
3 Spots For NQ64 (Shoreditch, Bristol & Manchester, UK)
One company that continues to grow by leaps and bounds is NQ64 over in the UK. Since our last location watch they’ll have opened three new spots (the Manchester location will open on Aug. 1st), expanding the bar/arcade scene there with their unique art style and setup. Here’s a tweet about the Bristol location(although it was mentioned last time); Our friend Toby Nanakhorn recently visited the site in Shoreditch, calling it “huge.” Here’s one of his pics from that location:
High Score (Poole, Bournemouth, UK)
First we’ll cover this one that just opened their 5th location in the UK. This is a free play, reservation-only venue with over 80 games. The reservation nature of it does mean that you have to book online in advance, although the FAQ mentions that you can show up, book, and if they have capacity, you can get in. Some of the games include a modded version of Deadstorm Pirates, Guitar Hero Arcade, Jet Blaster, Mission: Impossible Arcade SDX, Skill Shooter, 4x Speed Driver 5, World’s Largest Pac-Man and plenty more. Visit them here.
High Score (KIJKDUIN, The Hague, The Netherlands)
Technically this one isn’t open yet but it’s close enough (opening in August) that I’ll put in here. I’m not sure what the exact game mix will be but they state on their site that it will have around 150 games. Looking at their other location, it’s all new stuff with video games, videmption, redemption and sports – a typical FEC mix. I’m just not sure how typical this kind of location is in The Netherlands. Visit their website here.
Game State #13 (Bratislava, Slovakia)
Slovakia is not a country that pops up on the Location Watch radar very often (I think this is the first time I’ve ever mentioned them), and for the thirteenth location for Game State, it’s also the chain’s first location for the country. The selection is typical of what Game State offers (new stuff although the games aren’t packed into the spaces), along with keeping the look the same. The announcement can be found on LinkedIn.
We’ll start off with some locations opening in Japan. There is a new GiGO location in Shibuya, Japan and as noted below, GENDA has expanded operations into China too. Meanwhile Namco is opening a Kid-Friendly/Family Arcade in Hamakita and the Game Panic chain has opened a location in Osu, Nagoya.
Also note that there has been a tradeshow announced for Japan called Amusement Expo – same as our Amusement Expo but not by the same organization – but from what I’m hearing, it’s receiving very little support from the big manufacturers there.
Heading further West to India, MastiZone continues their expansion there, while also re-branding (they removed two of the i’s in their name) while another TimeZone has also just opened their doors there at the Plutone Mall in Odisha. TimeZone has also opened venues in the Philippines, including one called SM Aura and one at the Festival Mall.
Glitch (Dubai, UAE)
A little further to the West from India is a new indoor theme park that has opened in Dubai, featuring a bunch of large and medium-scale attractions – and an arcade. This reel shows a quick selection of the amusements there but there isn’t too much shown for the arcade. Find their main website, here.
New Venues In China
Separating these out as I can’t comment too much on a place when I’m not even sure what the venue is called. These are all very heavy on cranes:
Are one of these locations near you? Then be sure to go out and visit them! Doors can’t stay open on the basis of likes and hastags.
Bandai Namco Cross Store Opening In Camden, UK In August – It does have an arcade, reportedly focused on Western titles instead of Japanese ones.