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. I know I’m cutting it razor thin on the September watch, but hey, it’s still September where I’m at!
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!
Burgercade (Riverhead, NY)
The American portion of this LW is heavy on the food+gaming options, food often being one of the strongest components an arcade can add to the mix. With this place, I’m surprised I haven’t heard of one called Burgercade before, but now it’s real. In addition to their fast food-style burgers and Philly cheesesteaks, they also have arcade games like High Speed pinball, Killer Instinct, Mortal Kombat, Super Mario Bros., The Simpsons, X-Men and more. Check them out on Facebook.
Starcade (St. Paul, MN)
There are/have been multiple locations out there to use the name “Starcade,” and I don’t know how many might use it, but this particular location just moved into a new spot. Providing “over 150 machines,” all of which appear to be retro games, it makes for what they also call the “largest classic arcade collection in Minnesota.” Spreading that goodness across two floors, that’s far too many for me to list out but they do have several rarities which might catch your eye (at least they catch mine), including: an Atari/Namco TX-1 (only one I’ve ever seen on location), Bally’s Mystic Marathon & Off The Wall, Gottlieb’s Reactor, Namco’s Prop Cycle, Sega’s Flicky & Mister Viking, Taito’s Air Inferno, and plenty more. They also have some pins and a bunch of candy cabs. Check them out online, here.
Last Level Bar & Games (Fenton, MI)
This is one I missed with the last Location Watch, a bar/arcade that opened in Fenton with around 30 games, not including board and card games. Some of those titles include Aliens Extermination, Big Buck Safari, Guitar Hero Arcade, House of the Dead 4, Killer Queen Arcade, Pac-Man Battle Royale DX, and more; Most are on free play, but they also have a few games they are charging for, such as Pac-Man BR, Killer Queen, their pinball machines, and their prize/crane machines. Find them online, here.
I Scream Arcade (Breckenridge, CO)
A gelato shop has upgraded their entertainment experience by adding an arcade to their second floor, called the I Scream Arcade. Housing a mix of new video and redemption titles, the video you can expect to find on site includes Big Buck Hunter Reloaded, King Kong of Skull Island, Jurassic Park Arcade, Mario Kart Arcade GPDX, Super Bikes 3, The Walking Dead, and Wicked Tuna. It looks like they have some space to add some additional titles down the road; Visit their website here.
Levels Arcade (Morgantown, WV)
West Virginia continues to see growth from the arcade side, the latest being this bar/arcade in Morgantown. The games they have are newer, which includes Asphalt 9 Legends Arcade DX, Halo: Fireteam Raven Assault model, Minecraft Dungeons Arcade, VR Agent and they have at least three pinball machines: Foo Fighters, Godzilla, and Jurassic Park. Find them on Facebook here.
Timeline Arcade (Hanover, PA)
This is a reopening as opposed to a grand first-time opening, with the company renovating one part of the location to look like a classic Time Out arcade. From the pic below, it should ping right in the nostalgia neurons – in case you ever had the chance to visit one of those back-in-the-day. I’m not 100% sure how many games this exact location has, as the description from their website implies 300+ between the two, but from their Facebook page, you can see it’s heavy on the retro and the pinball, but they also have brand new or newer games spiced throughout. Here’s a story that explains more about the closure & reopening.
Reset Arcade Bar ATX (Austin, TX)
This isn’t the only arcade bar I’ve seen that goes by this name but it is a new one in Austin that just opened this summer. They have a wall with a mix of retro and new games, such as NBA Jam and Turtles In Time snuggled in between Guitar Hero Arcade, Galaga Assault, World’s Largest Pac-Man, and more. You can find them on Facebook.
Kirby’s Flipside (Wichita, KS)
A small pinball parlor has opened up in Wichita, run by a collector who is cycling games through the 600 sq. ft. space. It looks bigger than that from the photo below, but if you’re in the area and into pinball (both old and new), it looks like a cool spot to hit up. The main website is here.
Speaking of pinball but over in South Carolina, there’s this venue which is quite a bit larger than Kirby’s above. They have around 50 pins, both old and new, from a Gottlieb made back in 1949 to the latest Stern and Spooky Pinball tables. I don’t see any Jersey Jack or American tables on their current list but perhaps they’ll have them in the future. They also have several video games around, a few from the ’80s and a few from the ’90s. Visit their website here.
Partea #2 (Union Square, NY)
A second location has opened for this bubble tea & fried chicken shop, although best I can tell, this looks just like those recent Chinese arcades that only or mostly feature crane machines. From what I’ve read though, this has a connection with Taiwan, bringing a style of arcade popular there to the States. Visit the location website here.
FEC Openings & Updates
In case you were wondering whether or not the FEC space is “strong,” here are FEC openings that have taken place over the past few months:
FEG Group Joins Forces With PrimeTime Amusements – To be clear, PrimeTime is still operating the same way that they always have with their sales, this just affects their many locations/operations across Florida (such as I-Drive NASCAR, the world’s largest McDonalds on I-Drive, Universal hotel arcades, etc.)
Also A Location In Mirage, CA [Video]
New Bowlero Location Opens At Valley Fair Mall In San Jose, CA [Video] – This has always thrown me off as my arcade in Utah is located at a place that is also called the Valley Fair Mall (well, they’re now “Valley Fair Shopping Center” to try and distinguish themselves)
Cape Square Entertainment opens In Rio Grande, NJ – Mentions a 3,000 sq. ft. arcade
Funfair Opens In Florence, AL – They have a few Chinese arcade machines I’ve not seen before
While not a new location, Seattle striking down a fee for amusement devices is good progress towards opening up the possibility of more arcades in the city.
This is more of a Newsbytes thing, but Triotech has launched a large roller coaster/dark ride at Lagoon in Utah. I was at Lagoon just a few weeks ago and it wasn’t open yet, so I’ll have to wait to check it out, but I didn’t realize at the time this was being done by Triotech. I’m also not sure if this is the largest interactive coaster they’ve created? I’ll ask when at IAAPA…
After a flurry of openings across Europe `earlier this year, I’ve come only one for this LW. That said, IAAPA Expo Europe was a smashing success, breaking the attendance record for that particular show.
Bandai Namco Cross Store (Camden, UK)
An official Bandai Namco store has opened in in London and that means if you’re a fan of the Bandai toy side of things, you have a place to grab some cool merchandise, including stuff for the One Piece card game (given the success that One Piece is currently experiencing on Netflix, I’m sure that’s spilling over). That said, it’s also in this post as it has an arcade. It’s nothing extraordinary from what I’ve been hearing (reactions to it are “mixed”) but perhaps BN has bigger plans for that section of the store down the road. Seems like it would be a good place to at least have one Taiko No Tatsujin. There’s this video below and this story in case you’d like to dive into this more; BNA also has been asking for feedback on the arcade.
Fife Street Working Mens Club Closes – While I generally don’t like discussing closures in a post about openings, this is noteworthy in that the location had been around for 91 years, and it recently boasted the largest collection of publicly playable pinball machines in the whole country. This unfortunately shows that pinball isn’t a guaranteed way to save a bar, despite what hype you might read online. I don’t say that to be rude or arrogant as some have accused me of being, but to be realistic with how you attract people to your business. I’ve tried to convey in various videos the reasons why I think pinball struggles but one of those factors that plays into earnings is also the region/local culture. Simply “place a machine and they will come” isn’t sound advice unless you’re in an area that already has a sustainable base of pinball players who will go and support it. :/
Funland (Rosh Ha’Ayin & Haifa, Israel)
Funland Israel has continued their expansion, opening a location in Rosh Ha’Ayin this past July and another in Haifa this past August. Per Gamefun29 on the AH Discord, this is the same company that opened in the city of Karmi’el earlier this year. He also mentions that some of the games on-site include “Overtake DX, Speed Rider 3, Pump It Up, and more” for the Rosh Ha’Avin location, but you can see it all thanks to the video he took there. I’m not sure what can be found in the Haifa venue:
TimeZone Blows Up In The Philippines – TimeZone has been extremely busy as they opened up multiple locations in the Philippines: There’s one at the Festival Mall in Alabang; One called the SM Aura (not sure where that is); Then they revamped their original Philippines location in Cebu.
Amazone Opens In Indonesia – Not sure of the precise location, looks like a mall
Cow Play Cow Moo (Vietnam) – UPDATE: Liam proffered a correction here, asI thought it was just another weird sounding collection of English words but this chain is named as a play on the sound of words “Kao Beh Kao Bu,” which means someone who makes a lot of noise.
Game Apina (Tomiya City, Aeon Mall) – If you give it a brief glance it appears to only have cranes/prizes, but dig a little and you’ll find the video titles, including a bit of Bemani.
GiGO Opens Their Rokumaru Gate Ikebukuro location – Looks like a flagship venue with gaming across four floors – no, not all of it is cranes. Granted, 269 of their titles are cranes, but they also have “118 interactive music games [and] 72 large video card games” 🙂 More details in Japanese can be found here.
GiGO Shinjo Also Opens – Not quite as large as the one right above, but it also sounds like it has a good variety of games to enjoy
Updates for Joypolis
The company posted a couple of videos to YouTube, here’s the longer one:
Openings In India
Clicktra Opens In Central India – Located at the Phoenix Citadel Mall, this is a “selfie theme park” that also includes a VR arcade. They also have a “silent disco,” which is another new one I hadn’t heard of before.
Masti Zone (Shalimar Mall at Hambagh, Lucknow)
Puno Advance (Puno)
Openings in China
Unfortunately I can’t delve too much into detail here as the links provide all I can gather about the locations. I find most of these on LinkedIn and they are all very heavy on cranes & prizes
City Password (Guangzhou) – Yes, that is really their name
HARUZONE – While it’s heavily frontloaded with prize machines, there are some proper video arcades in the back
Cool Play Space (Dongying) – Very bright venue that has a nice selection of drivers
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.
Malys (Conway, AR) Opening in October although last I saw their outside design, I thought it was a department store, not an arcade. Perhaps that’ll have been enhanced by the time they open?
Canteen Golf & Billiards Opening In Clinton Township, MI On Veteran’s Day – Not sure if it will have an arcade though