The brand new Tilt Classic Arcade and Ale House in South Burlington, VT is a boon for northern nerds during the long winters. It features two floors of games, with pinball upstairs and cabinet games downstairs, as well as locally-sourced food and a large beer list. There are game-related drink specials (like the “Hadouken” with Habanero infused Green Mountain Vodka cut with Rookie’s Ginger Beer), and a “Game of the Week” game meat menu special.
The Asteroids machine was out of order when we arrived, but was quickly repaired and set to free play to compensate for the downtime. Our party of course took advantage of the reset to get our names on the board! There was a good mix of old and new pinball machines (Gorgar, Addams Family and Ripley’s Believe It or Not, as well as AC/DC, Metallica and Lord of the Rings) and lots of classic arcade games such as Centipede, Pac-Man, Galaga and Mortal Kombat 2.
369 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
LA’s Barcade is back, in its third location, right next door to the old one on Western Ave north of Beverly (369 N Western). No longer Miss T’s Barcade, it is now “The Blipsy.” Their opening night party flier says: “This third installment brings closure to all the questions raised from the previous Barcades. Probably the most complete of the trilogy.”
The bar is now one large room instead of three, blue instead of red, and has liquor in addition to beer. There’s no clear signage on the street: follow the pac-man dots to the door.
The Asteroids machine here is still our favorite. For more info, read the original LA Barcade Recon.
This bar/arcade is a block from the Metropolitan Ave G Train in Williamsburg, with a serious emphasis on both bar and arcade. It’s a large space lined with classic games in excellent condition, plus a healthy selection of craft beers on tap. A Barcade High Scores board hangs above the games, and they host special beer and game events (like Wiimbleton) from time to time. There are tables in the back, and drink-rests between the games. It’s a good atmosphere, although sometimes too crowded to pull a quarter from your pocket.
The Asteroids machine is in great shape with a brilliant display, although the buttons are heavier than average and require strong wrists and fingers. Also, the high score table doesn’t reset when the power’s off, so you’d need to break 469,160 to enter your name.
At the time of writing, John McAllister (ELF) tops the house Asteroids chart with 2,222,240 points, set one month before he broke the 28 year-old world record in April, 2010, with a score of 41,838,740.
I stopped by Ms T’s Barcade when visiting LA a few weeks ago, and found that Yelp rumors were true: the place had shut down. This is my favorite place to play Asteroids and the smoothest operating console I’ve touched, and I have to say, a part of me died. But good news — I talked with the guys from Very Be Careful who own the games when they were in New York for the weekend, and the word is that they’re moving next door to join forces with a place with a liquor license. Ricky says they should be open in less than a month.
40755 Village Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 (map)
Super Bear Arcade is a small arcade on the main street of this Southern California mountain resort town. It’s packed with classic games including Frogger, Super Mario Brothers, several forms of Donkey Kong, Tron, and Discs of Tron (sit-down). It also has skeeball with cheap plastic prizes.
Their Asteroids (1979) is set to fast mode, and starts with 4 ships — good for getting a high score quickly, if you’re full of sugar from the ice cream places in town. One drawback is that the screen has a lot of glare from the overhead lights.
[UPDATE] — Super Bear Arcade is CLOSED! See the comment below.
This is a fun place, with a roller coaster on the beach outside, an excellent two-story pirate mini-golf course inside, and a respectable collection of older (not antique) pinball machines.
There are two Asteroids consoles and one Asteroids Deluxe. The Casino Arcade building has a small room with a dozen or so very early arcade games, including several other vector games (Tempest, Battlezone, Star Wars). This is where Asteroids Deluxe lives. This console has a weak monitor, and the image breaks up at the edges.
One 1979 Asteroids game is near the vintage game room, right by the shooting gallery. This one is in OK shape, except that the hyperspace button only works half the time. The contact probably needs to be cleaned.
The other Asteroids console is in a arcade room next door in Neptune’s Kingdom (mini-golf). This one is surrounded by more modern games, and the whole place is a bit loud for serious asteroid destruction. I don’t remember much about the machine itself because I was so distracted.
371 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (map)
LA’s Barcade is a great dive bar with 80’s toys lining the walls. There are three rooms: the bar, the DJ room, and the back room with pinball and Asteroids. Sometimes the place is empty. Sometimes it’s packed. They have movie night (80’s classics) on Tuesday if you show up early. It’s a small but solid collection of classic games, and one of my favorite places in LA. It’s also the best Asteroids machine I’ve played to date. It has great button response and a brilliant display.
The only signage is a neon Pac-Man ghost, a block north of Beverly on Western, across from that giant modern KFC.
[Sept 21, 2009 update: Barcade has moved next door, and is now called The Blipsy”]