California Extreme 2011: Pop-Up Classic Arcade

Posted on June 29, 2011

For one weekend each year, California Extreme pulls together a giant collection of classic arcade video and pinball machines. It’s supposed to be amazing. This year it’s at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara on July 9-10, where a ticket at the door buys you all the games you can eat.

Asteroids (with Asteroids Deluxe and Lunar Lander multikit mod) and Asteroids Deluxe are on the list. Last year it was in a cocktail cabinet.

LA Barcade is back

Posted on September 22, 2010

369 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Phone: 323-465-5045

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.

Recon: Super Bear Arcade [CLOSED]

Posted on February 05, 2009

40755 Village Drive
Big Bear Lake, CA 92315 (map)
Phone: 909-866-8620

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.

Super Bear Arcade

Asteroids at the Super Bear Arcade.

Super Bear Arcade Super Bear Arcade Super Bear Arcade Big Bear Lake, CA

Recon: Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Posted on January 28, 2009

Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
400 Beach Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060 (map)
Phone: 831-423-5590

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.

Vector games at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk

Vector games in the classic arcade room in Santa Cruz.

Asteroids Deluxe

Asteroids Deluxe in the Casino Arcade at the Boardalk.

Recon: Ms T’s Barcade (LA)

Posted on November 15, 2008

371 N Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90004 (map)
Phone: 323-465-5045

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.

LA Barcade

The excellent Asteroids console in the back room of Ms T's Barcade.

Ms T's Sign LA Barcade LA Barcade

[Sept 21, 2009 update: Barcade has moved next door, and is now called The Blipsy”]