Did you grow up in the 70s,80s or 90s and miss going to the arcades to play video games (or "playing vids" as we called it)? Well MISS NO LONGER! There are several ways to play actual arcade games today!
Depending on where you live you might still actually be able to play arcade games on actual, real old school arcade game machines. Where I live in Indy (Indianapolis, IN) we have many opportunities. We still have games at some pizza places like Pizza King in Greenwood, IN. There they have a few machines including a combo machine that plays Ms. Pacman & Galaga. However, the BEST PLAY in the IndyMetro is Tappers Arcade Bar.
At Tappers all the games are set to FREE PLAY so if you go make sure you buy a drink or a snack. They do have some pinball games that cost a quarter or two since those are harder to fix and maintain.
Tappers Arcade Bar view of pinball machines through the front window
At Tappers the games are all around the outer edges of the room and they have a TON! I enjoyed my all times favs like Donkey Kong & Jr., Galaga and Time Pilot to name a few. It even SOUNDS like a full fledged arcade (b/c it IS one!). We are moving downtown in a week so expect a more fuller review of Tappers soon (#downtownliving). The whole list of the arcade coin-ops they have are listed on their website linked above.
A Centipede fan at Tappers with his arcade groupies looking on!
If you have some MONEY TO SPEND there are places like Family Leisure (in Indy) where they will sell you a real arcade game for your game room (or living room if the spouse is up for it!). Most games have more than one game included and they even sell Skee Ball and Super Shot games. See the full offerings and prices (ouch!) at the link above. These are legit licensed games with actual, real high quality arcade controls!
Finally you can spin your own arcade games at home. If you have a Wii or Playstation, XBOX or PC you can buy legit arcade collections too. Check out Gamestop or Steam online for a few options. Also you can grab a free copy of M.A.M.E. (Multi Arcade Machine Emulator) and some ROMs from the internet to have a near, real arcade experience. I have played Tempest on here with a hurricane spinner and it is nothing short of amazing! Also you can save your 'state' (or place in the game) so you can come back to it at any time to continue. Try that in the arcade! Also you can set the games for free play (like at Tappers) and extra lives, etc. to further help you get through the levels you could never beat when you were pumping quarters into these beasts! I used to work at Minsky's Pizza Joynt & Arcade in Council Bluffs, Iowa and after hours we'd crack open the games and reprogram them like this. I would go home at 2:00 in the morning with Stargate's (the Defender sequel) graphics and sounds blasting in my head when I tried to close my eyes and go to sleep. Ah the life of a 19 year old in 1981!
They even have arcade controllers you can buy from under $30 to over $300 to use with this for an actual experience from the comfort of your own home.
Finally my old high school best friend Alan Boucher said it best: "It's not how good you are, it's how many quarters you spent." Ain't that the truth. So spend some time and get out there or do it at home - reliving the arcade game playing part of your youth!