On the hunt for Retro.

Woke up to grey skies and heavy downpours so they’ll be no pottering around on the beach today (speaking of beaches, note to myself, hiring a beach hut was a great move, will make sure we do it again!).

As I needed to pick up a few provisions I thought I’d take a detour/shelter from the rain and hunt around the dusty corners of a few amusement arcades in the hope of spotting a neglected retro gem. Usually there’s nothing there but you never know.

Well they might not be retro but I can’t seem to pass a pinball table these days without inserting a coin or two. Modern tables just don’t seem to have taken around here and it’s quite rare to find any sort of table these days, at least not three in a row.

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After playing all three though, i wasn’t overly impressed. Each seemed to be a carbon copy of the next table and the gameplay and table features just seemed a little bit flat.

Moving on and an open door at the back of one arcade hints at a glimpse of where machines go when they die. No classics cabs to be had but the Horse racing electronic game brought back a few memories.

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One thing that seems popular in the arcade of today are full size versions of popular iOS/android/browser games. Games like Bejewelled, Doodlebug, Temple Run and Fruit Ninja.

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Woot woot, retro at last, here’s a vintage PAC-Ma…..hold on, somethings not right here 😉

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I moved from arcade to arcade and the only link to the past I saw was a modern Outrun 2 twin seater (playing a rendition of Magical Shower almost on cue as I walked by), Sega 18 Wheeler and an upright Sega Rally.

In the second to last arcade I was about to leave when a familiar splash of Red, White and Blue caught my eye.

It might not be a dedicated cabinet, but these Xenon Jamma cabinets where highly popular in the 80’s and most of the games I played back in the day were housed in one of these. Today it looked to be running a modern-ish multi game Jamma board with the likes of Phoenix, Scramble, Time Pilot (i’ve been playing a lot of this on my own Mame cabinet just lately), Moon Cresta, Mr Do, 1942, Galaxians and many more. The monitor could do with some adjustment but who cares, its vertical retro gaming heaven.

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I stopped by the only other pinball table I came across and gave it a go as it certainly seemed to have a bit more going on around the table. The sound samples might not be exactly authentic Pirates of the Caribbean, but after a few goes, I really started to enjoy this one. Check out my super-duper high score….hmm, maybe not that super after all 🙂

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I did spot a Sega Daytona single seater but on closer inspection, and rather disappointingly, it was the sequel rather than the awesome original.

The last arcade I tried was practically all slots (something thats never really appealed to me) but walking around one corner, all on its lonesome was this.

4-up sit down Simpsons Arcade game.

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You can probably guess from the ruffled seat, which character I chose to play.

That’s about it really, not exactly a bumper find but it sure was a great way to spend a very wet Friday morning.

We’re homeward bound tomorrow after our week of chillin at the coast and when I’ve got the chance, todays little arcade excursion has spurred me on to finish off the two little jobs I’ve got left to do on my Mame cabinet.

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2 responses to “On the hunt for Retro.

  1. Dude!
    I recognise the machines and the background of all of these pictures! You were in Skegness, right?
    If this is Skegness, that Simpsons sit down machine is the very same machine that gave me many hours of enjoyment when I was a lot younger.
    The arcade that it’s in used to be a lot better but, the last time I went in, all of the machines had been replaced with shitty redemption machines. It makes me very sad.
    The Pier used to be THE place for all of the games but now, the majority of it is just all of the same shitty redemption machines and a lot of neglected light gun games and driving games.

  2. Yep, it was indeed Skegness. Sadly, as you say, nothing like the arcades of old. The Pier used to be funtastic in the 80’s. Newer games like Outrun at the front and as you head out towards the sea, you’d often find a dusty Galaxians or (and for me, part of the quintessential sea side sound track) Moon Cresta.

    I used to like the big arcade on the opposite side of the pier (slightly further towards the clock tower) as it seemed to feature the very latest in arcade games. It was here that I got my first glimpse of one of those Sega Daytona sit down cabs with the huge screen. I marvelled at the size of the G-Loc cab and drooled over Dragons Lair. Flew the copter cab in Thunderblade and rode the Hang-on Bike.

    Happy days indeed.

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