The Lost Arcade is a long running pop-up arcade located in the harbour area of Bristol and last month myself along with my ten year old son went along to play some games.
So the story begins...
"Building workers, recently renovating an old dock building in Bristol have stumbled across what is thought to be ' a lost video game arcade ' 100s of vintage and retro video games from the 1970s, 80s and 90s – upon finding this haul, the developers for the scheme called in the 'History of Video Games team." Of course this is just a marketing ploy but a great one at that, it sets the scene of the place really well.
Upon entering the first thing I noticed was the wide selection of games they have. I loved how collectively the make this inaudible noise but every now and then you can hear a snippet of a familiar theme, grabbing your attention immediately. With the entrance fee allowing you free plays on all of them, to begin with you are spoilt for choice and the nostalgia hit is huge.
From the moment we entered my son loved the place, playing the games for what they are and not constantly comparing them to modern games like I heard a number of kids doing in the place. I could watch him all day as he obsessively plays a single game, learning its mechanics and looking for ways to beat it as he assumes all games of a certain age had flaws in their programming. He found one too and my heart just burst at seeing the joy on his face.
My all time favourite game Battlezone was present and I must have played this one for a full hour until the outlines of tanks were etched into the backs of my eyes. I love all the clever and creative controls some of the cabinets had back then and I loved the use of the periscope with this one.
It reminded me of this talk I watched about how the Paperboy game and cabinet controller was designed.
I would definitely recommend a visit in you can, if you would like to learn more then follow this link.