Thursday, March 06, 2008
1984: RETRO ARCADE IN SPRINGFIELD, MISSOURI
Lately, I’ve been in a classic video game kick and it started a couple of weeks ago when some of my buddies and I traveled to Springfield, Missouri to visit 1984. No, we didn’t have a time machine, nor am I talking about the year, but instead about a retro arcade appropriately named 1984.
You’ll think you just stepped out of a time machine when you enter 1984. Just like those golden age video arcades from the past, 1984 is packed with some of the greatest video games ever created.
The cool thing, is that you don’t need a pocket of quarters to play. Just five bucks to pay at the door for all you can play games for one day! Now you don’t have to spend a fortune trying to master Donkey Kong or Zaxxon.
If you beat one of the high scores on the Hall of Fame board, you’ll win a free play card that lets you in free during your next visit.
The story behind 1984 is that a group of classic gamers decided to store their games in a warehouse to simulate a vintage arcade just for their own amusement. Thankfully, they instead decided to share their collection with the public and open an actual arcade with the same feel as the arcades they enjoyed from the 80's. They’ve done an excellent job with the atmosphere giving you a feeling that you just walked into a much better version of the Café 80's from Back to the Future II, just without the Max (Reagan) Headroom waiter. You can even watch 80's music videos while drinking coffee from the Sinistarbucks bar.
I was impressed that most of the decorations and props were handmade or pieced together from something else. If you visit, be sure you go to the bathroom as you’ll feel as if you just took a. . . well, washed your hands in the world of Tron!
Both times I’ve been there, the arcade has been packed with gamers. This place is highly recommended and is a perfect place for kids to adults. The 1984 staff is helpful and friendly and especially enjoy chatting about classic arcade games.
For a person who spent most of his youth in arcades, 1984 feels like home. I can’t wait to go back so I can finally get that ranking of Space Avenger on Gorf!
Checkout their website 1984arcade.com and also watch this episode of Hak5 featuring this arcade.
Of course if your in Springfield, Missouri (which is not far from Branson) make sure you visit the downtown area and go relive some arcade memories. 1984's hours are 4:00pm to 11:00 pm Wednesday to Saturday.