If you’re not familiar with the original 1984 arcade in Springfield, MO, it’s one of the best locations in the US to play 80’s era arcade and pinball games. They’ve recently added another location in Branson, MO and my family and I got to see it this past week. How was it? Read on to find out.
The Branson location has 16 pinball machines currently, ranging from 1978 to today (there was one EM there but I didn’t pay attention to when it was produced). The newest game they had was Guardians of the Galaxy (pro version). Everything was very clean and played really well. Seemed like they must be cleaning things on a pretty regular basis. While I was there I did see them working on World Cup Soccer, the only game that was broken while I was there.
They currently have a lot of extra space in the pinball area, I’m not sure what their future plans are. They have room to add a lot more games if they want to. Right now they an air hockey machine in there for those who like more head to head games. Kind of wish they’d add other games from the 80’s like foosball, Chexx Hockey, and maybe even a pool table.
About 1/2 the games were from 1992 and newer, while the rest were in the 1978 to 1988 era. Most were priced at 50 cents, only a couple were 25 cents. Either way though, a very good price for the quality offered. The games from the early 80’s were definitely harder on the pocketbook as their short ball times would chew through the quarters pretty fast.
The arcade side had about 50 games or so. You can kind of tell it’s still a work in progress as a lot of the games are duplicates (Defender, Ms Pac Man, Galaga, etc) that were probably brought from their storage. It’s currently not close to the level of the Springfield location unfortunately. The games they do have are good and some hidden gems are there (Arch Rivals? Hell yeah!), they’re just missing so many of the games that would usually be in an all-star lineup like Tron, Dig-Dug, Battlezone, Spy Hunter, etc.
There’s still a ton of room to add more games there. My guess is that they’ll be adding more and more as they become available. Some of the games they’re missing are higher priced, and until the concept fully starts paying off in Branson I’m sure they’re being conservative. By the time you’re reading this, they may have way more games than they currently do as of this writing.
Do they have food and drinks? Yep. Not like burgers and fries or anything like that, but chips, pop, etc, things that are good to snack on while playing.
They’ve also got the perfect thing for moms, a couch with a good selection of 80’s movies on VHS that you can watch. My wife laid on the couch and watched Back to the Future while the kids played pinball and arcade games. So there’s something for people to do even if they don’t want to play games.
I highly recommend that if you’re in Branson and like arcade/pinball at all to stop in and play. At only $10 for all the arcades you can play, and only 50 cents for pinball, it’s much cheaper than a lot of the attractions in Branson. Plus it’s in a nice clean location close to shopping, mini golf, and food too. Its hours as of this writing were 1 to 9, a little different than the Springfield location. For some reason everything in Branson seems to close early.