Wow haven't seen one of 'em in a long time. Used to frequent the one at Westwood Mall in Houston during the early '80s. That same mall also had another arcade called the Gold Mine which I liked even more. It wasn't a chain arcade and the atmosphere in it was dark and gritty. Alladin's did always get the new games first so I kept going there too.
Actually, the Gold Mine must have been a chain of some sort. The Huntington Mall in Barboursville WV had two Gold Mines. They had a slightly different selection of games so I got my exercise walking between them.
They were definitely old-school arcades nice dark rooms with machines along all the walls and arranged in islands in the middle. The two I frequented had generally well maintained machines that were frequently changed out for the latest flavor. No Skee-Ball, no Claw Game, just a room packed with flashing bleeping game goodness. Good times!
The last era of arcades for me was brightly lit "family fun center" type place in Lancaster OH. They had four T-Meks lashed together and they had an Atari game that was a somewhat realistic helicopter simulation and another head-to-head networked game where transformer type robots death matched. After that, even the "family fun center" type places completed their degeneration into nothing but racing and fighting games before dying out entirely. Just about the only thing left around Columbus, OH is "Dave and Busters". The one and only time I there 5 years ago, they had a lot of fun titles but my free $10 play card was gone in no time flat. What's left of arcades is an entirely too expensive two dollar a timed play experience.
With consoles and PCs delivering tech every bit as good as what's in arcades and gamers today expecting interactive movies, the death of old school skill game arcades was inevitable. I sure do miss the style though.
Edited by frogstar_robot, Sat Jan 5, 2008 11:17 AM.