Tuesday, 4 October 2016

Clacton-on-Sea & Walton-on-the-Naze Arcade Update

We had a couple of days away at a caravan park in Clacton and once again checked out the arcades.  There have been a couple of changes since our last visit, with some interesting new additions.

Lost Land Adventure - 2014

This cool shooting game from Bandai Namco Entertainment is a new addition at the arcade/bowling alley just across the road from Clacton pier. The game reminds me of Let’s Go Jungle!, but with a bit more of an Indiana Jones vibe.  The game utilises dome screen technology similar to Star Wars Battle Pod, but with a larger dome screen.  The game was good fun and the puzzle elements made a nice change.

Operation G.H.O.S.T. - 2012

It was good to see Sega’s sequel to Ghost Squad still present.   I’ve only ever seen it in a couple of arcades.


I really like Walton-on-the-Naze.  On a nice summers day the beach is great, provided you catch it at the right time with the tide out.  Walton pier has fairground rides, a reasonably priced chip shop, and quite a few videogames.

I had a couple of credits on OutRun2 SP DLX.  On my last visit, the rear projection screen was in very poor condition, making the game virtually unplayable.  Since then the cab has received a LCD upgrade.  The game played well and was proving popular on the day.

Shh…!  Welcome to Frightfearland! - Panic Museum 2 - 2011

A new addition to Walton pier.  Developed by Gamewax and Taito, this is a fun shooting game with a cool theme, and one which is rarely seen.

It was also cool to see Rapid River, another new addition since my last visit.

This Tokyo Cop cab looked in a bit of a sorry state, tucked away in a corner.

Here are some more pics of the Walton pier arcade.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

REVIVAL Solstice 2016

REVIVAL Solstice 2016 was held at Banks’s Stadium, Walsall on the 30th and 31st July.  After the successful comeback event ‘Winter Warmer 2015’, REVIVAL once again returns to large scale with a friendly atmosphere and a great mix of arcade, pinball and console games.  There were some great additions to the arcade line up, including some very rare machines kindly loaned to the show by collectors.

Nintendo Arcade

Nintendo Arcade showcased some classic titles, including Donkey Kong, Sheriff, Space Launcher and VS. Balloon Fight.  It was awesome playing VS. Balloon Fight on the Nintendo Red Tent, and Sheriff was a definite highlight.

The awesome Sharp SF-1 Super Famicom TV combo unit.

The ‘Donkey Kong Barrel’ and ‘NEScade’ custom cabinets were very cool.

The arcade driving game section had a nice selection of titles, with Badlands, Konami GT, OutRun and Turbo OutRun.

Once again there was a great selection of pinball tables.

There was a nice selection of traders selling various retro collectibles.  Rastermania was back selling a selection of PCB’s, MVS and various arcade parts.  I picked up a Chase H.Q. upright manual complete with schematics for a very reasonable £5.

Here are some of my gaming highlights.

Sheriff – 1979

It was the first time I’d ever seen or played Sheriff.  The game was developed by Nintendo R&D1 and was the first game Shigeru Miyamato worked on.  The cabinet is Japanese and is the taller cocktail version, the only one known to exist. 

The player takes on the role of the Sheriff, Jack and must rescue his kidnapped FiancĂ©e, Betty.  In each level, gangs circle around Jack trying to shoot him.  The player must dodge the bullets and kill all the bandits in order to rescue Betty. 

The game is a lot of fun, addictive and has a unique control system.  An eight way joystick controls Jack’s movement, and a cooker style switch is used to aim the Sheriff’s gun.  Push the switch to fire. 

The closest game I can compare it to is Space Invaders, but with a twist!  Here is a video showing how the game plays.

I had only learned about the existence of this fantastic game a couple of months ago, and it was great to be given the opportunity to play it.

Video Pinball – 1978

This is another game I’d never seen or played until the show.  The physics of the ball are great and the game plays really well.  The game utilises a clever mix of video, physical and mirror to combine them, creating the illusion of playing a live action pinball machine.  During the course of the weekend, this is probably the game I kept popping back to play the most. 

The House of the Dead 2 – Sega Dreamcast
I’m not sure if it’s entirely appropriate, but mowing down hoards of zombies with my little girl proved to be a great father and daughter bonding experience.

Centipede – 1980

Another Atari classic I enjoyed playing.

I love the artwork on this cabinet.

Once again an awesome weekend of gaming, I’m eagerly awaiting the next REVIVAL event!

Friday, 12 August 2016

Arcades In Southport

Silcocks Funland

In addition to a selection of modern arcade games, including Star Wars Battle Pod, this arcade has a small classic gaming section.  The Defender cabinet looked in really nice condition.

Southport Pier’s New ‘Old’ Penny Arcade

Stretching over a kilometre across the Southport Sands and into the Irish Sea, it’s well worth making the journey to the end of the pier to visit this arcade.

The arcade features old one penny slot machines, pinball tables and two cocktail cabinets.

The cocktail cabinets had 1942 and Super Space Invaders '91 installed.  I enjoyed a few credits on both games.  By sheer coincidence I had been reading an article about the 1942 series in Retro Gamer magazine that very morning.

Premier Bowl & Laser
This venue has a cool Avengers pinball table as well as some modern arcade games.