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Arcade Bar or Bar Arcade: How Do You Make The Most Of Your Retro Game Experience? - Antsy Labs

Arcade Bar or Bar Arcade: How Do You Make The Most Of Your Retro Game Experience?

It is one of gaming’s age-old questions: which came first, the bar or the arcade?

The arcade - or the bar?

For those of us who grew up with video games, we were playing Time Crisis long before we could have a Tequila Sunrise. Now, though, there are bars all over that fuse the two. 

And really, there’s no shortage of incredible ones - just take a look at some of our country’s best in the 10 Best Arcade Bars in America, and some of the world’s best at 10 Arcade Bars Around The World Every Gamer Needs to Visit (with stops in Thailand, Taiwan, and England, to name a few).

But the question remains: are you going to these bars to play games while you have a drink… or to have a drink while you play games? 

The answer may depend, so today we’ve broken down our three favorite arguments for each. 

Arcade Bar: Putting the gaming over the gin and tonics

Sometimes you’re in the mood for a good game and there just happens to be some beer in the background. Read on for a few more reasons to stay even-keeled during your evening:

  1. Hand-Eye Coordination - While some games may amount to a lot of button-mashing, others require a bit of skill. When your favorites include games like analog air hockey, it’s a good idea to prioritize the games over getting a fourth round.

  2. High Scores - You can luck into a lot of things in life (free wifi, free fries, you know, the essentials), but lucking into a high score on an arcade machine is basically impossible. If you’ve got a plan and need a steady hand, keep your wits about you and keep the drinking under control.

  3. Breaking Records On A Budget -  Depending on the bar or arcade’s gaming rules, you may get unlimited access for the price of a drink. Or you may have to pay by the hour. However it’s divided up, if you’re pinching pennies and saving up quarters, a cocktail can mean another hour of precious game time, so plan accordingly.

Bar Arcade: Putting cocktails over quarters

Other times, gaming is just an excuse to get loose. Here’s when it may be ideal to let the gaming take a backseat to another round of beers.

  1. Breaking The Ice - On a first date? Seeing old friends for the first time in a long time? Gaming can be a nice distraction to create some fun first moments or to fill in the gaps as you get comfortable. Once you find your stride, though, make sure to put the people first.

  2. Street Fighting Showdown - If technique isn’t your game, embrace the visceral joy of button mashing with the durable joysticks and buttons of machines that can take a beating. Whether you’ve had a bad day or the best day, this is the kind of therapy that only costs a few quarters.

  3. First Time, Long Time - If this is your first time at an arcade, or you haven’t played arcade games in a long time, let yourself enjoy the whole moment. It’s not about any one game in particular, but taking in the colors and sounds of a different era. 

And if you’re a fan of arcades like we are, you’ll also like our Video Gaming IRLA Pack - it’s full of real-life achievements you can earn playing the games you love (but you can’t use these coins to power pinball machines, unfortunately).

Now it’s your turn. Are you on team Arcade > Bar, or Bar > Arcade? Let us know below!

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