There’s a new arcade coming to town and this isn’t some cheesy fun center with cheap prizes, this is the real deal. If you have fond memories of scrounging up change and hanging out at the arcade, this is the place for you. This place is all about retro games and high scores. Check out our spotlight to learn more!
Hey there! I can’t tell you how excited I am for a new arcade to open, actually yes I can. I am friggin excited! So what inspired you to open one of your own?
I’ve always loved the memories I had as a kid walking into Aladin’s Castle Arcade or The Fun Factory in the old Cross Roads mall in SLC. There was something magical about those old arcades. Gamers weren’t trying to clear a story nor were they trying to get tickets for silly prizes—rather it was all about getting your initials on the high score board! We set out to recreate that feel with an emphasis on high scores. In our arcade, there will be four monitors displaying all the games and the top 3 high scores for each game on a continual rotation. The players with the top high score of each game will get free drinks once a day every day for as long as they “own” that high score! All of our emphasis will be on seeing who is the best! There are no tickets or redemption games. All of this is old school 1980 action. The high score board will be linked online so you can see at any time if your scores are still top. You can even register your email address to be alerted if anyone beats your score so you can get on down to Flynn’s Retrocade and beat it back! Now that’s going to be a lot of fun friendly competition.
Where are you getting all of your retro games? Did you buy any from Nickelcade when they closed? Tell us about a few of your favorites you’ll have in the shop.
I liked going to Nickelcade to play the classic games, while my kids played the redemption games. My biggest gripe was that the ‘80s games were always run down, monitors dim, and the cabinets ugly. Part of the beauty of a 1980’s arcade is the artwork on the cabinets, responsive controls, and bright and crips CRT tub monitors! All of our games will be either fully restored to like-new condition or partially restored with beautiful screens and working controls. All of our pinball games have DMD color screens, will be clean, and tuned. Our promise to our community is to provide a great place for all of us to relive childhood memories and to help the rising generation fall in love with classic arcade gaming while we’re at it!
My favorite classic arcade game is Atari’s Star Wars from 1983. We have a fully restored 25’ vector cockpit sit-down version fully operational and ready for some serious competition. I remember playing that game on breaks as a teenager while working at Lagoon. It still takes me out of this world and into an x-wing almost every time I play it. The more advanced levels become more and more challenging—especially when you learn how to “use the force” during the trench runs on the death star approach level. There really is nothing quite like it.
Our most prized game is a unique pinball game called Varkon from Williams. Only 90 cabinets were produced during its run in 1982. It’s a pinball game stuck inside of a Willams arcade cabinet like Robotron or Defender. You actually flip the flippers by pushing joysticks up or down. The image field is reflected in a mirror (like the original space invaders) so it seems like the ball is floating in the air instead of rolling like it should if falling straight down. It’s a really cool effect, and I really love the game. (There is only 1 other Varkon in the wild for the public to play at the Professional & Amateur Pinball Association (PAPA) headquarters in Pennsylvania.) All classic gamers will enjoy this as much as I do I’m sure. After having it in my private collection for a few years, I felt like it was time to set it free to be played like how it was meant to be played—in the wild at an Arcade. Please treat it with care, so it lasts another 35 years!
Most of my games I’ve been purchasing on eBay over the past two decades. I also have relationships with good classic arcade game vendors in California and Texas. We get them whenever we find them in the condition we insist on. Half of fun of this hobby is bringing in a new game for the very first time! We hope to continue to rotate games over the years as time goes on to keep things fresh and exciting.
What is a soda bar and will you have any other treats for visitors?
I love going into a Fiz soda bar here in Syracuse on a Friday night. It’s always packed with people just hanging out and talking to each other. We felt like it would be more fun to put that environment into a classic ’80’s arcade to really get people enjoying time together. So our soda bar will be patterned after Fiz, Sodalicious, and Swigs, etc. What they do isn’t rocket science. We’ll mix drinks in a similar way and let people enjoy a “frogger” soda while actually playing Frogger. We’ll sell Flynn’s retrocede tee-shirts, but we don’t have any other plans on selling other food items at this time. That may change in the future, but for now, we’re going to open with a full soda bar and 42 restored classic arcade games and six pinball machines.
Do you have any fun events planned for your opening?
It will be a celebration! As always, all of our arcade games will be on free play. Our pinball machines will cost $0.25 a game due to the wear and tear on the mechanical components. Our prices will be set at $5 for an hour, $10 for an all-day pass and $30 for a monthly pass. We’ll be giving away monthly passes as door prizes to random lucky gamers. Our drinks will also be priced half off during our grand opening week. Lots of 80’s music will be playing, and high scores winners will be winning tee-shirts. Other fun ideas are in the works. It will be a great event in the history of Utah classic gaming! Very fitting since Nolan Bushell—the founder of atari—is a Clearfield High School grad. Finally, his Atari games are coming home!
When is opening date and how can folks stay updated on your progress?
Opening day is currently scheduled for July 15th. If all of our games aren’t ready, then we’ll need to push it back a week or two until they are. We’re getting close! Please follow our progress on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/1716882125253683/
- 3626 West 5600 South
- Roy, UT 84075
- www.flynnsretrocade.com (coming soon)