Feb 10, 2024

Introducing Gen Z To Retro Gaming

Timeline Arcade
Market Street - York, PA
My friend Ben is a gamer, but he hasn't played too many things that came out prior to Nintendo GameCube, so I spent the day introducing him to retro gaming in the place that best represents what it was like to play video games during the 80's and 90's, Timeline Arcade.

Before I talk about the arcade, I've got to mention the fact that it was 65 degrees... on February 10th... in Pennsylvania.  I'm not sure what the record high is for this time of year in this part of the country, but this has to be pretty close.

It's been six years since I last visited the Timeline Arcade.  Since that time, they've closed the original Hanover location and moved a lot of those games over to the arcade in York.  They knocked down the back wall of the York location to accommodate for all of the new games, so the place has nearly doubled in size since the last time I was here.

The place was pretty busy so I didn't take too many pictures inside the arcade, but I did want to make sure to get photos of a few machines.  The one on the left was a short Space Invaders cabinet that I've never had the opportunity to play until today.  The one in the middle is an old school snack machine that dispenses fun-size candy bars.  The machine on the right is Return Of The Jedi, which was one of my favorite arcade games when I was a kid.

Unfortunately, Return Of The Jedi wasn't working correctly.  The gun worked, and the flight yoke allowed you to move your land speeder and ship to the top and bottom of the screen, but you couldn't move forward and backward.  That pretty much makes the Endor level impossible because you can't speed ahead of the Storm Troopers and go through to activate the Ewok's traps.

This wasn't the only game that had issues.  The second player gun in Revolution X and a few other games that we came across didn't work, the Tapper cabinet was extremely glitchy (possibly because someone modded it to turn the bar patrons into Simpsons characters), and the Gorf machine didn't work at all.  In a way, this is a pretty authentic retro arcade experience because I remember that there were machines that were out-of-order or with controllers that were less than fully functional at pretty much every arcade that I've played at throughout the 80's and 90's, but it was still a bummer.

One of the games that worked perfectly was the 1998 Sega underwater shooting game: The Ocean Hunter.  I've never seen of or heard this game before, but it's a lot of fun and we played the entire game to the end credits.  The game doesn't really acknowledge this, but you're pretty much playing as the villain in this game.  There are hundreds of shark, squid, jellyfish, piranha, and other underwater creatures (both real and mythological), and the players characters are two humans who go down there to blow them to smithereens while collecting treasure boxes.  Yay humans!

The last game we played was Golden Tee Golf, and while it's a hell of a lot of fun to play, let's just say that neither Ben or I are going to be joining the PGA Tour any time soon.