Last week, I had posted about Barcade’s first-ever Brewery Takeover, in which they brought a truckload of vintage arcade games up our way to Cape Ann Brewery just for Friday night.
While overall it seemed like adding a few of the more recognizable games could have knocked the event out of the park, the Brewery was a perfect setting for videogameapalooza, since it’s spacious, already has a foosball table, and has plenty of wall space.
Among one of the first games I tried out was Speed Buggy, which I don’t think I’ve ever played before, and I sucked buckets of ass at it. I couldn’t get the hang of trying to jump over stuff, and I bashed into about twenty 8-bit obstacles before the game ended. It was kind of fun to play the early prototype of all those awful loud Dave and Buster type car-driving games. Now the next time I see one I can roll my eyes, finger my handlebar moustache, and say “Man, you haven’t lived until you’ve played Speed Buggy. I was into arcade driving games before they were cool.”
Another notable game was Swimmer. I had never played Swimmer, nor even heard of it (It came out before I was born, when dinosaurs roamed the earth). It was kind of like Frogger, except your dude was in the water, had to avoid logs and weird bugs, and got extra bonus points for eating fruit along the way. I’m not sure it’s such a great idea to eat bananas floating on top of a river with bugs in it, but I guess I’m too picky with my food sources.
NBA Jam was another popular offering of the evening, but since playing would have involved kicking an adorable baby off the machine, I skipped it. I remember it as one of the more entertaining games of my youth – dude, four people can play one game? Unreal. Next you’ll tell me you can get internet on phones.
Pitfighter is not my cup of booze, so I skipped that one. Ms. Pacman is more my style – literally, since another of my side projects is making Pacman jewelry on Etsy that no one buys (That was an incredibly shameless plug, and I apologize). However, my secret is that I also really suck at Ms. Pacman. Just ungodly awful. Like I can kinda get through one screen of dot-eating before I get eaten by friggin’ Inky or Blinky and it’s game over. So I played that one early, before anyone got in line behind me and judged my shitty gameplay.
The night’s entertainment also offered up Rampage World Tour (a super fun game from the mid-90’s where you pretty much destroy the world as a giant reptile), as well as heavyweights such as Tapper and Centipede.
Barcade was a one-time thing (although it’s likely they’ll put a location in Boston in the next 5 years – I vote Allston), but these are the kinds of things this city should continue to seek out. We need things that draw 21 to 35 year olds to Gloucester and let the spend their discretionary income. I’ve seen the hordes of BU kids come up on weekends – it’s my job, after all, and I’ve marketed to ’em – and they love to hit up bars as part of their visit.
Heck, honestly, the Brewery should just invest some money in vintage arcade games and pinball machines. Get a skeeball machine, and people’s kids will drop quarters in it like pink polka dotted panties dropping at a One Direction concert. The adults will blow their money on Galaga and Duck Hunt. The Brewery is already right on the harborwalk, a few arcade games would be a natural next step to making us a trendy place to go.
See? I’m a business genius.