With flashing lights, tickets streaming and people cheering, there’s nothing quite like that classic feel of an arcade. Even though I grew up in the internet age of the ’90s and 2000s, my Dad made sure that I was educated in the arcade classics. On trips out of town, we’d always try and find someplace to play Pac-Man or battle it out in skeeball.
Need something to do while you’re waiting for the game to start this weekend, or something to burn off your buzz after? Whether you want nostalgic games or to try something new, here are five great Birmingham places to get your arcade fix.
Located inside the Hoover Galleria, BumperNets might be the closest thing Birmingham has to an old-timey arcade. BumperNets is divided into three separate stores of the mall that are all located directly across from and next to one another.
The largest of the three areas has plenty of old and new classics, including Dance Dance Revolution, Guitar Hero and BurgerTime. This section also has pool, air hockey and table tennis.
The second section is filled with smaller games for kids, including tike-sized skeeball, racing and NBA Hoop Shoot. Finally, the third area has multiple racing games, shooting games and a wall lined with pinball machines.
Most of the game systems available at Bumpernets can be purchased. The venue can also be rented out for parties.
2—Dave & Buster’s
Last year, Birmingham was thrilled to find out that the city would be getting its own Dave & Buster’s. Located outside of the Hoover Galleria, this business serves as an arcade, bar and eatery all rolled into one.
Dave & Busters takes the classic idea of an arcade and modernizes it, with games functioning off of prepaid cards rather than quarters and points tallied digitally rather than in streamers of tickets.
Patrons can enjoy arcade takes on classic hand-held games, such as Luigi’s Mansion, CandyCrush and Angry Birds.
There’s also plenty of arcade classics like racing games, skeeball and shooters.
Not only is Paramount a bar, but an arcade as well. Located on 20th St N in downtown Birmingham, this is a great place to have a drink, grab a bite and play some arcade games.
Paramount has a selection of over twenty games, including Street Fighter 2, Nascar Racing and Ms. Pac-Man. The bar also has an impressive collection of pinball machines, with themes such as Deadpool, Game of Thrones and WWE Wrestlemania.
In addition to the video games, Paramount has a photo booth, skeeball and NBA Hoops Pop-A-Shot.
Games are available to all until 9. After that, only those 21 and older are permitted to play.
Saturn acts primarily as a concert venue, coffee shop and bar, but did you know that they have video games as well? Located in Avondale, Saturn will take you on a journey to the past with annual Vintage Video Game Nights.
There are 35 vintage gaming systems available, including Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo. To go along with these, Saturn has over 1,500 games on site. Staff can also try and fill any requests for a particular game if you let them know ahead of time.
In addition to video games, Saturn also has a large array of table-top board games. These games include Mystery Date, Ouija Board and Candyland.
Aside from Vintage Video Game Nights, the video and table-top games are also available to be rented out for parties.
5—TreeTop Family Adventure
With games for the whole family to enjoy, TreeTop Family Adventure is a great place for children and parents alike to have arcade fun.
Located on Highway 280, TreeTop has a large array of arcade games, including car and motorcycle racing, Big Bass fishing, shooters and Guitar Hero.
With mini bowling, laser tag and go-carts also available, TreeTop has a lot more than your average arcade.
Some games can also be played for the redemption arcade, where you can cash in your hard-earned tickets for prizes.