ROBOT CITY GAMES
Location: 174 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY 13903, USA
Report by Paul Drewry
Pinball in my youth. I remember back in the late '70s and '80s how easy it was to locate a pinball machine, even in my small town. From short lived arcades to pizza parlors, each machine was waiting to be conquered, striving for that free game.
As the years passed, I've watched my favorite locations fade away and manufacturers such as Williams close. These days I turn to the internet, where die hard fans share locations of pinball machines and their condition.
Within the last few years it has been a great joy to see a new pinball company start up - Jersey Jack Pinball. Another joy is new place to play pinball in upstate New York - Robot City Games, owned by Karen and Casey Wales.
The shop opened in 2008 in Binghamton, New York, buying and selling new and used video games. In a small back room they had few tables for those who played Magic and other card games.
Soon the tables were gone and arcade machines started to fill the space.
A year later the business next door closed, and they were able to acquire the space and turn it into an arcade - the largest in New York, currently holding 75 games.
When I entered Robot City Games, it was very clear that this was no ordinary game shop. Along with the latest X-Box games are old gaming systems and cartridges from the likes of Atari, Mattel and Colecovision. This felt like part store, part museum.
Upon entering the arcade, I was faced with seven pinball machines, including Jersey Jack's The Wizard of Oz. The arcade uses tokens, which allows for bonus tokens when you spend $5 or $10.
The machines are: Jersey Jack's The Wizard of Oz, Data East's The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle & Friends, Data East's WWF Royal Rumble and Maverick, William's Star Wars Episode 1, Gottlieb's Super Mario Bros. and Bally's Twilight Zone.
The machines are in immaculate condition and play beautifully. The first machine I played was The Wizard of Oz, which has earned a spot on my 'top ten' list. Great layout and gameplay.
Next up was Rocky and Bullwinkle. I've been a big fan of the show and I love the game, but find it too easy.
I went down the list finishing with Maverick, another favorite of mine. After playing pinball I took a break and checked out the video games.
These days classic games can be found online and even cell phones, but for me nothing beats an original machine.
Robot City says it has no problems locating the old games and they have an expert tech, Jeff Folejewski, who brings them back to life.
From 1974's TV Hockey to Tekken 5, they have assembled a great collection of machines, many from the golden age of video games.
During my stay it was nice to see the arcade fill up with young and old, playing video games and pinball machines.
Robot City has a restroom, and a vending machine for snacks and drinks to keep you going during your stay. They are open Monday-Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday 11am-9pm, Saturday 10am-8pm and Sunday 12pm-6pm.
Robot City Games has moved down the street to 126 Clinton Street.
The move gives them a larger space, going from a total of 70 games to 90. This is good news for pinball fans as they are now at 17 machines, including a three EMs and the rare Strikes and Spares.
During a recent visit to the arcade I found all the machines in top working order, mostly upgraded with LEDs, and a nice crowd of young and old enjoying them.
© Pinball News 2016