Date: 22nd March, 2023

Location: 1813 W Bowie St. Suite 101, Fort Worth, TX 76110, USA

On a previous visit to the Dallas area in 2018 we visited the first Cidercade on Irving Blvd. in the city and remarked how it had “a truly impressive collection” of pinballs and video games. That was followed by a review of the Austin branch by M.G. Brown last year.

Since then, Bishop have expanded their cider-based barcade concept and, at the time of writing, have five Cidercade locations, adding Arlington, Houston and Forth Worth to their portfolio.

This year we drove over to the Fort Worth branch to see how it compared to the original and the Austin branches.

First of all, the Fort Worth Cidercade is housed in a rather nondescript building in a semi-residential area on the south side of the city.

The Cidercade Forth Worth location
The Cidercade Forth Worth location

We visited on Tuesday afternoon, so not exactly the busiest time of the week. As you will see, the place was mostly empty, which was great in terms of being able to play anything we wanted. Hopefully it is busier in the evenings and at weekends.

They are open from 10am every day, closing at midnight during the week and at 1am on Friday and Saturday nights. After 8pm, entry is restricted to over 21s.

Bishop Cidercade
Bishop Cidercade in Fort Worth

Entry to Cidercade costs $10, after which you’ll find all the games are set on free play.

There is an entry desk/bar at the entrance where daily wristbands are purchased to gain entrance and where you can buy one of around two-dozen ciders from Bishop, one of the guest ciders, or a hard seltzer. They don’t sell any beers or wines. but the ciders and seltzers are available to go if you want to take some home with you.

The front bar and entry desk
The front bar and entry desk

Seating is available at both bars, as well as outside. There is also a couple of team-building or party rooms where larger groups can have space to themselves.

Outside seating
Outside seating
The conference or party rooms
The team-building or party rooms

Rather annoyingly, they don’t have a drinks list or a monitor displaying what’s available, but instead ask you to scan a QR code on your mobile device to link to their website to see what they have and what it costs. A simple big-screen monitor showing the same website would make things much quicker and easier.

We opted for a High and Dry cider at $8, expecting to receive a pint but instead received a pretty small plastic cup of golden liquid, which helped ensure we didn’t purchase any more drinks.

The front arcade room

The selection of games was as impressive here as it was at their other locations.

Cidercade Fort Worth is split into two separate rooms with a corridor linking them.

The front room is nearly entirely video games – including some curious Japanese titles – along with a shuffleboard table.

The shuffleboard table
The shuffleboard table
Some of the more unusual video games in the front arcade
Some of the more unusual video games in the front arcade
More video games in the front arcade room
More video games in the front arcade room
More video games in the front arcade room
More video games in the front arcade room
Wall art in the front arcade
Wall art in the front arcade

The back room seems larger and is where we find the second bar, the food service and, most importantly, the pinballs. To get there, you pass through a nicely lit corridor.

This way to the back room
This way to the back room
The corridor between the front and back arcade rooms
The corridor between the front and back arcade rooms
Entering the back room
Entering the back room

There were twenty-two pinballs available to play, including many of the latest titles such as James Bond 007 LE, The Mandalorian Premium, Jurassic Park LE, Guns ‘N Roses LE and the fairly rare Heavy Metal.

The first bank of pinballs
The first bank of pinballs:
Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, Star Wars, Metallica and Black Knight: Sword of Rage
The second bank of pinballs
The second bank of pinballs:
Jurassic Park, The Mandalorian, James Bond: Thunderball, Sharkey’s Shootout, Star Trek and Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
The third bank of pinballs
The third bank of pinballs:
Cactus Canyon Remake, Guns ‘N Roses, Austin Powers, Monster Bash Remake, Elvira’s House of Horrors and Aerosmith
The fourth bank of pinballs
The fourth bank of pinballs:
The Simpsons Pinball Party, Heavy Metal, The Avengers: Infinity Quest, The Walking Dead and 24

The back room hosts a second bar and a pizza service hatch, along with more seating.

The pizza service counter
The pizza service counter
Sodas available to go with your pizza order
Sodas available to go with your pizza order
Plenty of indoor seating at the pizza counter and rear bar
Plenty of indoor seating at the pizza counter and rear bar

The rest of the space is mostly taken up by video games of one kind or another, although there are some other coin-op amusements to enjoy (without needing a ‘coin’ to ‘op’ them).

Some of the many video games in the back room
Some of the many video games in the back room
More of the many video games in the back room
More of the many video games in the back room
More of the many video games in the back room
More of the many video games in the back room
Some of the classics, such as Mad Planets, Battlezone and TRON
Some of the classics, such as Mad Planets, Battlezone and TRON
Sit-down Cruis'n Blast driving games and NBA Game Time basketball games
Sit-down Cruis’n Blast driving games and NBA Game Time basketball games
A pair of 4-player Pac-Man Battle Royale Chompionship games
A pair of 4-player Pac-Man Battle Royale ‘Chompionship’ games
Every barcade worth its salt needs to have Killer Queen
Every barcade worth its salt needs to have Killer Queen
More driving games - this time The Fast and the Furious Super Bikes
More driving games – this time The Fast and the Furious Super Bikes
Among the other dance games, this Pump It Up caught our attention
Among the other dance games, this Pump It Up caught our attention
Amongst the more traditional amusements were these Skee-Ball games
Amongst the more traditional amusements were these Skee-Ball games
There were also two lanes of this Lane Master bowler
There were also two lanes of this Lane Master bowler
Not forgetting the real classic - pool
Not forgetting the real classic – pool

Which brings us to the end of our review of Cidercade Fort Worth.

As with the original Cidercade in Dallas, the Fort Worth branch is in a somewhat remote and unattractive location, surrounded by car parts stores and blocks of the Texas Christian University campus.

However, that presumably means they can get a large building at an affordable rent and the area does feel safe, with plenty of parking available right outside the entrance.

The pricing structure is certainly attractive. $10 to play all these games all day is tremendous value, while there is a $15 per month membership for unlimited entry during the business’s extended opening hours.

While the games are the draw, the cider and pizza are undoubtedly the money-makers. We didn’t feel the cider was good value due to the small serving size, even though there is an extensive range of different varieties from which to pick. Not having a drinks list on display made the purchase slower and more complicated than it needed to be.

But the games…

The range and condition were both second-to-none, and the small number of other visitors meant we have our choice of what to play throughout our visit. No doubt it’s rather different in the evenings and at weekends, but we enjoyed the light and airy environment, and never encountered any issues with any of the games we played.

Cidercade Forth Worth
Cidercade Forth Worth

We would certainly recommend adding a visit to Cidercade Fort Worth to any trip to the DFW area. Just make sure you allow plenty of time to enjoy all they have to offer.

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