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Some free and addicting arcade games to go with your beer

January 1, 2015

Emporium arcade bar Chicago

One question I keep hearing from fellow gamers who love arcade games is this. "Where have all the arcades gone?" Where indeed. Well, many of them have basically shut down for the same reason. Around 1991-92 there was a shift in how popular arcades had become during the 80's.

That shift came in the form of consoles getting more and more capable of producing the same quality of graphics in games compared to their arcade counterparts. Street Fighter 2 was a prime example. The first 16-megabit Super Nintendo game was made to be a near perfect port of the original.

While we were used to having tournaments for both Street Fighter II and Mortal Kombat, game companies were on the verge of bringing those titles to your living room, thereby making it seem pointless to some to even show up at the local arcade.

Those days have come and gone, and so have the games we grew up with. Now the best free and addicting arcade games that you once loved are no where to be found, except when a company like Konami decides to put a few titles up on PSN, as they did recently with cool titles like Gradius and Mr. Goemon.

Sometimes that isn't enough for those in our age group who shed a tear for classic games like Contra, Sunset Riders, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It just isn't fair enough is it? Well one bar in Lockland, OH called Rivertown Brewing Co. decided to bring back those days, by adding some awesome old hits to its bar lineup.

Wait, did I just say bar? Yes, as in beer. Arcade bars are nothing new, but seem to be on the rise, and Rivertown is jumping on board in a huge way by giving their customers a blast from the past to go with their cold drinks.

The best part about this is the fact that these arcade games will be free. Indeed, as owner Jason Roeper decided that he's making enough profit from the brewery that giving loyal customers free games to go with a cold beer is a sure fire way to build bring in yet more people to enjoy the scene.

While classic hits like Galaga, Centipede, and Donkey Kong are among his gaming arsenal, the bar also plans to bring in the almighty run and gun shooter game Contra. That should sober up the customers real quick with that one, and then time for another round of drinks afterwards.

You can also bet that Rivertown is not the only bar jumping on the bandwagon of forging into one of those sweet arcade bars. Places like The-1UP has also made itself a name in the business, as well as 16-Bit Bar which has made its debut in Columbus and Cleveland, while soon to be making an appearance for you folks in Cincinnati.

Konami games are most certainly in the mix as well, with great hits like TMNT, Track & Field, and Frogger thrown into the mix. Are you ready to move to Ohio yet? Well you may not have to if this trend keeps happening. In fact, you may want to Google your local area to see if there are any arcade bars in your area.

You might be surprised at what you find. In at least one form, classic arcade is making a comeback of epic proportions, and I for one am cheering all the way there. Makes you want to shed a tear of joy doesn't it?

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