My family got our first Nintendo when I was 10, right around the time Super Mario Brothers 3 came out. I was not much for video games before that, so when I started playing, I started from scratch. It took me two years of playing it daily, but I finally beat it. My parents later told me that the NES was the best babysitter they ever had. Many years later, I can still beat Mario 3 with or without warping through the levels, and I am pretty good at Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Arcade Game, Bart vs. The Space Mutants and Kirby’s Adventure. The common feature of these games? Our hero runs from left to right along a 2 dimensional plane attacking enemies and avoiding traps – now that’s my kind of game.
And since I never really learned to play new video games, when I walked into The 1UP Bar in LoDo, Denver and saw all of my favorite childhood arcade games, I was in heaven. The above mentioned Turtles, as well as the Simpsons, X-Men, and Cruisin’ USA are there, and the also have timeless arcade classics like Pac-Man (and its various incarnations) Asteroids, Galaga and, fittingly, Tapper. If those games are hopelessly too modern for you, there is a wall of pinball machines and a monthly tournament to test your pinball wizardry. In days where movie theater arcades can charge up to $1.oo per play, it is refreshing to see that the prices are retro, too-a quarter earns you a turn on most of the machines. Not sure what to do with your drink while you are shooting down German planes or wrecking Peoria, IL as Godzilla? Not to worry-the machines are equipped with cup holders.
No need to bring quarters-change machines abound. Make sure you bring your ID-they card like crazy in Denver.
Retro video games+beer=the best time ever.