I was thinking of making a thread like this!!
1up -> 2 locations, Colfax, and LoDo:
Kind of the quintessential barcade. On a weekend, it’s going to be packed full of young drunk people. Some are there for the arcade machines, some are there for the drinking. The LoDo location tends to be too crowded to actually be enjoyable. I suppose if you go earlier in the evening you can play whatever you want, hear your friends and have a nice drink. The arcade selection is actually pretty varied and the machines tend to be in good working order and taken care of. 1up has been open for quite a long time, and are very well known in Denver. The Colfax location had a brief stint in 2014-2016 where they had a music venue attached to the arcade. It was possibly one of the best venues in Denver during it’s brief run. I think Red Bull had something to do with it. I miss it dearly.
Honorary Denver mention: Hyperspace!!
Hyperspace was this HUGE warehouse that was filled with arcade machines from probably the late 60’s all the way up until today. I went a handful of times over the years, and usually spent 4+ hours just exploring. It was a fascinating place, and a treasure. Unfortunately it closed a year or so before COVID.
Akihabara Arcade: This IS the place. It’s filled with fixed and updated Japanese arcade cabinets. Actually uses quarters for all the machines. They have tons of fighting games, rhythm games, shmups, and everything else you can imagine. It’s a relatively large space, so even when it is kind of busy, you can still find a chill spot and enjoy playing something. This place has a bar, but serves way more than just alcohol. They host Smash and fighting tournaments on a regular basis, or at least did Pre-COVID. Truly a spectacular place, worth a visit. I think they’re open currently on an appointment based system.
Boss Stage Arcade & Anime: Personally haven’t been here yet. A group of my close friends were going here a lot Pre-COVID for all the DDR and Rhythm game machines this place has. Plus it’s got a little anime/manga store in the front of it. IIRC you pay for a wristband and just play as much as you want. I wish I could say more.
Pinball Jones: 2 locations
The second location, located close to the CSU campus opened in 2018 I think. Both locations were this dingy basement establishments that were filled to the brim with pinball machines, and a random selection of arcade machines. Mostly the kind of games you’d expect to see in the lobby of a movie theater back in the 90’s. The location in downtown Fort Collins is in a building that’s easily over 100 years old, and featured some really really early machines from Bally. Very interesting, and it seemed they rotated the machines out pretty frequently. Often never too busy to actually enjoy the games. The downtown location would get extremely hot at night in the summer.
This place opened up shortly before COVID. It was a very small, modern establishment. You pay using a RFID wristband at the machines instead of using quarters. They also have a serve your self bar system that charges your wristband too. The game selection is small, lots of pinball machines, a couple off beat fighting games, and nostalgia laden stuff that elder millennials are drawn too. It’s a great little spot, but it’s often so busy on a Friday night, that I’d turn around and leave when I got to the door.
This place uses a similar system to Quarters, except I don’t think they serve alcohol. Larger selection of games than Quarters, but a similar vibe. I think they’re open more during the day too. Only went here once Pre-Covid.
I know I’m forgetting a few places along the front range. I also need to research a little as there’s a place up in Cheyenne that I’ve been to a few times and cannot remember what it’s called.