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In my younger years, an afternoon out with my father typically included a visit to the local arcade where we spent hours trying to beat high scores on the video games and pinball machines. I am the self-proclaimed Galaga master. I wanted to relive those years. Or at least have my initials flashing on the high score board again. Enter the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame.

The Pinball Hall of Fame is a nonprofit arcade that is 10,000 square feet of pure pinball, peppered with a few classic arcade games. Machines date as far back as 1933, with several from the 60s and 70s.

When I told the taxi driver we were going to the Pinball Hall of Fame he raised his brows, “Where?”. It was just under three miles from the strip, but he had never heard of it. An unknown gem.


I came prepared with a purse full of quarters, even though the last experience bringing coins to Las Vegas resulted in them being swabbed for drugs at the airport and there was also the “ah ha” moment when realizing that slot machines don’t take coins anymore. Brilliant.

This time would be different. This mound of coins would easily be purged playing classic pinball machines. Instead of winning cash, the rewards would be extra balls, free plays and flashing lights. And the proceeds of my playing benefit the Salvation Army. Yep. This playhouse is also a nonprofit organization.

Most of the games were set at 25 to 50 cents per play. And one quarter lasted longer than any time I have ever spent playing the Lucky Seven in the casinos. These pinball machines are officially the cheapest slot machine in Las Vegas.

My main goal at the Pinball museum, besides getting an impressive score, was to play the oldest machine on premise, which happened to be the 1933 Jig Saw.

The Jigsaw was completely mechanical, using no electricity and it lacked flippers.

You simply shake the machine to strategically move the ball, while trying not to tilt. It’s more challenging than it looks. There was no high score for me.

Not only are there pinball machines, but there was also a small collection of the classic video games; Donkey Kong, Galaga, Pacman, etc.

Apparently I have lost all of my mad arcade game skill, you will not see my initials blinking on any of these.

Before heading back to the strip, sans a high score, I gave the The Golden Arm a shot. It appeared to be an easy enough arm wrestling game. I’ve got arms. Two. And I used them with all my body strength to score the coveted title of “Piano Mover”.

I lied. I really got the title of “Banana Crusher”.

Peter is the “Piano Mover”. Good to know in case I ever need one.

Though I played a dozen machines, it turns out that I may have lost my touch. Only one “extra ball” to brag about. But, the experience for two only cost 26 bucks. Half of which was for the taxi. Take a bus.

What’s your favorite Pinball machine or Arcade game? Do you play slot machines?

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