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Fun, Fun, FUNSPOT!

Saturday I finished off my Boston trip by joining Jason Scott on a trip to Funspot in Weirs Beach, New Hampshire. Weirs Beach is a cute little lakeside community with lots of cottages, restaurants, and attractions to see … during the summer. In the winter, most of those things are boarded up or chained closed. Fortunately for Jason and I Funspot is open year-round, which made for a much more interesting visit.

Funspot claims to be “The Largest Arcade in the World.” I don’t know what specific metric they’re using — square footage or number of machines — but both were pretty impressive. Funspot actually consists of three levels, although the stuff I went for (the Classic Games) were all located on level three. Level one contained dozens of redemption (ticket) games, air hockey tables, racing games and a snack bar. Level two contained a full-size bowling alley, lots of kiddie rides, a tavern, and some pinball games. One end of level three contained a golf center complete with a driving range and a mini-golf course, but it was the other half of that level that we were most interested in.

I was told that the cutoff date for the classic room was 1988, and that seemed about right. (Games that I’d consider to be “newer” classics such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989), The Simpsons (1990) and Mortal Kombat (1992) were located on the second floor.) Using some rough calculations I estimated Funspot has over 200 classic machines, the vast majority of which were restored to look and play like new. It’s hard to think many genuine classics that they didn’t have. They had everything from the well-known classics (Pac-Man, Q*Bert, Space Invaders and so on) to lots of more obscure gems (Lode Runner, Crazy Climber, Venture). Many of the games were grouped by manufacturer; there was an Atari section, a Sega section, a Taito section, and so on. Dragon’s Lair sat next to Space Ace, Cheyenne stood next to Crossbow, Zaxxon sat next to Super Zaxxon, and so on.

I had an awesome time playing (or in some cases, just seeing) some of the games I grew up playing. The only disappointment of the day was the fact that Donkey Kong was broken. For those who don’t know, the classic Donkey Kong showdown from The King of Kong took place at this very arcade. The fact that Donkey Kong was broken was ironic, but not particularly upsetting as there were so many games there that I enjoyed playing and seeing again.

More photos from my visit are located HERE.

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