Updated: Aug 26, 2021
In my continued quest to play every pinball machine in the Tri-State Area, on my day off on Friday my youngest son and I journeyed to Circle Bowl & Entertainment In Ledgewood, NJ. It is a very clean, new-looking arcade / bowling complex.
Upon entering, immediately to the left is a bar / restaurant area that has three newer Stern pinball machines, Deadpool Pro, Munsters Pro and Star Trek Pro Vault as well as a Big Buck Wild HD. All of the pins were clean. I didn’t play the Star Trek because I own one and can’t bring myself to pay to play a game that I have in my basement. The Munsters played great. The Deadpool’s kick out from the mode scoop went right down the middle every time requiring a slap save to avoid draining. The Deadpool’s ball save and lock bar buttons were also out and the ball got stuck in the scoop frequently requiring a search to free. Other than that it played fine.
My son and I played a TON of Big Buck. I promised them that a Big Buck would be my next acquisition for my arcade so if you know of one for sale, please let me know. The pins were set for a dollar per game with no multi-game discount and short ball saves. The Big Buck was $1.50.
The main arcade section of the location had a ton of very new, very clean games. From hoops, to air hockey, to the new Halo shooter to VR. It was a nice mix of redemption and non-redemption games.
For bowling, Circle Bowl charges my the hour. My son and I rented shoes and one hour of bowling for fifty bucks. That sounded a little steep to me, but we were able to almost get four games in during that time. I say almost because we completed three games, I bowled 100, 120, 130, and my son wanted to keep going. I said sure, we can bowl a few frames with the time that we have left. Of course, with the pressure off and several practice games in I started off Strike, Strike, Strike...uh oh “Let’s hurry pal, we need to finish this game!” I made it up to 145 sitting on a spare in the 10th with just the bonus frame to go. I let the ball go, knocked down 9 pins and BUZZZZ time expired. It didn’t count. AAHHHRRGGG. I’d say that probably put my last game at 155 or so.
I was very peasantry surprised by how nice Circle Bowl was. It had a little bit of everything, a liquor license, food, good service, very high tech bowling lanes with giant TVs, pinball, an arcade. I would definitely go back. It’s worth a trip if you’re in the area.