• Jason

ARCADE REPORT: Free Play Arcade & Bar - Providence, RI (January 2020)

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Today I present to you one of the best values the world of arcades, an arcade bar that has an astonishing 160 games, ALL set to free play and a $5 flat charge to get in ($10 on the weekend). Not only are the games free, but they are beautiful and work flawlessly. This my friends is Free Play Bar & Arcade in Providence, RI... New England’s largest arcade bar.


This review has been six months in the making. I’ve been talking about visiting Free Play with the arcade’s cool co-owner, Jay Leone, for a while but my travels haven’t brought me near Rhode Island, until this weekend when I went to visit colleges in Connecticut with my oldest son (man time flies).


Let me tell you, it was worth the trip. Since the location is 21 and over, and I had my family along Jay opened it up early for us. We were completely blown away by the location. I had no idea that there would be so many games. Free Play has just about every single classic arcade game you could dream of, from the OGs like Donkey Kong and Galaga to much more rare classics like Zoo Keeper, Food Fight and the Mad Planets that used to reside in John’s Arcade, of YouTube fame (“Hey guys. We’re in the basement!”)


Beyond the classic vids, Free Play has over 20 pinball machines. That’s a big selection. All of the ones that I played worked flawlessly, which is no easy task to accomplish. The list of pins includes all of the popular titles from Bally Williams’ heyday, Theatre of Magic, The Addams Family, Attack From Mars, etc... as well as a number of cool older solid state pins like Sorcerer and Firepower. I spent most of my time on the pins playing NBA Fastbreak because I don’t see that one on location very often.


We’ve covered the classics and pins, but in addition to them Free Play has a ton of newer shooters and racers such as Time Crisis, Mario Cart, Super Bikes AND several dance games. They even had a Candy Cab loaded with Street Fighter III 3rd Strike. Man I want to get a Candy Cab. Those things are hard to come by in the U.S.


Since it was before hours, I didn’t partake in any of the adult beverages, but the selection looked plentiful. The decor was fantastic. Free Play has Neon Signs everywhere. I love Neon (my camera, not so much, it’s tough light to shoot in). The Neon and the roving DJ lights create a super cool vibe.


Those of you who live in Massachusetts are in luck, Free Play is in the process of opening a second location in Worcester, Mass. Here’s a link to Free Play’s website for more info: https://freeplaybar.com


Here is a whopping 80 pics from the visit. That’s not all I took, so I will share the rest on the Knapp Arcade Instagram page. Make sure to visit there for lots of cool arcade pictures.


One thing that I really like is that Jay has an inventory of extra games that he rotates into the location’s lineup to keep things fresh.


Below is a list of Free Play’s current game lineup:


Arcade Games:

1943

Altered Beast

Area 51 Site 4

Arctic Thunder x2

Arkanoid

Asteroids

Bezerk

Black Widow

Blitz 99

Bubbles

Bump n Jump

Burgertime

Castlevania

Centipede

Cheyenne

Circus Charlie

Commando

Cosmotrons

Crazy Climber

Crazy Taxi

Crossbow

Daytona USA sitdown drivers x4

Defender

Demolition Derby

Dig Dug

Discs of Tron

Donkey Kong

Donkey Kong Jr.

Donkey Kong 3

Double Dragon

Dragon's Lair

Dungeons & Dragons

Elevator Action

Fast & Furious Super Bikes x2

Frogger

Food Fight

Galaga

Galaga 3

Galaga 88

Gauntlet Legends

Golden Axe

Golden Tee Fore Complete

Gyruss

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Ivan Stewart Off Road

Joust

Jungle King

Jurassic Park 3

Kickman

Killer Instinct

Klax

Mad Planets

Mappy

Marble Madness

Mario Kart GP 2

Marvel vs. Capcom 2

Missile Command

Moon Patrol

Mortal Kombat II

Mouse Trap

Ms. Pacman

NBA Jam Tournament Edition

Neo Geo

Nintendo Playchoice 10

Nintendo Super System

Operation Ghost

Outrun cockpit

Pacman

Pacman Battle Royale 4 player

Pacmania

Paperboy

Pole Position II

Punchout

Q*bert

Qix

Rampart

Return of the Jedi

Road Blasters

Road Runner

Robotron 2084

Rolling Thunder

Silver Strike Bowling

Simpsons 4 player

Sinistar

Smash TV

Space Harrier (Full motion cockpit)

Space Invaders Deluxe

Spiderman

Spy Hunter

Star Wars

Street Fighter II CE

Street Fighter II Turbo

Street Fighter III 3rd Strike

Super Mario Brothers

Super Sprint

T2 (Terminator 2)

Tapper

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Tekken 3

Tekken Tag

Tempest

Tetris

The House of the Dead

Timber

Time Crisis 3

Time Pilot

Toobin

Track & Field

Tron

Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

Warlords

X-men 6 player

Zoo Keeper


Pinball Machines:

The Addams Family

Attack From Mars

Black Knight 2000

Dr. Dude

F-14 Tomcat

Firepower II

Fishtales

Funhouse

Guns N Roses

Monster Bash

NBA Fastbreak

Phantom of the Opera

Pinbot

Sorcerer

Taxi

Terminator 2

The Simpsons Pinball

Theatre of Magic

Transformers

Whirlwind


Other Games:

Air Hockey Tables x3

Chexx Bubble Hockey

Skee Ball Lanes x4

Pump It Up NX

Dance Dance Revolution Extreme

Dance Dance Revolution Super Nova 2



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