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ARCADE REPORT: Moonwalker Arcade - Johnson City, NY (July 2021)

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve reported on an arcade in an old bank in New Jersey, an arcade in a restaurant in Massachusetts and an arcade bar in an industrial building in Connecticut. Today I am going to transport back to your youth…the era of the Mall, when Mall Arcades thrived. My town had a legendary arcade at the local mall called “Fun and Games” that people still talk about to this day. Not many good mall arcades are left nowadays, but I managed to find one in the Oakdale Mall in Johnson City, NY.

My family and I were in town visiting SUNY Binghamton University as a prospective school for my high school senior so of course I had to check out a local arcade. I heard about Moonwalker the last time I was up in this area so I decided to check it out. I actually was very surprised to find it in the middle of a big shopping mall. I haven’t been to a mall in probably a couple of years. Recently because of the pandemic, but now that things are opening back up…Let’s Go!

Walking through the mall is a complete blast from the past. I almost expected to round a corner and see a Sam Goody music store. We’ll let me tell you, if my mall had a massive row of pinball machines like Moonwalker Arcade does I’d be there all the time. I can hear it now, “Honey why do you want to go to the mall again?” It would be the ultimate destination for me to hide while my wife and sons shop 😂.

Moonwalker recently expanded its mall presence. It now operates two storefronts across the hall from each other. In the middle of the two in the hallway are two of the newest and best arcade machines, the massive shooter by Raw Thrills, Halo: Fireteam Raven and the new 4-player beat ‘em up by Raw Thrills Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 🐢.

On one side of the hall is a couple of billiards tables 🎱 a super fast air hockey table (my boys love the mega fast metal ones) and a HUGE lineup of pinball machines. The lineup ranges from newer pins like Stranger Things and the soon to arrive Mandalorian to classics like Medieval Madness to the ultimate of rare games Spooky Pinball’s Domino’s Spectacular Pinball Adventure. For me, getting to play Doninos and add it to my Pindigo list alone made the trip worthwhile.

One of my guilty pleasure games was there as well. Do you have a game that even though you know it’s not great, you just can’t get enough of? One of my biggest guilty pleasure pinball machines that I LOVE and would buy on the spot if I found one for sale is Stern’s High Roller Casino. I know, I know I just love it. I don’t care what anyone thinks 😂. I played several games of High Roller. Everything worked well on it, but the DMD has seen better days.

All of the pins that I played worked well. There was a couple of games that were out of order, but there was more than enough to go around.

Across the hall is the other half of Moonwalker, which consists of an eclectic mix of classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Space Invaders, a number of redemption games that give out tickets that can be redeemed for Candy, shooters like the fantastic Terminator Salvation and one that I don’t think I have ever seen before…Lethal Enforcers 2 which surprisingly has a Western theme and drivers. There was even two electromechanical pins on this side, but only one was working the day that I went.

The arcade had a steady stream of teenage visitors, like you would have seen at a mall arcade back in the day. The games take tokens that can be purchased with cash at change machines. Older pinball machines cost $0.50/play and newer ones were a dollar. If you are in the Binghamton, NY area and are into pinball you totally should stop by Moonwalker. Or even better, if you live near here and your family tries to make you go to the mall - go here! I’ve got a few more visits in the books that I’ll write up soon. Thanks for reading!

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