Updated: Aug 9
For this year’s summer vacation, my family and I decided to go visit my parents at their summer cabin in the mountains of Wyoming. Normally when we do so, I’ve been there 25 times, we fly into Denver. However, this year we decided to change plan up and fly into Salt Lake City, Utah. In Utah, we visited the Salt Lake, Arches National Park, Canyon Land National Park, the usual sights AND two new arcades!
First up is Nickel Mania. There’s actually three Nickel Mania arcades in the Salt Lake City area, one in Murray, one in Springville and one in West Jordan. The last location, West Jordan, had the most pinball machines - a whopping 58 according to Pinball Map, so that’s obviously where we went :).
The first two adjectives that come to mind when I think of Nickel Mania in retrospect are BIG and Cheap, which are not bad things in the world of arcades. The location does charge a $2.50 admission fee, but once you get in, all of the machines are priced in multiples of a nickel. Many of the older games were priced at around five nickels, or $0.25 which is a super bargain in todays world. Newer games cost more than that, but they were still a deal. I bought each person in my family, 4 of us, a $5 card to start, I thought just to get things started. I fully anticipated having to reload them but we actually couldn’t even spend all of the $20. As I said, the games were cheap!
Beyond the ton of pinball machines, Nickel Mania had a large number of classic arcade games. All of the big classics that you would expect to see at a good arcade were there. A few highlights for me included a giant 6-Player X-Men, a couple of cabarets and Ice Cold Beer.
The venue also had a lot of redemption games, which really aren’t my cup of tea any more (my boys and I used to really like them) but they seemed to be popular.
The condition of the pinball machines was a mixed bag. Universally, the incline on the pins was pretty low, making them play pretty easy. There was definitely a few that were completely out of order and some had an issue here or there. Some of the older pins had pretty substantial playfield wear, like the completely blown out Data East Batman.
The biggest issue that we ran into was when my youngest son put up an astonishing 1.2 Billion on The Flintstones on Ball 1. On my ball the pinball got stuck, caused by a bad rubber. When I tried to knock it loose, I accidentally Slam Tilted the machine, ending all turns. Oops. He would have easily GCed that machine. I felt bad, but he’s really laidback so we had a good laugh about it.
In addition to tons of classic pins from the 80s and 90s, Nickel Mania had a ton of brand new games. Really cools stuff, like Stern Godzilla Premium and Jersey Jack Willy Wonka.
Overall, my family and I had an excellent time at the Nickel Mania West Jordan location. It absolutely was worth the trip, especially for those who don’t expect every single game to be perfect every visit like us.
Here’s this location’s pinball lineup, according to Pinball Map:
AC/DC (Pro) (Stern, 2012)
The Addams Family (Bally, 1992)
Avengers: Infinity Quest (Pro) (Stern, 2020)
Baby Pac-Man (Bally, 1982)
Bad Cats (Williams, 1989)
Batman (Data East, 1991)
Batman 66 (Premium) (Stern, 2016)
Big Guns (Williams, 1987)
Black Knight (Williams, 1980)
Black Knight: Sword of Rage (Premium) (Stern, 2019)
Bram Stoker's Dracula (Williams, 1993)
The Champion Pub (Bally, 1998)
Creature from the Black Lagoon (Bally, 1992)
Cyclone (Williams, 1988)
Dialed In! (Jersey Jack, 2017)
Diner (Williams, 1990)
Firepower (Williams, 1980)
Fish Tales (Williams, 1992)
The Flintstones (Williams, 1994)
Funhouse (Williams, 1990)
Godzilla (Premium) (Stern, 2021)
Harley-Davidson (Sega, 1999)
Hook (Data East, 1992)
Judge Dredd (Bally, 1993)
Junk Yard (Williams, 1996)
Jurassic Park (Data East, 1993)
Maverick (Data East, 1994)
Metallica (Pro) (Stern, 2013)
Mousin' Around! (Bally, 1989)
NASCAR (Stern, 2005)
No Fear: Dangerous Sports (Williams, 1995)
The Party Zone (Bally, 1991)
Red & Ted's Road Show (Williams, 1994)
Ripley's Believe It or Not! (Stern, 2003)
RollerCoaster Tycoon (Stern, 2002)
Rollergames (Williams, 1990)
Rush (Premium) (Stern, 2022)
Scared Stiff (Bally, 1996)
Shrek (Stern, 2008)
The Simpsons Pinball Party (Stern, 2003)
South Park (Sega, 1999)
Space Invaders (Bally, 1979)
Star Trek (Data East, 1991)
Star Wars (Pro) (Stern, 2017)
Stargate (Gottlieb, 1995)
Street Fighter II (Gottlieb, 1993)
Swords Of Fury (Williams, 1988)
TRON: Legacy (Stern, 2011)
Tales from the Crypt (Data East, 1993)
Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Williams, 1991)
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (Stern, 2003)
Theatre of Magic (Bally, 1995)
Twilight Zone (Bally, 1993)
WHO Dunnit (Bally, 1995)
The Walking Dead (Pro) (Stern, 2014)
Whirlwind (Williams, 1990)
White Water (Williams, 1993)
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (LE) (Jersey Jack, 2019)
3245 west 7800 south
West Jordan, Utah 84088