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ARCADE REPORT: YESTERcades - Somerville, NJ

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

YESTERcade is a New Jersey arcade chain with three locations. I have been to their Westfield location before, but not the other two yet. My youngest son and I recently made a quick trip to the location in Somerville, NJ. YESTERcades has a reputation in the hobby for being somewhat Hit and Miss with the maintenance for its games, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when we went there today. Well, to quote Ice Cube, “I gotta say it was a good day.” I think that it helped tremendously that my son and I got there exactly when the arcade opened so we were the first customers of the day and it was mid-week so they were able to fix any issues that popped up during the weekend rush.

Whatever the reason, the best that I could tell, only two pinball machines of this massive row were down. South Park has an out of order sign on it and Hook was unmarked but stuck in ball search. All of the pins that we played today worked properly. The flippers seemed strong and things like magnets, etc we’re doing what they should. The balls were a little on the old side, but if that’s the biggest problem I’ll gladly take it. The employees were doing a great job at keeping everything clean, constantly washing and dusting machines.

So what did we play? I was able to add two pins to my Pindigo list that don’t seem to be very rare but had somehow eluded me until today, so that’s where we headed first…to Stern Sopranos and Sega Bay Watch. I don’t know how I have 350 pins on my Pindigo list and not these but we fixed that! Sopranos had a really neat layout. It played much better than I expected, let’s not talk about the art though yuck. And Bay Watch. Oh how I love Bay Watch. Such a cool pin. It fits right into the I love weird games mode that I’ve been in for a while, buying a Demo Man and playing the heck out of WWF Royal Rumble and Golden Eye on location.

Other pins that we played today included Williams Rollergames (the magnet and upper flipper worked perfectly) and Stern Monopoly…yes again (I’ve been into that one lately). I managed to set a new PR on Monopoly and put in my initials.

My son and I noticed something VERY interesting about how YESTERcades has its pins set up. We always play two player games when we go to arcades. We were having a tough time doing so today. It was easy to start a game but it took a while before we could add a second player. After this happening on every game we played, I realized that this is probably intentional. They seem to have some sort of delay, I’m not sure if it’s timed or dependent on switch hits, that prevents players from spamming the Start button and just walking away from 4-player games. That’s a reeeally smart idea for an hourly, free play arcade! I don’t think that I’ve ever seen that before.

On to the vids. My son really enjoyed playing Paperboy. And we kicked it old school with some Super Off Road. Years ago we had one that I picked up for $250 and almost died bringing home in a Nissan Pathfinder during a snowstorm. We loved the game, but it was so HUGE that we knew we never would be able to get it down to the basement arcade so I eventually sold it (it resides in NJ’s Marcade now if you want to go visit it).

That’s about it. This was a quick trip. We got to the arcade when it opened at Noon, were the only people there for an hour and left when it started to fill up after about an hour and a half. The arcade is located on a really cool street that is closed off to traffic in Somerville. There’s all sorts of restaurants and stores and people milling around. My son and I walked literally next door and ate a delicious Thai lunch, picked up some fancy chocolates for his Mom at another store and walked to our car that was conveniently located in a lot a block away. It was a great quick arcade trip.

Thanks for reading!

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