ARCADE ROAD TRIP: Game On Retro Arcade - Lake Grove, NY
Updated: Oct 1, 2022
Back in the day when one could actually find classic arcade games to buy on Craigslist, New Jersey arcade collectors like myself had a running joke that we'd go anywhere to pick up a new game...except for Long Island. No offense to the area, it's great, but driving to and from there from NJ is a nightmare. Nevertheless, I recently rolled the dice and took a trip over to LI to visit an awesome new arcade that my friend Jason Young invited me to check out.
Back in January of this year, Tristan Whitworth, the owner of a successful chain of retro video game stores, decided to branch out into the arcade business. And he did so in a big way, opening up an incredible retro arcade location in the Smith Haven Mall in Lake Grove, New York called Game On Retro Arcade. The location is packed with around 100 classic arcade cabinets and pinball machines. It includes both all of the essentials, like Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, etc... as well as a number of super rare machines that I personally have never seen on location before. All of the games are meticulously maintained by Game On's lead pinball tech, Mike Fisher along with the newly hired Jason Young and others. They even have a dedicated arcade monitor tech that keeps all of the games' original CRTs looking bright and crisp.
Game On recently changed up things in the arcade to celebrate Halloween. They went well above and beyond the usual spooky decorations. They added an entire row of spooky-themed pinball machines and replaced all of the cartridges in the location's Nintendo Play Choice and Candy Cab machines with horror-themed games. The spooky pinball row includes, Gottleb Nightmare on Elm Street, Pinball Brothers Alien, Spooky Pinball Halloween, Stern Ghostbusters, Bally The Addams Family and of course Chicago Gaming Company's Monster Bash LE (which is a gorgeous game BTW). The Play Choice cabs were filled with games like Splatter House, Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street. It's a really neat touch for the holiday.
As I mentioned earlier, there was a number of super rare machines on the floor, such as the 1992 Konami games Bucky O'Hare and Asterix, 1998 Capcom 3D fighter Tech Romancer, the cool 1991 Konami 4-player game Sunset Riders, the aforementioned Pinball Brothers Alien pin, 1993 Konami Violent Storm, a Neo Geo MVS Mini Cab, a Nintendo Red Tent with a light gun that was purchased from the Banning Museum of Pinball auction (they actually had 2 Red Tents on the floor), and more. They even have a large stable of games in reserve that they consistently rotate onto the floor to keep things fresh.
All of Game On's games are set to free play. Admission is $20 for the full day for adults and $10 for children who are accompanied by an adult. The arcade is conveniently located right next to the mall's food court, so you can hop out and grab a drink or a snack and walk right back in with your day-long pass. I normally fear the drive to Long Island like the plague, but I would happily do it again to visit an arcade like this. If you live in LI or the surrounding area, you definitely need to check Game On out. Below is my usual large bunch of pictures. Bear with me as I continue to progress with my iPhone 14 Pro mastery. I'm so used to enhancing pictures from my 11, but the 14's pics are so sharp already now that I have to be careful not to overdo it.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend!
Game On Retro Arcade
362 Smith Haven Mall, Lake Grove, NY, United States, New York