Sunday, April 14, 2019

The search for arcades @ Myrtle Beach, SC

Located on the upper floor (or is the bottom floor?) inside Ripley's Wonderworks at Myrtle Beach, SC is one of the last arcades I've managed to find at the beach. It's a shame really because I have so many memories have taking a roll of quarters to the Pavillion area and playing random video games until the money ran out. Double Dragon was always a favorite of mine back then. Now finding arcade games at the beach isn't an easy task.

While the actual game selection was somewhat limited inside Wonderworks, the designs on the walls leading to the bathrooms (of all places!) were too cool not to show. There were several different classic arcade games showcased and underneath each was a plaque that gave a brief history of the game. You can click on any picture to view a larger image.

One of the few games I hadn't seen in an arcade before was this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game. While it's no "Turtles in Time", I found it pretty fun to play. The graphics were very animated and the action was very fluid. I would have liked to have had more time with the game, but the upper level also included a ropes course that my daughter was waiting to go on with me.

Growing up my family took many vacations to Myrtle Beach and one of my favorite rainy day spots was the old Briarcliffe Mall. Inside was a cool arcade, KB Toys and a movie theatre. Now called the Myrtle Beach Mall, it's a shell of itself. There isn't a lot inside the mall to be honest. The movie theatre is still there, but I don't think I've seen a movie there since A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 5! However there is one two reasons to go to the mall. Player's Choice. 

Player's Choice alone is worth going if you love video games and all things pop culture. For as long as I can remember there have always been great arcade cabinets and pinball machines inside the store you could play for just a quarter. Games like Konami's Simpsons, Capcom's Alien vs. Predator, Ivan Iron Stewart's Super Off-Road and even Sega's Spider-Man arcade game. They also sold new and used video games and systems going back to the Atari and NES through current gen. Comics, TPBs, Pops! and other assorted action figures are also always in stock. I know I could spend a good bit of time in the store alone...but a year or so ago they leased the empty space next to their store and put in a full fledged retro arcade!

On my last visit I was greeted with Pac-Man and Kung-Fu at the entrance of the black light soaked room. I was never good at either of those so I continued to keep looking around.

On the left side was Dragon's Lair, Dr. Mario, Super Mario Bros., Kangaroo, Ghost 'n Goblins...

Followed by Track & Field, Joust, Burger Time, Double Dragon and an old school juke box in the back left corner. In the center of the room were a few more classic games like these Donkey Kong games.

On the opposite side was Commando, Contra, Tetris, Jungle Hunt, Q*Bert...

Toobin', Dig Dug, Tapper, Punch Out! and a few other games. Along the back of the arcade were several pinball tables, but in my haste to start plugging quarters into the games I forgot to snap more pictures!

The walls of the arcade had various video game art/logos with some 80's nostalgia mixed in. At one point I do remember looking up from my game and seeing Skeletor from Masters of the Universe! Like the games inside the Player's Choice store next door, all the machines in the arcade were just $.25. It was so much fun re-living a part of my childhood as I beat Double Dragon again. I played several other games as well, but I didn't get to play everything that I wanted to before I had to leave. Thankfully however the place we stay at the beach is just down the road from this mall so I get to frequent both the store and the arcade with each trip to the beach.

I'm sure there are other gaming spots at Myrtle Beach that I haven't quite found yet, but when I do you can expect me to be in my element.

1 comment:

  1. I have fond memories of playing Pole Position for hours at Long's Drugs with my friends... except the one time when our bikes were stolen.