Arkadia Retrocade review: Unrealized Nostalgia

As a kid, spending the day at an arcade was never really an option in Northwest Arkansas. The mere idea of it was just something born in the early days of watching “Hey Arnold.”

Now is the time to go back to those days and experience nostalgia for things that you never had nostalgia for at Arkadia in Fayetteville. Arkadia offers over 75 retro arcade games plus a cheap snack bar full of chips, candy, and soda.

Upon entering Arkadia, you will be greeted by a man at a ticket booth of sorts who will collect $5 from you. Upon giving the man the sum, you will then have unlimited access to the time machine that is the game room.

Whether you are looking for the classic games that were recreated for Nintendo 64 (Galiga, Dig Gug, Donkey Kong, Tron) or Pac-Man, you will not be disappointed.

After a couple of minutes there I was forced to latch onto some of the more unheard of games as the popular names were taken, but overall, that wasn’t such a bad thing. Eventually, I got to play some old school Donkey Kong but in the process I found a new favorite game called “Centipede.”

After testing out a majority of the games, my awesome friend and I decided that we couldn’t take anymore game times as our stomaches were urging us other places, and admittedly the snack bar doesn’t have anything really filling stocked. But no worries – we left to go get something to eat, and as we were walking out the door, we even got an approving and gratitude-loaded smile from the owner.

Done eating, we decided that we couldn’t just not go back and returned promptly fully expecting to have to pay another $5. Miraculously, the owner at the front remembered us, and welcomed us back with enthusiasm and open arms, free of charge.

Although we had access to any game we wanted, we opted to plop down on the ultra-comfy couch and burn the midnight-oil playing Pac-Man on an original Atari. It never ended, we were so good.

Our late-night stay greeted us with a change in atmosphere. As the younger kids left and the sky got darker, so did the game room. Accompanied with this change of lighting was the heightening volume of the background music, which turned out to be some pretty intense 80s electro. Needless to say, I was in love.

So in conclusion; the Arkadia Retrocade gets a 10 out of 10. I would recommend the experience to friends and family. I will be going back again.