Contrary to popular belief, the Netflix show “Stranger Things” didn’t kick start the 1980s nostalgia comeback that has hit upon everything from clothing to technology. Rather, the throwback sci-fi program that truly appeals to viewers of all ages is the final crescendo of all things 30-plus years old. From the fashions that the show hits head-on to the less-the-subtle name-dropping of musical references, “Stranger Things” really nails the ‘80s. As such, it’s no wonder that more people are putting on their rose-tinted glasses and looking back on the decade that was. From arcades loaded with the best pinball machines to today’s way of re-imagining this pinnacle of the teenage experience, it’s time to get re-acquainted with ways to relieve a bold era in American history.
At-Home Alternative: Part hangout, part proving ground for technology, the arcades of the ‘80s were unlike anything else before it. For little more than the loose change in your pocket, you could spend hours being dazzled by the graphics, lights, bells and whistles that arcade games boasted. While the rise of at-home console systems squashed arcades out of existence in the coming years, there are still ways to bring this experience back to life. One way is through the purchase of modernized pinball machines that use high-resolution graphics and a high-resolution display on a touch-screen playfield to emulate the pinball machines of our youth. With games that include more recent titles, such as “The Avengers,” to a litany of “Star Wars” based pinball programs, the gaming experience is entirely up to you.
Double the Fun: While these digital pinball machines would easily serve as the centerpiece for any at-home impromptu arcade, some manufacturers are also offering cocktail game machines that provides owners – or their guests – with yet another way to relive their youth. Similar to the pinball machines, these two-player gaming tables also boast the capability of running hundreds of games. Through joysticks and buttons or plugging a controller into the onboard USB port, this gaming table offers all of the fun that pinball machines do – just doubled due to the number of players who can get in on the action at a time.
Everything old is new again. That’s great news for those who came of age in the ‘80s and are looking for a way to recreate the past without inventing and investing in a time machine. With at-home pinball machines, which have all been modernized compared to their three-decade-old counterparts and can easily go toe-to-toe with today’s video game console systems, the hours of fun you spent in arcades can now be replicated under your own roof.