A Walk Through Past Times Arcade

A Walk Through Past Times Arcade
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A Walk Through Past Times Arcade
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A Walk Through Past Times Arcade
Published on
March 7, 2024
Updated on
March 7, 2024
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Past Times Arcade, located in Girard, Ohio (just outside of Youngstown), is close to nostalgia nirvana for arcade and pinball enthusiasts. Once a town supermarket, this space has been transformed by Robert Berk into a haven of timeless retro entertainment. Unlike your average arcade, however, everything you can play at Past Times Arcade is part of Rob Berk's personal collection. His collection started with mostly pinball machines in the 1970s, which led him to founding The Pinball Expo in 1985, but in recent decades, video arcade games have also become a spot of interest.

Don't Miss These Must-Play Games at Past Times Arcade

Boasting over 200 retro games in rotation (along with a few modern titles), Past Times Arcade is home to not only some of the best arcade games ever but also some of the rarest. If it's your first time visiting, the mammoth selection of pinball and arcade games can be acutely overwhelming, as it's pretty much impossible to check out everything in one trip. So, the next time you find yourself at the entrance of Past Times Arcade and can't think of where to start, mosey your way over to the arcade games and give one of these a go!

Note: Past Times Arcade occasionally shifts the location of games or game availability. If you can't find one of the games listed in this article, one of the front-desk attendants should be able to let you know where it can be found or if it is currently under repair.

Computer Space

computer space nutting associates 1972

Sometimes, the best place to start is the beginning. From the entrance of Past Times Arcade, you can spot our first recommendation directly to your left, at the start of the arcade row that hugs the outer wall. Distinguishable by its blue, pearlescent cabinet, you should easily stumble upon Computer Space, originally released by Syzygy Engineering and Nutting Associates in 1971. This precursor to Asteroids is the first ever commercial video arcade machine, and as such, is notably rare, with less than 100 Computer Space cabinets left in circulation or collections (according to the Video Arcade Preservation Society). The game's developers, Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney, eventually went on to found one of the most influential video game companies of all time, Atari.

Fast Freddie

fast freddie atari 1982 arcade game

Speaking of Atari, just a few cabinets away from Computer Space, fans of side-scrolling action games should take a look at Fast Freddie. Produced by Atari in 1982, the colorful title sees players controlling the eponymous Freddie as he soars across the screen on his hang glider. Apart from being exceptionally rare, with less than a dozen or so cabinets left, Fast Freddie is simple to play and a lot of fun. As you dodge helicopters and other airborne foes, you'll need to soar dangerously close to the ground and grab the BONUS flags if you want to nab a high score.

Mario Bros.

maro bros. arcade game nintendo 1989

Further down the row on the outer wall, you can also spot this iconic platform game produced by Nintendo in 1983. Just a few years before Mario and Luigi would gain immense popularity in Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System, they could be found here, kicking Koopas (sorry, “Shellcreepers”) and punching POW blocks in style. Although Mario Bros. is quite common to see in the retro arcade scene, the cabinet at Past Times Arcade is in remarkably good condition. If you consider yourself a gamer and have never teamed up with a pal and played Mario Bros., this is a perfect place to do it.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

teenage mutant ninja turtles konami 1989

If you've got a few friends joining you on your trip to Past Times Arcade, you'll definitely want to play this fantastic late-80s beat 'em up. Located in the first inner-row of arcade games, somewhere opposite of Mario Bros., Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is a stellar multiplayer experience. Released in 1989, it was one of the first TMNT games of its kind, featuring non-stop beat 'em-up action for up to four players. Best of all, Past Time Arcade does not operate on tokens or quarters, so you won't go broke trying to beat this tough retro title.

Jack Rabbit

jack rabit zaccarria 1984

If you came to Past Time Arcade to see some wildly uncommon arcade games, Jack Rabbit is easily one of the rarest in the collection (with less than 10 in circulation), plus it's loads of fun. You'll likely find this gem on the outer wall, opposite the entrance, nestled somewhere near the end of the arcade row. Produced by Zaccaria in 1984 (also known for their vibrant pinball machines), this colorful grid-style action game is reminiscent of Q*Bert, albeit with a hop-happy bunny protagonist. Set in three distinct stages, you control Jack, who must hop around and collect carrots while dodging pitfalls, enemy weasels, and more. High rarity does not always equal high quality, but in the case of Jack Rabbit, it's worth playing both for its sparse availability and fun factor.

Pac-Man and Donkey Kong

pac man arcade game collection

Neither Pac-Man nor Donkey Kong needs an introduction, but for fans of these two beloved franchises, Past Times Arcade has every machine you’ve dreamed of playing. From the entrance, you should see these titans at the beginning of the inner rows of arcade games. If you're interested in chomping dots, you can play Pac-Man, Ms. Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Pac-Mania, Jr. Pac-Man, Super Pac-Man, and even Pac-Land. You might even find the arcade/pinball hybrid, Baby Pac-Man. On the opposite row, you can also dive into the complete Donkey Kong arcade trilogy, including the iconic original Donkey Kong Jr. and the quirky Donkey Kong 3.

donkey kong trilogy arcade games

After Burner

sega after burner 1987

When you want thrilling speed and exciting action, sometimes there's nothing quite like After Burner. Nestled next to a bunch of other great shoot 'em ups in the Pac-Man aisle, After Burner is an all-time SEGA arcade classic, especially when played with its original flight stick controls. Clearly inspired by late-80s films like Top Gun, 1987's After Burner puts you in control of an F-14 Tomcat as you blaze through over a dozen stages of intense on-rails aerial combat. Dodging enemy fire as you rip through opposing fighter jets with machine gun rounds and heat-seeking missiles is pure arcade bliss, the kind that only After Burner and its ilk can provide. While you're in that area, we also recommend dabbling in some other vertical shoot 'em ups, as it's one of the easier genres to hop into.

The Games Keep Coming at Past Times Arcades

past times arcade girard ohio

This short list of recommendations just barely scratches the surface of the arcade offerings at Past Times, let alone the numerous rows of pinball machines. There is a comprehensive list of arcade games at Past Times available to look over, but we think half of the fun comes from rediscovering these nostalgic gems or stumbling upon a newfound favorite. Luckily, games are arranged loosely by genre at Past Times, so if you like a game, try the one right next to it!

Without a doubt, Past Time Arcade is one of the best arcades in the entire world, with a vast and bewildering selection of timeless retro games and pinball machines. In addition to what we've mentioned, you can also feast on fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, gun-down baddies in light-gun shooters like Point Blank 2 and Area 51: Site 4, and much more. Classics like Asteroids, Paperboy, Galaga, and Robotron: 2084 can be found everywhere you look, often accompanied by other fantastic titles, such as Tron, NBA Jam, Dragon's Lair, Dig Dug, and many more. If you're near Girard, Ohio at any point in the near future, there's no better day trip for a gamer to take than to Past Times Arcade.