Tycoon Arcade (aka Glimmerhold) Takes New Hampshire By Storm

Tycoon Arcade (aka Glimmerhold) Takes New Hampshire By Storm
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Tycoon Arcade (aka Glimmerhold) Takes New Hampshire By Storm
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Tycoon Arcade (aka Glimmerhold) Takes New Hampshire By Storm
Published on
February 27, 2024
Updated on
February 28, 2024
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New Hampshire’s pinball scene has never been the same since Pinball Wizard Arcade closed down in 2017 after an extraordinary 6-year run. Notable home collections admirably stepped up to fill in the gap such as Granite State Pinball and Ice Ice Arcade. Tokens Taproom helped scratch the itch for a public location, but none of these reached the heights that Pinball Wizard Arcade did. More recently Funspot in Laconia has rejuvenated its pinball line-up and has become a solid recommendation for pinball enthusiasts to visit. Port City Pinball in Portsmouth is another new spot but more on the competitive scene as it looks to grow into the next District 82-style location in New England.

It just hasn’t been the same though you know? New England players who frequented the PinWiz location (as we lovingly called it) miss the crazy 100+ pinball games, the goofy older titles like Cactus Jack’s (I’d always select that game at league night to mess with my opponents), video arcade, pool, the pizza joint next door, the “let's fit everyone inside pushing the limits of a building fire code for NEPL Finals” location. Well, it looks like the new location for just such a place has arrived, and it’s in Manchester, NH.  

Do you want games? Tycoon Arcade has LOTS of games.

A couple of years ago I’m talking to Chris B. (owner of Ice Ice Arcade) who is a friend of mine. He has this crazy story of a board game publisher that has this giant warehouse full of pinball games. The owner bought some of his games and is buying up all of the rare, minty games from other home collectors in the area and is buying tons of games from distributors. Chris took a private tour and was in awe of the place. It would be bigger than Pinball Wizard Arcade, and this board game publisher is down the road from him named Tabletop Tycoon. They publish board games such as Everdell.

My experience with board games is mainly Monopoly or Cards Against Humanity, so the world of Tabletop Tycoon is somewhat new to me. However as time went on it became clear this place wasn’t a fabled rumor. Tycoon Arcade is definitely real, appearing first as a teaser at Pintastic in 2023 and also at PAX East (at the time it was initially called Glimmerhold). 

After much speculation and low-key hype, the arcade is now open to the public for preview hours as they await final approvals from associated business and government groups.

Is it Glimmerhold or Tycoon Arcade?

tycoon arcade new hampshire logo

Bear with us for a minute - we have to do a sidebar on the name of this establishment because it may get a tad confusing but it makes sense in the end. It goes like this. Tabletop Tycoon (the board game publisher) decided to try their hands at running an arcade business. Initially this concept was known as Glimmerhold. As they went through the process of opening up Glimmerhold, expanded their ambitions, and listened to customer feedback in real time, they decided to make some adjustments to the branding. 

glimmerhold logo

As we’ve been told, moving forward, what was formerly known as Glimmerhold will now be called Tycoon Arcade. The retail store (that you enter the arcade through) will be called Glimmerhold. The team behind Tycoon Arcade and Tabletop Tycoon may dip their toes into distributing new-in-box games and buying/selling used games. Those efforts will be under a different name, called Pinball Tycoon.

Tycoon Arcade Fast Facts

  • Tycoon Arcade is located at 195 McGregor St, Suite 201, Manchester, NH on the second floor of an old mill building. They have a massive parking lot that is free.
  • Currently limited in hours of operation. (Wednesday-Friday: 6PM to 9PM, Saturday: 2PM to 9PM, Sunday: 6PM to 9PM)
  • It’s a tokens-based arcade. The current rate is $19 for 20 tokens, with scaling discounts the more tokens you purchase at once. Check their website for the most up-to-date pricing info. Most games are 1-2 tokens to play, and in places like the Classic Arcade Room, they have most games configured to give 2 credits per token, or extra lives per token. All sales of tokens benefit Toys for Tots!
  • Check out their listing on Pinball Map to see a current list of pinball machines. They typically have a lineup of 100 pinball machines and 100 arcade games.

  • Initially, Tycoon Arcade had a system where for every $20 spent, you’d receive a spin on the “wheel of rewards”. That system has now been retired in favor of more traditional redemption prizing. Basically if you play redemption games and win tickets, you can use those at the Glimmerhold store towards any item of your choice. Since NH is a sales tax free state, these rewards can make a big difference on the final price of an item. So if you like something in the store, then buy it! 

As you can see in the photos and video the place has it all. Do you want to bring your significant other, date, party, game night crew, and have fun all in one place? You would be hard-pressed to find a better venue than Tycoon Arcade.

The pinball games they have just astound me. Most arcades wouldn’t put an Early Achievers Big Lebowski on the floor so the public can smash it up and clean their shoes off on the collector's rug that shipped with the game like Tycoon Arcade has. Then they have some of the rarer games you just won’t find anywhere else, like Spooky Pinball’s Jetsons or Pinball Adventures’ Punny Factory. Can’t decide what model of Foo Fighters to buy? Well, they have all three versions on the floor at once, so you can try them all. They have this setup with many other manufacturers as well, with each version sitting side-by-side like it’s a distributor's showroom. All the games are playing perfectly as they have a full-time tech on hand. It’s rare to find a location that will put a Premium-level game on the floor, let alone an LE-level trim. Already Tycoon Arcade is in a rare group.

Getting tired of pinball? They got Skee-Ball, tabletop hockey, tabletop PONG, crane games, RAW Thrill games, and more standard Family Entertainment Center (FEC for you industry folks) style fare.

The Redemption Prizes Are Awesome

Tycoon Arcade I feel separates itself from any location I have ever been to with its unique approach to retail and redemption prizing. I ended up with a $17 in-store credit during my time there. Most redemption arcades have pretty mediocre prizes, but Tycoon Arcade is different. They lean into their status as a board game publisher and stock their store with high-end games and other collectibles. I ended up buying the Everdell: Collectors Edition on a recommendation from a friend. This brought the cost down to $72, which felt like a steal, particularly given that NH is a sales tax free state. I didn’t plan on buying a board game when I went to Tycoon Arcade but I did because of the discount. You can even play with the product you just bought or demo it before committing to your purchase. Eventually, you will be able to play board games at Tycoon Arcade in dedicated tabletop gaming areas.

Tycoon Arcade’s Grand Ambitions

One of the things that was interesting to hear while talking with owner Dan Yarrington was his ambitions for doing more than operating a traditional arcade. He seemed particularly excited about the prospect of running Pinball Tycoon as a complementary business to the arcade, focusing on distributing new-in-box pinball machines, as well as buying/selling used games within the New England region. If things work out as planned, he hopes that arcade customers will be able to put a new game like Jaws LE through its paces on the floor, and should they like it enough, buy a copy that same day. This hybrid arcade/distributorship model isn’t a new concept, but it’s still surprisingly rare to see. 

The Early Verdict on Tycoon Arcade

As you might expect for a venue that’s going through a soft opening phase, it’s not quite operating at peak levels, but they are well on their way to doing so. The city of Manchester has been slow in approving permits, COVID-19 happened during the planning stages, and it was originally only meant for Tabletop Tycoon employees. Hours are short currently, the board game side rooms are closed, they are staffing up, and the Tycoon team are still figuring out how to operate this business. They are primarily a board game publisher after all.

However, I still strongly suggest you go to Tycoon Arcade as soon as possible because it is a special place already. It’s one of the few locations in New England where you can readily experience premium, hard-to-find pinball machines. I’m sure it will be packed in the future. 

Enjoy the soft opening!

Note: an earlier draft of this article made reference to the restaurant being closed and that Tycoon Arcade wasn't able to host private events or functions yet.

The restaurant we referenced(Tycoon Saloon in the photos) will be used more for private events and functions as Tycoon Arcade will not be serving food or drink on site, with the exception of light refreshments offered in nearby vending machines. Patrons are welcome to bring their own food and non-alcoholic beverages, however, provided they clean up afterwards.

As for private events and parties, Tycoon Arcade is happy to host those now.