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July 2014 Retro Gaming Article


July 27, 2014 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade is an eclectic adventure into the past w/ lots of innovation

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade sign From the street, the "L" shaped building housing Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade features a large courtyard with a good-size carousel, a bouncy house and several 1-person coin-op kiddie ride-ons.

Large overhead rolling doors open the arcade to the outdoor courtyard making it very inviting. My son & I ventured in to find a very unique arcade run by folks who love arcades and showcased plenty of inovations to keep it fun! With steampunk stylings, you'll find a great deal of things to play, explore and marvel at.

On my first visit to any arcade, I long for the 80's when arcades were packed with video games and pinball tables with their flashing marquees and brilliantly noisy attract modes. Alas, these days, such faire are few and far between. However, Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade offers a similar, but unique feel. It has a few of my faves like Millipede and Pac-Man along with a 2-player sit-in Final Lap 2 (Namco 1990).

The real gems in this arcade are the older machines/games that pre-date my arcade days of the 80's. Some border on carnival fixtures while others are purely mechanical - no electricity needed.

Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade logo
Millipede and Pac-Man Side -by-side, they have Millipede and Pac-Man. I took a close-up because this isn't a game I see very often in any arcade these days.
Millipede and Pac-Man Millipede and Pac-Man.

Mini Wheel arcade ride This mini Wheel arcade ride features one slow moving chair that sort of emulates a ferris wheel for those under 60 pounds.
New Frontier mechanical arcade shooter We marveled at this New Frontier mechanical arcade shooter. Purely mechanical, one coin gave you 10 shots at 5 targets in this wild west shooter. This sort of machine wold likely have been in penny arcades of the mid 1920's. It's an interesting size at only 15" wide.

pay-per-minute Atari 2600 in the arcade When was the last time you went to an arcade and were able to play Atari 2600 carts on a big TV? This pay-per-minute Atari 2600 was set up in the arcade with a stash of about 20 games behind the counter. The instructions say you get 3 minutes per token. Each token turns on the TV and you can add more when the time expires to continue playing. However, the 2600 has no pause, so drop those tokens quick if you don't want to lose a life after 3 minutes! :)
pay-per-minute Atari 2600 in the arcade This is the sort of innovation that makes indie arcades a lot of fun. I liked the custom coin-op they had controlling the TV and counting down the time.

Sports Zone mechanical pinball I liked this Sports Zone mechanical pinball machine. It uses a rubber bouncy-ball, requires no electricity and gives you the ball in a drop-box when you finish. It looks like an old vintage machine, but I don't know it's true age.
Grip Test measuring game This Grip Test machine really takes me back to days gone by. :)

Homemade Flash hands steampunk inspired arcade game Homemade Flash Hands is a steampunk inspired arcade game. This is a work of art and it's delightfully functional. Simple instructions make for a game that's fun and inventive.
Grip Test measuring game Flash Hands' level/score appear in tubes and the remaining lives are shown by a needle on an analog gauge. Waving your hands over the light as it flashes changes it's color. Very clever!

Love Tester arcade game Love Tester is such a vintage classic from carnivals and fairs and penny arcades. Awesome!
Namco's World Kicks arcade game World Kicks (Namco / Japan 2000). I love the idea of a video game that encourages you to kick something. Every kid who walked by gave on of the balls a kick!

Feed Big Bertha arcade game Feed Big Bertha arcade game.

There's not a lot of info on Wackenhammer's website, so you will want to check out Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade on Facebook. Many of the attractions are geared toward little kids, but my son (age 9) and I spent an hour or 2 here having a great time. From things to gawk at and marvel over to games that make us drop quarters like crazy, Wackenhammer's Clockwork Arcade is definitely worth a visit if you're on Cape Cod, MA!

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