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September 2013 Retro Gaming Article


September 6, 2013 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

The Holiday Hill Arcade was my childhood hangout each Summer & It's still going strong!

Roadside sign for the Holiday Hill Arcade and Mototr Inn on Cape Cod Summers in the early 1980s were a magical time. My family spent most of the Summer at my grandparent's house on Cape Cod. I had use of a car, a bit of spending money and arcades were in full glory! Arcades at the time housed the most iconic and insanely cool video game cabinets ever made.

Of course we didn't know that at the time. We just reveled in the awesomeness of a Cape Cod Summer full of Asteroids, Missile Command, Tempest, Star Castle, Pac-Man, Berzerk, Phoenix, Defender, Centipede, Frogger, Donkey Kong, Galaga, Zaxxon, Robotron 2084, Dig Dug, Joust, Q*bert... Does the list ever end?

Most Summer nights ended up at Holiday Hill Arcade. It was the largest arcade we knew of in the area. Today, much of it's floor space is dedicated to an indoor bumper car attraction. Back in the day the entire building was a dark maze of arcade cabinets beckoning us with brilliant marquees and creative attraction modes - both on-screen and belting from each cab's speakers.

On site was an ice cream shop, an outlet store and the Holiday Hill Motor Inn, (now called the Holiday Hill Inn and Suites) in addition to the arcade. We occasionally hit up the ice cream stand, but it was the arcade that had a tight grasp on our attention and all our quarters. Currently, there is a nice mini golf course, but I simply don't remember if it was there all those years ago. Back then we usually played Pirate's Cove mini golf.

The Holiday Hill Arcade in Dennis, MA

The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod These days the Holiday Hill Arcade sign primarily advertises the bumper cars, but 20 years ago the entire space was dedicated to arcade games of all shapes and sizes.
The ice cream shop at Holiday Hill Arcade I love this building. It's iconic shape screams of the 50's when such buildings shrieked of burger nirvana. The ice cream at Holiday Hill isn't bad :)

Inside the Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod

The Holiday Hill bumper cars set up at the front of the Arcade | Cape Cod When you enter the front door, you're diverted into a narrow path that separates you from being run over by bumper cars.
The Holiday Hill bumper cars in action in the Arcade on Cape Cod The bumper cars in action. Tickets are purchased via a vending machine that I kept thinking was a token machine. I mistakenly wound up with a lot of Bumper Car tickets :)

Super Chexx buble hockey at the Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod One of the first games we encountered was this Super Chexx bubble hockey. I had a small table-top hockey game as a kid, but this is one robust machine. I've never seen a tabletop game that was this solid! Tons of fun... and if you've seen the episode of Regular Show, it's "So Fun! So Fun! So Fun!"
Super Chexx is a table hockey arcade game that is still being manufactured by Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE). They began in 1982 in Clarence, New York - near Buffalo. This style of game is also called bubble hockey, rod hockey, table hockey or dome hockey because of the long player-control rods and the protective dome (bubble) covering the playing field.
Super Chexx buble hockey at the Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod Super Chexx bubble hockey at the Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod. In 2010 ICE introduced a Deluxe Home version of the game with no coin doors and started offering NHL and AHL licensed team versions.

Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod Tucked away in a back corner are these 2 gems - Ms. Pc-Man and Donkey Kong. The Ms. Pac-Man cab has original art, but the DK cab looks as if it were repurposed into this cab. I have many memories of playing Donkey Kong at the Holiday Hill Arcade and often wonder if this is the same cab I played as a kid. My 8-year-old and I have had several DK games on this cab!
Ms. Pac-Man and Donkey Kong at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod Ms. Pac-Man (1981) and Donkey Kong (1981) at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod

Air Hockey at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod I've always loved air hockey. Any time I find an air hockey table with a friend, I can't help but play at least one game. A company I used to work for had an air hockey table in their break room. At Holiday Hill, they still only charge 75¢ for a nice long game. The carpet is a bit faded, but check out that hunk they have on the back wall. Does that scream 1980 or what!?! lol

Air Hockey was invented by a group of Brunswick Billiards employees in 1972 who were working on the creation of a game utilizing a frictionless surface. The company subsequently began manufacturing Air Hockey tables. Brunswick Billiards began in 1845 as a carriage manufacturer, but switched to the more lucrative business of making billiard tables.
Mortal Kombat 3 at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod Mortal Kombat 3 (1995) at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod. MK3 was the first Mortal Kombat game to have bi-level battlefields, letting players uppercut their opponent to the level above them. It also introduced the 6-digit Kombat Kodes (and the 10-digit Ultimate Kombat Kode), which were entered at the VS screen in a 2-Player game, to add modifications.

Sega Out Runners at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod Gotta love a 2 player sit-in driving game like Sega's Out Runners (1993). Even if the title-screen says 1992, OutRunners was released in May 1993 in Japan. Out Runners was capable of up to 8-players using link-up cabinets. A very limited edition soundtrack for the game was released during the '93 Christmas holiday by Toshiba EMI - Virtua Racing & Out Runners.
Sega Out Runners at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod Sega Out Runners at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod

Off Road Challenge at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod When we first went to play Off Road Challenge, the game kept dropping into test mode which I found almost as interesting as the game itself. In fact it was more fun than hacking kiosks in Best Buy.
Off Road Challenge at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod Off Road Challenge (1997) at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod

Sega Motor Raid at The Holiday Hill Arcade | Cape Cod We had a good time with this sit-on motorcycle game Sega Motor Raid (1997) - even though one side was out of order. This was a rom swap upgrade for the former Manx TT Superbike arcade game. Marvelous Entertainment released a very rare soundtrack for this game in January 1998.
Barnyard Babies at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod I always want to yank the plug on Barnyard Babies. It cackles the loudest and worst animal sounds just a few feet from the Donkey Kong cab. There must be a story to this odd skee-ball-ish kiddie game.

Hungry Hungry Hippos at The Holiday Hill Arcade on Cape Cod Hungry Hungry Hippos (1991). The dome on top of the game - especially the scoreboard at the top - is sort of reminiscent of the bubble hockey game, isn't it? Would you believe Hungry Hungry Hippos is also manufactured by Innovative Concepts in Entertainment (ICE)? That connection sort of blew me away - lol.

I'm still amazed that the Holiday Hill Arcade is still here and has quite a few retro gems in service. This arcade is the closest thing to the manic frenzy of early 80's arcades that I've found in today's staid world of public responsibility. Let go - go nuts - play like it's 1982!

The Holiday Hill Arcade and Mototr Inn on Cape Cod
The Holiday Hill arcade and Mototr Inn on Cape Cod circa 1960 The Holiday Hill plaza around 1960 - showing The Lobster Dory Restaurant!

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