The 2019 pinball show season has kept us from our visits to interesting places to play pinball.
With winter here and the holiday season all but over, we are ready to start exploring again and sharing our experiences with you.
This month we review two great locations in the metro Atlanta area that we feel are outstanding and well worth your time to visit in the new year.
Portal Pinball Arcade
3600 Cherokee St NW #102, Kennesaw, GA, USA
Portal Pinball Arcade is an all-access arcade where the games are set to free play. Visitors pay for admission hourly or purchase a day pass at the admission desk. The day pass comes with in and out privileges. They have other plans such as a family pack and 10 daily pass package at attractive prices. PPA offers a student discount when a visitor presents valid ID.
After paying your admission, visitors are given a sticker to wear that indicates when your ‘time’ has expired. We noticed that they are slightly generous with the expiration time, probably to allow visitors to get their bearings and select what games to start with.
Portal offers an assortment of packaged sweet and salty snacks as well as soft drinks available for purchase.
There are currently 28 pinball games at Portal including games from Jersey Jack such as Dialed In! and Pirates of the Caribbean as well as Stern’s latest including Star Wars, Iron Maiden, Metallica, Deadpool, Jurassic Park and The Munsters.
Portal Pinball regularly hosts the Atlanta head-to-head pinball league and is available to reserve for parties of all kinds, team-builders and other private events.
PPA hosted the Georgia state IFPA championships for 2019 and they have announced that they will be a part of the new Pinburgh satellite series. Only 8 locations in the US are having these satellite events and they are delighted to be picked as one of those locations, and the only one in the south-east.
In spite of “Pinball” being prominent in their name, Portal Pinball Arcade also offers a great selection of classic upright video games. They have over 20 arcade games available for play (some are multicades) that run the gamut from ’70s classics to some of the latest releases.
Check their website for the current listing of pinballs and video games. Also on their website is an augmented reality walk-through of Portal Pinball where you can have a look around from the comfort of your easy chair!
I noticed a small ‘waiting area’ near the entrance that I assumed was for adults who don’t wish to play but want to be available for the youngsters that they have brought. There are a couple of games in this vestibule area to prevent those waiting being bored to tears.
Portal Pinball is located in a ‘strip’ shopping center and has a large amount of lighted parking.
I highly suggest that if you find yourself in the Atlanta area that you visit and spend some time at Portal Pinball.
Oasis Arcade & AirBnB
Heritage Parkway, Lithia Springs, GA, USA
If Oasis Arcade AirBnB wasn’t a BnB, at 1,250 square feet it would be one of the greater Atlanta area’s largest and most diverse arcades. But, it is both the impressive private collection of enthusiast Donald Hopkins and a fantastic amenity for their guests offering 45+ ‘free play’ games!
As the photos show, there is quite an assortment of games available such as the classic upright videos Ms. Pac-Man and Star Castle. There are games of dexterity such as NFL 2 Minute Drill football toss, Skee Ball by Lightning, Big Buck Hunter 3-D (with a couple of other shooting games) and a shuffle bowler, to name just a few.
The star of the skill game area is a tie between the 2017 2 x 4-player Pac-Man Smash which has its own version of multiball when it randomly floods a player with neon pucks, and Fast and Furious Super Cars which is a sit-down driving simulator with realistic controls for two players to play in real time.
Terri and I enjoyed a very nice 1991 Williams Slug Fest pitch and bat game as well as an upright cabinet electronic soft-tip darts game of the type that seems to be ubiquitous in bars and taverns across the USA.
The Oasis pinball collection spans the EM era single-player Gottlieb games such as Sky Jump to Stern’s 2019 The Munsters.
Oasis has a very rare Punchy the Clown pinball made by Alvin G. and Co. in 1993. This particular game was originally a ticket/redemption game but it would seem that it has been converted to conventional play.
It is great fun to play and being that it is seldom seen available to play by the public makes it that much more of a treasure.
The Oasis arcade has three smaller pinball games originally set up for the youngsters but are about the perfect height for those guests that might be wheelchair bound to enjoy.
Not only are their games listed on Pinball Map, Don has done a nice write up on each game giving information such as who it was purchased from and if the game has any special features.
All of the games are in excellent condition although during our visit a couple of the pinballs were in the process of being repaired. As TNT Amusement’s Todd Tuckey once said, “If it’s never broken, it’s not pinball”.
Oasis has a mesmerizing collection of advertising signs on the walls in concert with striking neon and 3-D lighted sculptures. A recently added Infinity sound system helps visitors to immerse themselves in Oasis’ gaming experience.
The B&B part of Oasis features a tiny house (it’s a thing) with all of the comforts of home-from-home, albeit in a more space-efficient footprint.
If a guest wakes up in the middle of the night not sure where they are, the hosts at Oasis thoughtfully provide GPS coordinates for the guest house to assist you in getting your bearings.
There is paved on-site parking, strong Wi-Fi, a swimming pool and a spacious party deck located near the guest house. During the summer months and with favorable weather, the hosts offer “dive in” outdoor big-screen movies by poolside. A unique experience!
Oasis Arcade AirBnB is located just a few minutes from Six Flags and is EZ to reach from all points of the compass via nearby expressways.
Reservations for your stay at Oasis may be booked through the Airbnb system. Oasis also has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages where the hosts share news and information of interest to their followers.
Terri and I loved our visit to Oasis Arcade AirBnB and can’t wait for our next trip to Atlanta to spend more time with ‘superhost’ Donald Hopkins!
Check out Oasis and make your plans to stay with them when you are in the Atlanta area. It would be an excellent location if you plan to attend The Southern Fried Game Room Expo!