Updated: Oct 21, 2019
For my birthday on November 17th, my wife and I went to Robot City Games. I've been there many times before, but it had been a while since my last visit. The place never disappoints. The largest public game room in New York State, Robot City is located in Binghamton, and encompasses a store dealing in console games, both classic and current.
Robot City is packed to the gills in gaming goodness, and the hardest part of the visit was stopping the photography. Some might say we failed on that end, but Retro Injection never followed the "less is more" mantra! (Coincidentally, it was my thirty-eighth birthday, and upon OCD review, this article contains the same number of photos. Maybe it was subconscious, but that's pretty freaky.)
Here's Robot City Games from the street. This is how an arcade should be. The owner, Casey Wales, didn't make it a barcade or a "family entertainment center." There are no ticket games, no claw machines, no drunken hipsters. There are, however, creepy mannequins in the front windows. Robot City is a little subversive. It's perfect.
The orange Bug is my wife's car. We also took it on our video store road trip.
You enter Robot City Games via the console store, so let's start from there. Here's the view from a few yards into the scene. The arcade beckons, and newcomers have no idea how expansive it is from this vantage point. Sit tight.
You'd be hard pressed to find a better selection of retro console gaming inventory than at Robot City. Originally located up the street a couple of blocks, it greatly expanded both the console section and the arcade with this location, which opened in 2013. Around 2008, I ventured into the old store for the first time, solely to check out the game room. At that point, they had around twelve machines, with no pinball. Today, Robot City boasts 125 video games, and thirty-one pinball machines. It's a pilgrimage for gamers from hours away.
Adrienne was really impressed with the store's organization. That came as no surprise to me, knowing her Type A personality. (Love ya, hon!) I can't point any fingers, because I noticed the same thing in the arcade section... the boxes were just a lot bigger!
I appreciated the Master System selection, being a lover of Sega since the late '80s.
Check out that Vectrex on the bottom shelf of the cabinet. This system brought home the arcade action of vector games such as Cinamatronics' Rip-Off. I've got a Vectrex in my basement as we speak!
Looking for a boxed vintage system? Chances are, you'll find it here.
Pretty much any peripheral you could want is available at Robot City...
... including Nintendo's Power Glove. It's the greatest accessory ever, hands down! (I couldn't resist.) The black controller to the left of the glove is designed specifically for Capcom's Street Fighter games. I remember when these pads were displayed in the entryway of Kay-Bee Toys.
We'll use this framed arcade art as a natural segue for venturing into Robot City's incredible game room. These prints hung in the original location's arcade. I wouldn't have minded one of them, but the wall space in my home arcade is maxed out.
Their game room is an '80s fever dream, pulsating with period music and color-changing lighting. Just walking into this electronic proving ground is intoxicating.
Let's get a closer look at that electromechanical game, 1971's Sniper. I love the blacklight effects on this Williams cabinet. You can't recreate the EM experience on a console.