Spotlighting the Pinball Wizard Arcade

Whether Gary Vincent (President of the American Classic Arcade Museum at Funspot, in Laconia, New Hampshire) knew it at the time or not, the establishment of the ACAM in 1999 would eventually lead to a wave of retro arcades within the following 16 years. Other major retro-arcades that have opened in the following years include the Galloping Ghost in Brookfield, Illinois, the Pinball Hall of Fame in Las Vegas, and YESTERcades in Red Bank, New Jersey (not to mention the countless barcades that have popped up in countless cities). Another place worth adding to this checklist is The Pinball Wizard Arcade, located in the sleepy, charming town of Pelham, NH.

Pinball Wizard Entrance -  Second Hand Nostalgist

As the name implies, Pinball Wizard Arcade has an emphasis on pins dating from the 1970s up through the present day. All the major manufacturers of pinball machines are represented here: Williams, Gottlieb, Stern, Bally and others have their games for play here. You’ll find everything from pop culture tie-ins (KISS, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Superman) to legendary staples of pinball’s ‘70s heyday (Gorgar, Xenon, Atlantis) to titles from pinball’s mid ‘80s-late ‘90s renaissance era (FunHouse, High Speed, Who Dunnit). They’ve even got the unique video/pinball hybrid Baby Pac-Man and Hercules, a mammoth of a pinball machine that uses cue balls in place of silver balls!

Late 70s Pinball -  Second Hand Nostalgist
More Williams Pins -  Second Hand Nostalgist
1993 Pins - Second Hand Nostalgist
Baby Pac Man -  Second Hand Nostalgist
Hercules -  Second Hand Nostalgist

Fear not, video game fans, as there is a healthy line-up of video coin-ops to play, too. The expected staples are here, but you also get rarities like Black Widow (a neat Atari vector game that operates sort of like Robotron: 2084) and Arabian. Fans of ‘90s fighting games will get their fill too, with several of the Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter games, as well as various others. There’s also a rare cabaret version of Pac-Man that’ll interest fellow carriers of Pac-Man Fever.

Gyruss - Zaxxon -  Second Hand Nostalgist
Xevious - BlackWidow -  Second Hand Nostalgist
Pac Man Cabaret -  Second Hand Nostalgist

There are also your standard redemption games, but thankfully, this is one place where you won’t have to wade through an ocean of ticket-spewing games to find one pinball or video game. Pool sharks can also get their cue action on with one of the four pool tables available.
Oh, and did I mention the sweet Pac-Man/Ms. Pac-Man décor adorning the wall above the restrooms?

Pac-ManMs.Pac-Manwalldecor

Originally opened in the winter of 2011, the Pinball Wizard Arcade has grown to include a party room for birthdays and other occasions and tournaments. Sarah St. John, the owner of the arcade, is usually on the floor checking games or behind the front desk. The staff is knowledgeable, friendly, and willing to help with any problems.
As a bonus, here’s a very lengthy walkthrough and review from John’s Arcade Game Reviews and Tech, originally uploaded January 2, 2015. A friendly warning: Your lips will drool over the massive amount of games available and also likely have a major nostalgia rush.

John’s Arcade Game Reviews & Tech

So the next time you find yourself in New Hampshire but can’t make it to Funspot, make the trek to the Pinball Wizard Arcade. Be sure to grab some lunch next door from Suppa’s Pizza and Subs while you’re at it.

SecondHandNostalgist

A millennial with a major passion for retro pop culture. I am especially passionate for kaiju eiga movies, the golden ages of arcade video and pinball games, 1950s rock 'n roll, '70s/'80s pro wrestling, horror/sci-fi/fantasy movies, old sitcoms (The Honeymooners, The Munsters, The Addams Family, Gilligan's Island, Green Acres, The Odd Couple, Happy Days, Barney Miller, Mork & Mindy, and Alf are all huge favorites), Coca-Cola memorabilia, and old commercials in general.

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2 thoughts on “Spotlighting the Pinball Wizard Arcade

  1. glonch says:

    I live in Manchester, just up the highway from Pelham… Love the Pinball Wizard. I try to get down there as many times as I can!

  2. SecondHandNostalgist says:

    Yay, glad to see another fan of the Pinball Wizard! I live about an hour south of Pelham (Lynn, MA to be exact), but I try to get up there at least once a month. In fact, after all the snowstorms we’ve had and now that temperatures are finally rising, I will be making another trip soon.

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