Cabinets with joysticks

Spencer Doar


Rusty Quarters may conjure images of oxidized living spaces, but it is actually my destination of choice when I need to do laundry.   It is a retro arcade off of Bryant and Lake in Uptown that features 28 different games (frequently changing) from Mario Brothers and X-Men to classic Atari fodder like Centipede. 

I like to saunter over there with some duckets and throw three singles in the change machine, leaving me the requisite $2.50 for cleansing bubbles and two plays on any of their cabinets.  A word to the wise:  if you find a game you like and it seems like it doesn’t get much play, play it to death!  The management can and will switch out games to match demand and popularity.  That happened to me one day when I strolled down the block in a dirty t-shirt and three-day-old socks to find that my game of choice—Crystal Castles—had been removed due to lack of play. 

For all their apparent simplicity, Rusty Quarters’ games elicit that same childlike enthusiasm that I hadn’t felt since Monday’s were my allowance day.