Last Updated on January 14, 2019 by Jeremy
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Sometimes all we want is a little bit of nostalgia.
Thankfully, when the nostalgia fix we seek involves old school video games and pinball machines, Pittsburgh has just the place- Pinball PA.
On a hot summer day we wanted to get out of the heat and relive our childhoods, so we made the drive out to Aliquippa to get our fix of retro arcade heaven.
Over 400 Machines and Arcade Games at Pinball PA
The first thing you'll notice when entering Pinball PA is that the place is huge. We were really taken aback by just how large this one truly is as it is one thing to read that there are 400+ games available, and another to see it with your own eyes.
The space includes about five rows with games on each side and each row is about 40 machines deep. Pinball machines are exclusively found on either side (about 160 machines by our estimates) and the middle rows are almost entirely retro arcade games.
The center of the space also houses booth style games that you sit inside to play, and the front and back of the space has larger interactive games like skeeball, tabletop bowling, and others we have not seen anywhere else (as well as a modest “museum” dedicated to the history of arcade games).
Rare Gems and Childhood Memories Abound
One of the coolest features of Pinball PA is that they have many rare games that you'll be hard pressed to find anywhere else in the world.
We found ourselves walking up to many machines that had signs on it proclaiming “one of only four known in the world” and also found them to be in working order to give them a play!
Going beyond this, they have more popular games that were found in almost every arcade over the last few decades, so no matter what generation you belong to odds are good you're going to find some favorites that you haven't played in 20 years or more.
This is the kind of nostalgia we were seeking!
How About the Cost of Pinball PA?
During our visit in July 2018 a two hour pass to Pinball PA was $20 and a full day pass was $30. Once you enter, all the machines are set to free play with exception of the horoscope machine in the back corner (this one charges a small fee since it prints a horoscope on demand).
At first, we weren't quite sure if $20 per person would be worth it for two hours, but we very quickly began to understand just how good of a deal this spot really is.
The reason for this is evident once you hit the first pinball machine. You go up, press start, play your three or five balls, and, if you're as terrible as we are, the game is over in about 30 seconds.
Normally this would be 50 to 75 cents lost at a regular arcade. But here, you can simply hit start one more time to play again. Three games and three minutes in and you are now up $1.50 to $2.25 depending on the machine. Repeat this over the course of two hours, and you can see the value really quick.
This is also great for the old arcade machines that have a story element to it. Die in 30 seconds? No problem, hit continue and move on. We played one two player shooter game for about four rounds in what was probably only five minutes. Instead of $4 in quarters gone in a flash, we just hit start to resume. Win!
Overall, we were impressed with Pinball PA for the selection of games, the fact that most all of them were in working order, and that it was simply a whole lot of fun.
We will be back!
Pinball PA is located at 2284 Brodhead Road in Aliquippa PA.