I’m a happy dude

About a year ago, I was finally able to cross a major location off my list of “must-visit” arcades around the country. Most years, my wife and I take a vacation (often a road trip) in August to celebrate our anniversary. Last year, our trip took us to the northeastern area of the US, from our home in Wisconsin all the way to Buffalo NY for a few days, a night Vermont, and ultimately to Salem, Massachusetts. But in between our stay in Vermont and our destination in Salem was a stop in Laconia, New Hampshire, so that I could visit the famous Funspot, also known as the American Classic Arcade Museum.

Originally founded in 1952, Funspot has a huge game room with hundreds of classic arcade and pinball machines, as well as bowling, mini-golf, and other amenities. You may have seen Funspot featured prominently as one of the locations in the documentary King of Kong, as it’s been a major venue for tournament play for decades. Experiencing Funspot’s massive collection of classic arcade cabinets should definitely be on every serious videogame enthusiast’s bucket list.

I’m going to let the slew of photos I took do most of the talking here. I will say that the games are, for the most part, very well maintained, although I did have problems with a few of them, and I only came across a handful that were out of order. But as far as I could tell, there were no conversions — only original, dedicated cabinets, which have likely been there since they came out!

Upon entering Funspot, you are immediately greeted by rows of games — and this is just in the entrance area, before you get to the main game room!



There’s also a display case full of great old handheld electronic games, including the famous Coleco tabletop arcade games!



After a long drive, a necessary quick stop in the restroom reveals this great photo:

“Champions at Funspot’s 1979 Space Invaders tournament.” How bad do I want one of those t-shirts?!?


Then you head into the main arcade itself.

[Cue the choir of angels singing]
The corridor leading into the main room is lined on either side with cabs, some pretty rare:

Just a Death Race chillin next to a Computer Space, no big deal
This was the first time I’d ever seen a Computer Space in person
To the right is a lineup of Universal cabinets. Great, rarely-seen stuff. Sorry lady, didn’t actually mean to take your picture


Finally entering the main arcade, here are some photos of the rows…

A whole wall of pinball
Atari cabinets
More Atari and those great Taito cabs
Williams and Midway


Was very bummed that all three of these laserdisc games — Astron Belt, Cliff Hanger, and Dragon’s Lair — were not running that day
Lots of driving games along the back wall



Funspot has a lot of rare stuff that I’ve never seen before. Behold!




Gotta give a special shout-out to The Glob, by Epos. I had never seen or heard of this game before, but I became OBSESSED with it. How cool is that — to discover a 30-plus-year-old game that you’ve never played before, and it turns out to be a new favorite?!

The Glob is my JAM


One of my favorite things about it was seeing games that I have not played since the ’80s. Some of these I literally haven’t even seen in person since I was under the age of 10!

Star Castle — an old favorite of mine, I haven’t seen a working one in decades
Atari’s Fire Truck was the first video game I can remember playing — ever!
I took Fire Truck for a spin for the first time in nearly 40 years. I did about as well as I did when I was 5


And of course, I had to play the Donkey Kong machine that so many DK champs have played:

Weak score, but still had to capture the moment of putting my initials in the top spot

I’ll end with a few close-up pics of some great cabinets. Sorry my photography wasn’t totally on point in all these photos, but hopefully you can see how strong the classic videogame mojo is in this place. Visiting Funspot was definitely a highlight of my gaming hobby and I can’t recommend highly enough that anyone reading Retro Game SuperHyper make the journey and soak it all up for yourselves!



…but next time I visit, I expect Cliff Hanger to be running