Photo: PR Times
lifestyle

Tokyo Video Gamers, a new bar with free-to-play arcade games, opens in Akihabara

6 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Tokyo’s Akihabara district is losing two landmarks this month, but it’s not all bad news for the neighborhood. The newest member of the neighborhood is Tokyo Video Gamers, which differentiates itself from other gaming destinations in Akiba by also being a full bar and restaurant.

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Located under the railroad tracks just a block away from Akihabara Station, Tokyo Video Gamers is different from other “beercades” in a couple of key ways. First, it’s not just a bar that the owners stuffed a couple of arcade machines in, or an arcade with a mini fridge stocked with a half-dozen cans of beer. It’s a legitimate bar/cafe with a large menu, and the management has the official blessing of all the game companies whose games are available to play.

That level of cooperation means that Tokyo Video Gamers can offer special services like collaboration cocktails (including a non-alcoholic choice) served in glasses and on coasters boasting art from some of gaming’s biggest pioneers, including Sega and SNK.

▼ In keeping with Japanese themed-restaurant norms, the coasters are yours to take home.

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▼ SNK coasters, for Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury, The King of Fighters, Art of Fighting, and Metal Slug

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▼ Sega, represented by the Mega Drive (a.k.a. Genesis), Space Harrier, Fantasy Zone, Golden Axe, and Altered Beast

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But what’s perhaps the coolest thing about Tokyo Video Gamers is its game pricing policy: they’re free to play as long as you order something from the menu. The staff is even happy to go a couple rounds against you on one of the bar’s fighting games if you’re craving competition with a human opponent but no other customers happen to be playing your title of choice at the moment.

Also, if you set the high score on their Space Invaders machine during the currently ongoing promotion, you get a free drink.

Though Tokyo Video Gamers expects most of its customers to stop by in the evening, it also offers extremely reasonably priced lunch sets for just 500 yen, which, of course, also lets you play games for free before heading back to the office or wherever else you need to be later in the day.

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The complete menu includes simple favorites like French fries and takoyaki octopus dumplings, as well as fancier-sounding things like vongole bianco pasta and smoked fugu (blowfish). The beverage menu has more options than even the heaviest drinker could exhaust in a night, ranging from beer and several kinds of shochu sour cocktails to whiskeys and Japanese sake.

There’s also an attached gift shop selling various video game-inspired merch, including the glasses the special cocktails come in.

Tokyo Video Gamers’ grand opening was Aug 21, and while it’s never easy picking just one place to eat out of all the unique dining options Akihabara has, this is one problem we’re happy just got a little tougher still.

Restaurant information

Tokyo Video Gamers

Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Kanda Neribeicho 13-1 Soto, Seekbase 1-9

Open 11 a.m.-11 p.m.

Website

Sources: Tokyo Video Gamers, PR Times, 4Gamer via Otakomu

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Akihabara saying goodbye to landmark as giant Sega arcade announces it’s closing for good

-- Getting married? Love video games? Why not hold your wedding at this Tokyo video arcade!

-- Busty ninja girl barred from Smash Bros. gets her own Tokyo pop-up store/merch line【Photos】

© SoraNews24

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

6 Comments
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If the food is good this looks like a place i'd like to go to. One catch: what is a 'high score' on Space Invaders? If the machine is set up with scores that are difficult to top you don't get a free drink. And of course you may see the 'video hogs' who never leave a game either because too good in playing or they just keep playing again and again.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lets hope the Video Arcade Scene never becomes obsolete in Japan. It is understood that Japan is the Country known for having the most Video Arcade Centers per capita (a good thing). The Video Arcade Scene in Japan is one of the many unique features in Japan and it would be extremely sad to lose it. The Video Arcade Scene in Japan should stay like it was in the 1970s and 1980s if not even larger. The Video Arcade Scene Centers in Japan should stay for Eternity.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Cool for workaholic stressed Japanese people but yeah, Japan the No. 1 Video Game Arcade Centre in the world, followed by Hong Kong and Taiwan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

For those that want something more foreigner-friendly (games available in English too), there's a bar in Nagoya called 'Critical Hit'.

Though, in this situation, I don't really know if they've closed or not. Let's hope not.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Looks promising! I'd love to go to a proper 80's style arcade, with all the big ticket Sega machines and a load of Atari cabinets. I'd spend all day there and be blind drunk.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

baroque1888Aug. 23  09:32 am JST

Lets hope the Video Arcade Scene never becomes obsolete in Japan. It is understood that Japan is the Country known for having the most Video Arcade Centers per capita (a good thing). The Video Arcade Scene in Japan is one of the many unique features in Japan and it would be extremely sad to lose it. The Video Arcade Scene in Japan should stay like it was in the 1970s and 1980s if not even larger. The Video Arcade Scene Centers in Japan should stay for Eternity.

Pac-Man/Puckman is now 40 and I remember fondly when that Space Invaders came out. The first wave of video games were largely made by the Japanese but American programmers soon would follow. Within the next 3 years there would be various games of every variety out the yinyang and I would play nearly all that I ran into. Now most games in America are played in home. However, when I see an 80s video game console in a spaghetti restaurant I often play and try to see if I can get my initials on the chart. The thrill never ends.

Domo Arigato, Masaya Nakamura.

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0 ( +0 / -0 )

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