The Quincy Mall “has it all,” and it's never more evident then when you step into Aladdin's Castle. While arcades have become increasingly niche, it's nice to see that Quincy still has a place to go where you can spend real money to play virtual games in hopes of earning another currency to exchange for rewards that you might have been better off just buying with real money in the first place. Over the years, Aladdin's Castle has hosted lots of different arcade cabinets. Here are some of my favorites.

Kurt Parsons

Dance Dance Revolution

Dance Dance Revolution (or DDR) was a game you literally couldn't miss. It had a large set-up with a dance-pad that featured four arrows and speakers blasting Korean Pop music as players followed on-screen prompts to hit each arrow. You could play on an easy difficulty to enjoy the game casually or you could turn up the difficulty if you wanted an intense cardio workout. Some of the better players could actually gather a crowd as they played. I remember this being one of the first games that people brought into their homes to lose weight before Wii Fit became a big hit.

Ski Ball

In any arcade, there are games that we play for two reasons: for fun or for tickets. Ski Ball fit the bill for both. It was a satisfying test of dexterity to get the ball right into hole for the most points and it was a great way to earn tickets. Of course, it was a game that people would try to cheat at by circumventing the rolling and trying to throw the ball by going through the net but I found that to be an ineffective strategy. I was a conservative player. I tried going for the circle with 2nd-most amount of points but wider radius than the bullseye target to ensure a good amount of tickets.

Table Hockey

Grab a paddle and put the puck on the table. It's for some table hockey! It's exhilarating to whack the puck across the table in hopes of getting it into your opponents goal and stressful when they return the favor. Regardless if you win or lose, it's still a great stress reliever to hit the puck as hard as you can. In terms of competitive arcade games, this goes near the top of the list.

Silent Scope

Visually, Silent Scope was an intimidating game. It emulated the act of sniping by mounting a heavy plastic sniper rifle with a scope that you had to look through to see your target on the video screen. It was challenging because of an unforgiving time limit and you had to be quick to scan with your scope to find the enemy you needed to take out. You were also rewarded more points depending on where you hit your targets and allotted more time for how accurate you were.

House of the Dead

Light-gun games are always fun and even more-so with a friend. House of the Dead embraced a campy horror style narrative where players were tasked with shooting through hordes of zombies. You could play solo but it's more fun to play with someone else as you both shout strategies at each other or profanities if the operation isn't going well. The mechanics were neat because once you emptied your magazine you needed to point your plastic gun off-screen to reload. And over the course of the game, you could choose multiple paths to go down. Each time you played the game it was a different experience.

Claw Machine

Actually, I hate the claw machine but I can't stop myself from giving it at least one go when I go to the arcade. You can adjust the claw and look at it from all angles but it seems impossible to get position it in that sweet spot. And even when you center the claw, the claw itself seems to fidgety to secure any gifts.

Let us know your favorite arcade games!

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