Boneyard Arcade Exeter is absolutely brilliant and I’m so happy I went! For ages, I’ve heard that there was a retro arcade hidden somewhere in Exeter. Luckily, I was able to find it and actually head there to see what it’s all about. It’s some of the best wholesome fun I’ve had in a long time. The drinks are cheap, and so are the tokens for each game.
Don’t judge a book by its cover
The arcade itself is situated in a slightly forlorn-looking building. The owner mentioned that they were hoping to move premises at some point in the future though. There is nothing much outside to signify the wonders inside other than an A-board on the street and a few posters in the window.
On entering, the nostalgia is quick to hit. The lights are dimmed to show off the full effect of the retro arcade machines dotted around the floor. Immediately to the right is the cash desk, where drinks and digital tokens can be bought. To the left, are pinball machines and some very classic cabinets such as Ms. Pac-Man. A little further in, in the middle of the floor space are an assortment of games such as Tempest and even a Sega Touring Car Championship set-up. To the left of these are mostly fighting games like Tekken and Dead or Alive.
The back wall consists of a variety of rhythm games including MaiMai, something I later found out to be a game made by Sega that is popular in Asia. Apparently, there are only about 10 machines in the UK, 2 of which happen to be at Boneyard Arcade. It looks vaguely like a front-loading washing machine.
Finally, along the right-hand wall is a huddle of light gun games, a particular favourite of mine. Both Point Blank and Time Crisis 2 were on offer, something which I was very happy about. I have some great memories of playing them. Sadly, it is harder to do so in the modern day, as light guns only really work on CRT TVs. Just another excuse to head over to a real-life arcade.
This is really only a brief description of what can be found at Boneyard Arcade Exeter. There is plenty of machines I haven’t mentioned, so there should still be enough to surprise you. At the time of writing, £5 will get you 20 tokens, which I don’t think is bad at all. They are loaded onto a plastic card for you, and using tokens is as easy as swiping said card in front of the modern card reader attached to each machine.
All the games in the building are part of the owners’ personal collection. It’s genuinely incredible to see them all so well looked after and also available to the public. Being able to play these games using original hardware was an absolute treat. If you’re in Exeter, then go to Boneyard Arcade wherever they may be in the future and tell them I sent ya!
Check out the below video for an in-depth look at what they have on offer.