Located in Tampa Florida, Replay Amusement Museum is home to over 100 pinball and video games from the classic era. Where it differs to most museums that have a “walk, stop and look” approach, it positions itself as a place that allows visitors to touch, feel and play the exhibits.
Semantics aside, when you boil the place down, it’s ostensibly an arcade! Guests arrive and pay an entrance fee that allows them to play anything as often as they like for the duration of their stay. All machines are set to free play.
I was fortunate enough to visit this place in November 2016, and thought I’d share some photos here on the blog.
Positioned in the suburb of Tarpon Springs, it’s actually easy to miss, as it sits rather anonymously in a rank of shops along East Tarpon Avenue. But there’s no doubting where you are when you step into the place. We were greeted by the curator there, Skyler (I caught him off-guard in this picture – he’s actually very approachable, and will gladly show you around!)
The pinball line up is great. Plenty of classics along the left hand side, and to the front right a great selection of modern titles:
My buddy and I were delighted to see Stern’s newest release, Ghostbusters. This was our first opportunity to play this title, and we got a few games in while there:
But the place isn’t just about pinball. Walk towards the back and you’ll find an equally impressive gamut of classic video games:
I pictured some of the more interesting titles available, starting with this Star Wars cockpit. Always nice to find one of these in the wild, especially when it’s in great condition:
Here’s a rare one. Atari’s re-release of three of its classic titles on one cab – Millipede, Centipede and Missile Command. First time I’ve seen one of these in the flesh:
Bizarrely, Missile Command has somehow been reprogrammed to fit a vertical monitor, which for the purist just doesn’t work. Interesting to see and play though.
I’ve never seen an original Data East Karate Champ before either:
Here’s my mate Jon trying out a dedicated Atari 720. A great looking cab this, and one of Atari’s last great games of the 80s:
A handful of cocktails were on location too, including this lovely Dig Dug, and an unusual cocktail Track & Field:
We also stumbled across a Nintendo Red Tent. This unique looking cab allows two players to battle it out against each other sat on opposite sides, on individual monitors. Games can be changed out by the operator:
This one was running Doctor Mario. You really get an appreciation of Nintendo’s industrial design skills, when you see one in person. Lovely stuff – we never got this cab over in the UK. Plenty of other titles were worth playing too, including Pengo, Defender, Arkanoid and Asteroids Deluxe:
We spotted a few cabs out back waiting to be wheeled out to the main floor including this nice looking Battlezone upright:
An Atari Hercules, Star Wars upright and more pins here:
Even the loos where arcade themed! The Dig Dug mirror is super cool:
Despite its diminutive size, Replay Amusement Museum is well worth a visit. Everything is well maintained, and I’d say they’ve got the balance of pins and videos just right. The selection of machines has been deliberately chosen to give the visitor an opportunity to play games across a variety of genres and dates, and there’s a good smattering of rare titles you’re unlikely to come across elsewhere.
Take a look at this video, where Skyler does a great walk through of all the games within the building:
You can find more info about Replay on their website here.
Worth noting as well that Tarpon Springs itself is a lovely part of town – plenty of walks and restaurants in and around the area. If you’re passing that way, do pop in and lose a few hours at Replay Amusement Museum – it’s a very impressive and welcoming place.
Thanks for reading this week.