January 17 to February 3

I’ll get right into the score pictures and just add light commentary per outing:

January 17, Continental Club. This is the BurgerTime game in the back room with the pool tables:

January 18, Poison Girl. This was originally supposed to be the first night of the Bayou City Pinball League. Given a completely avoidable conflict caused by reckless scheduling on the part of others, the league night was a complete bust. But I did put up a few decent scores (yes, a lot of Jurassic Park in here but there were that many categories of mode-specific high scores/records):

January 30, Little Dipper. Good run on Creature, decent run on Fireball. Duplicate high score photo posted to show it has not been beaten/reset as of this date:

February 3, Poison Girl. Decent scores on Wheel and Deadpool, pretty much poo-poo on AFM:

The Great Onesie Bar Crawl 2023: A Raccoon in Midtown Houston

I know I’m running way behind, as this event is about a month ago by now. Nevertheless, there is some arcade gaming to share as part of this event, as well as the “party animal” side of me that most people will not even know existed.

Ordinary bar crawls are exciting enough. A bar crawl where everyone is rocking their favorite onesie/kigurumi is that much more exciting, at least to me. I’ve wanted to go to such an event many years, and finally, on Saturday, 2023 January 14, the day finally came.

Check-in was at the Front Porch Pub. Now, I didn’t research everything as well as I should have beforehand, and so I actually wound up a few blocks past the bar and had to walk back. I didn’t really notice if I got a higher-than-usual number of strange looks; how often does one see a guy in a raccoon onesie walking down (West) Gray Street? The little foot traffic I shared the sidewalk with apparently paid me no mind.

So I arrived at Front Porch Pub, checked in, and cashed in my ticket for my choice of either of two different types of shots (mine was a grape-flavored one which I forgot the exact name of). I then quickly settled in with a small group for a short while before we were due to head off on our own adventure. (I had assumed that the “choose your own adventure” type of evening that was explained on the website and, I think, an email as well, was the order of the day. This was actually not the case as I found out later.)

After a brief stop at an ATM inside a CVS drugstore (hey, even raccoons have to stop to get cash), I decided to go ahead and check out a small barcade called FAO I had seen mentioned as part of the event itinerary. It’s still early but I notice the entire time I hang out at FAO, none of the rest of the crowd are there. Zip. Nada. Zero. It’s me in a raccoon onesie and the rest of the bar’s ordinary clientele wondering who the heck this guy is. I play a little of everything: Space Invaders Frenzy, some Galaga knockoff/update I can’t remember the name of, Crossy Road, and Skee Ball.

At this point I’ve had enough of being the only raccoon in the bar and decide to try to find a bar with more onesie wearers from our group. My luck is a bit better at Dogwood, where I hang out for a little while, and then Electric Feelgood, where I hang out a little while longer. At this point I start feeling the munchies, and make my way back to Christian’s Tailgate. This is where I find a good portion of the rest of the group right as they are about to leave for Dogwood (from where I just came). I do my best impression of a hungry trash panda eating nachos, settle my tab, and then skedaddle on back to Dogwood. After hanging out at Dogwood for a while, we move on to Electric Feelgood; this is where the slide video was taken. I went down the slide a good five times at least, but only one was on video thanks to one of the other attendees (whom I unfortunately completely forgot the name of).

And then we go to FAO (back to, in my case). (The photos are best scores per title across both of my visits. I don’t play a whole lot of easily documentable games during the second visit; the novelty of Crossy Road wore off for me rather quickly but I think 135 is a damn good score.)

Finally there’s what turned out to be a very brief visit to Playground for me, sometime well after 11:00 pm (our afterparty was supposed to start at 10:00 pm). Basically, as most of the group had dispersed, I as there to cash in my drink ticket (lemon drop shot) and then call it a night.

I am looking forward to next year’s event assuming I am able to attend. All of the mentioned venues are great places to visit; FAO is good for a video game fix if you like the games they happen to have, but unfortunately there is no pinball. The slide at Electric Feelgood is also fun if you’re into that kind of thing.

Upcoming: St. Patrick’s Day Bar Crawl

I had been meaning to get this up over the weekend, but other things delayed it. I will be posting shortly about the Onesie Bar Crawl last month hosted by Crawl With Us. While not a pinball/arcade event, there were games at one of the featured venues.

That venue will be part of the upcoming Lucky’s St. Patrick’s Day Crawl on March 17 and 18. The tickets are still discounted for a couple of days but this is an excellent event even at full price. Hundreds of bar crawlers, if not over a thousand, are expected, and among them will be yours truly (of course).

I should add that the ticket is good for either day or both days. You do not need to pay twice to attend both days if that is what you want to do.

Tickets are available on the crawl website (via a framed Eventbrite page). Hope to see you there, it’s going to be a great time!

After Houston Arcade Expo through New Year’s Eve/Day 2023

There were a few more visits through the remainder of the year, culminating in a very special New Year’s Eve at Cidercade Houston. Special, in that it’s the first time I can remember that I was playing a game pinball through the stroke of midnight–that’s how much I was into my games. This particular play of the game (Rush) happened to be a relatively unremarkable run, though it was a surreal experience to clean the confetti off of the playfield glass in mid-game.

Notes about the two Centipede scores: One of the two Centipede machines is set for a brutal 2 lives and extra every 10k. This was, oddly enough, the machine on which I set the 44,818 high score. The other was (I think) an ordinary 3 lives/12k setting.

And yes, for better or worse, Spiderman replaced Funhouse at Little Dipper. It does seem to be playing better on its return, though.

November 15, Continental Club (the BurgerTime game is in the back with the shuffleboard and pool tables):

December 2, Little Dipper:

December 26, Little Dipper:

December 31/January 1, Bishop Cidercade: