Quarters and tickets and blinking lights. Oh my. Our date destination tonight was a local arcade. We’ve played arcade games on cruise ships and amusement parks, but this is the first time we’ve been to a stand-alone arcade together. The great part of arcade dates is that you can set a spending limit up front when you get quarters.


The first game we played was the Change Machine game, which we lost. We brought a $10 bill as our spending limit for the date, but the change machine only accepted $1 and $5 bills, so back out to the car we went to raid our wallets for smaller bills. We came up with a $5 and 5 $1s, and back to the change machine we went. We tried putting a few different bills in the machine, but it didn’t work. I’ve never lost a Change Machine game before, let alone twice in a row. We wandered around the arcade and found another change machine that actually worked, so we got a big handful of quarters, finally getting the best of the Change Machine game.

handful of quarters

Our first game was skee ball. In classic arcade fashion, I dropped my first quarter in and the machine ate it. I went over to the attendant and he got my quarter back, then told me that machine was finicky. I tried another machine and was on my way. Amanda won this game with 80 points compared to my 50 points. Combined, we got 9 tickets from this game.

Next, we tried our luck at the Cyclone. This game has a light spinning around a giant circle. You have a button to press when the light gets near you and you get tickets based on how close to a mark that the light stops. Neither of us got very close and only managed to get about 10 tickets.

Beside that machine was a Wheel of Fortune game that was similar to the Cyclone, but instead of getting a specific number of tickets for hitting the right spot, there was a giant wheel of numbers in the middle that would spin and give however many tickets were on where the wheel landed. We both played this game twice because we got so close. On my second spin, I hit the “spin” mark and the wheel started spinning. It almost landed on 300, but clicked over to 50 at the last second…


and out came 50 tickets.

50 tickets.  All the tickets.

After that, we tried our hand at basketball. We definitely shouldn’t give up our day jobs to join the NBA. Next, we played a variety of classic arcade fighting games, including Tekken 5, SVC Chaos, and Marvel vs Capcom. In Tekken 5, I played as Law and Amanda played as Xiaoyu. She fought the Law, and she won. Amanda played a few rounds against the computer before losing and moving on to the next game, which she also won. I won the third game and went on to get 16th place against the computer.

Amanda fought the Law and won.

We wandered around and dropped quarters into a few more random games, but didn’t win anything from them. We got down to our final quarter and decided to play the Wheel of Fortune game again to see if we could get lucky and get another spin. Unfortunately, we did not.

Handful of tickets

We turned our handful of quarters into a handful of tickets, and had a lot of fun in the process.