Nickel-A-Play Arcade in Aurora, CO

IMG_0483[1]Nickel-A-Play is an arcade about ten minutes outside of Denver, Colorado. You pay a $3.50 entrance fee, then you can play any arcade game (except DDR) for free. It is totally awesome and offers a ton of rad games for Sega fans. Here are some of the games available for free-play:

IMG_0448[1]Virtual On In both His and Hers variations! I spent the majority of my time (half a dozen or so games) in the “Hers” cockpit because the Twin Sticks just felt a bit more precise. There is an Air Rescue cabinet next door, which I didn’t play because it looked kinda not fun.


Super GT – I was really excited to see this one, as Super GT (or Scud Race outside of NA) to this day remains criminally un-ported to consoles. This Toshihiro Nagoshi joint is considered by some to be one of Sega’s best racing games ever, and after playing some races today, I definitely agree. Wish the music was turned on though :-/


Laser Ghost – This was my first time ever coming across one of these cabinets, and I’m really glad I had a chance to play it. Laser Ghost is a light-hearted lightgun game where you battle ghosts and monsters, kinda like a blue skies House of the Dead. What makes the game unique is that you don’t play watching the main screen, but rather looking through a mirrored viewfinder attached to your gun, which gives the illusion that you are shooting three dimensional lasers. It’s still a neat effect today, and makes the game feel ripe for a 3D Classics version on 3DS.

IMG_0444[2]Stadium Cross – Easily the raddest, most gnarly, totally tubular game at the arcade, Stadium Cross is a VERY early-90s moto-racer. While the scrolling is pretty choppy for a Sega racer, pulling back on the bike to launch off a jump feels incredibly satisfying- almost as much as pressing a button to punch dudes, Road Rash-style.


The House of the Dead 2 – While the triggers on the guns were a bit worn and flimsy, this was absolutely the best screen I’ve ever seen on a HotD 2 machine- super clear and sharp.


L.A. Machineguns – The guns worked great as did the floor vibration effect, but unfortunately there was a bit of burn-in on the screen and the sound was turned off so we couldn’t hear the awesome music. Still, really cool to be able to free play such a great light(machine)gun shooter.

IMG_0476[1]Crazy Taxi – YA YA YA YA YA While I didn’t quite make crazy money, I did alright for my first time playing in the arcade in years. The pedals and wheel felt right-on, so I have no one to blame for my decidedly sane performance but myself.

IMG_0445[1]Top Skater – Another well-maintained cabinet that was awesome to play for free. Even better, the sound was on so you could totally jam out to Pennywise while you tail-grabbed all over the place! EXTREEEEEEEEME!!!!

In addition to these Sega games, there are plenty of other great arcade machines on free play, including DDR Extreme, Soul Calibur, a Neo Geo cabinet featuring Samurai Shodown and Ninja Masters, Guerrilla War, TMNT, Aliens, and way more. If you’re in the area, definitely check the place out; Nickel-A-Play contains an incredible cross-section of quality arcade games, and you can’t beat the price.

About ryan

This entry was posted in AM2, Arcades, Laser Ghost, Stadium Cross, Super GT, The House of the Dead, Top Skater, Toshihiro Nagoshi, Virtual On and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Nickel-A-Play Arcade in Aurora, CO

  1. tylerohlew says:

    Ha, I love how the urge to protect one’s masculinity has preserved the quality of the pink Virtual On cabinet.

    I never really had an arcade to visit growing up, so any experience blows me away. To be able to judge the quality of a House of the Dead 2 screen is unknown to me.

  2. Pingback: Top Five Sega Games That I Love But Am Totally Terrible At | Blue Skies Daily

  3. luisa saenz acosta says:

    This places is great for all ages .. only down fell is the old lady that owns the place shes so rude and an kind you would think

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