As the gaming industry heads full speed toward the latest and greatest technology in the world, a new local arcade is inviting people to take a step back and enjoy games of yesteryear.
While there won’t be any quarters or ribbons of tickets found here, The Arcave is bringing back the arcades of the 1980s and ’90s through nostalgic art, nerdy memorabilia and, of course, classic arcade cabinets.
“I grew up in Truro, and there were several arcades around town when I was a kid,” said Jeffrey Lattie, owner-operator of The Arcave.
“There was always somewhere to go to drop a quarter and have some fun. After coming back here and having children of my own, I quickly realized there’s not really a lot around anymore.”
The Arcave, located in the basement of the McLellan, Richards & Bégin law office on Prince Street, will feature a dozen retro arcade cabinets such as Mortal Kombat and Lightning Fighters, as well as a collection of classic game consoles like the Original Nintendo Entertainment System and the Atari 2600.
As the name states, the entrance will be styled as an actual cave which will lead into the gaming floor, decorated with locally sourced videogame art and glass cases full of ’80s memorabilia, such as the classic Nintendo Powerglove and a large Voltron toy.
“It’s going to be an experience,” said Richard Black, who partnered with Lattie to supply the arcade cabinets and games.
“When you walk in, it’s going to be all cave-y, there will be low light in the area with things glowing on the walls and blinking lights from the games. It’ll be great.”
The gaming floor will also feature a concession area where gamers can buy drinks and snacks, a front desk where merchandise and card packs for card games can be bought, and an area for board and card games as well.
The arcade is focusing on retro gaming mainly from the ’80s and ’90s, which carries a “jump in and play” style that modern games tend to lack.
“If you want the latest consoles,” said Lattie, “you probably have them at home already and you’re probably comfortable playing at home. We want to create an experience you can’t get at home, and with retro games, they have a feeling and experience like nothing else.”
While there won’t be any gaming computers or high-powered Xbox consoles, they are incorporating a small bit of the 21st century into the Arcave – Virtual reality.
“VR has taken off lately in the city,” said Black. “There are about five VR places in Halifax where you can go in, put on a helmet and check out a new virtual world. We tried it out at Halcon and were so blown away by it; we knew we needed to have it.”
The VR system will be based off the HTC Vive system, and will feature custom-made games by developer 902 Games.
Right now, the Arcave is still under construction, but is expected to open in the middle of November and will be holding an invitation-only grand opening party on Nov. 4.