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07-24-2014 at 01:02 PM
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Where the Wild Games Are - Part II

]After spending several days eating and drinking and antiquing our way through Door County, it was time to head back to Madison. A quick Google search of "Madison WI arcade" turned up a few promising leads on where I could locate a larger, more robust collection of classic games from the 70's & 80's. So when my wife announced that she had an appointment for a pedicure and asked if I cared to join here and her friends, I gently declined, borrowed my father-in-law's car and made a mad dash for the Rossi's Pizza & Vintage Arcade (https://www.facebook.com/RossisPizzaArcade)

As you can see by the signage on the front of the building, this definitely looked promising and as luck would have it, Rossi's did not disappoint.

Of course if you know me you know that I am a Robotron 2084 freak and avid player. As luck would have it, Rossi's is home to a nicely restored Robotron, so I grabbed myself a slice of pizza, and IBC root beer and plopped down in front of the game in hope of posting the highest possible score with regard to the "All Time Heroes" list, that being 9,999,975. You can of course score more points on a single credit playing Robotron (my personal best is just over 36 million points). However the score resets to 0 if you hit a single target once you get the score I was going for. Actually posting this score can be quite a challenge as you have to set everything up just right where you can get down to one Enforcer (the ever-spawning space ship looking enemies) and then take out that Enforcers shots (which come at you in the shape of X's) one at a time. Each shot destroyed is worth 25 points. If you get close to your goal at 9,999,950 and then accidentally pick up a human, kill a grunt or hit the enforcer, your score will roll over to zero and you have another 2 hours of play time until your next shot at the "perfect score" and the top of the All Time Heroes list.

As you can see I took two shots at the score (my initials when gaming are "HZO" representing "H2O" as there are no numbers available when entering your initials on the Robotron leader board) and came up short both time. However, I had a blast and definitely plan to return to make another attempt at getting that elusive perfect score at Rossi's.

Another one of my favorite games is of course Donkey Kong. Though I am definitely no Hank Chien, I was able to post the high score for the day with a relatively respectable 120,500 points. Speaking of Hank, he helped me win the Donkey Kong Co-op Tournament at MagFest last January. The premise is that Hank was to control either the joystick or the jump button and the contestant would man (or woman) the other. Each contestant was given you chances to play with Hank as their wingman and the highest score on default settings would be the winner. Most folks decided to let Hank handle the joystick for obvious reasons. However, being familiar with the play mechanics of the game, I decide to control the joystick and put Hank on the jump button. I figured his reactions would be quicker in a pinch and the gamble worked. I don't remember our exact score, but I am pretty sure it was in the 50,000 point range. Hank, if you are out there reading this, thanks for the help!

In addition to over 50 classic arcade games and pins, the decor inside Rossi's was dominated by pop culture icons from the decades of my youth, the 60's, 70's & 80's.

So if you are in the Madison area definitely check out Rossi's. The Pizza is tasty, the games are $25 a credit and the decor will take you right back to your youth. That is if you happen to be among the 35 - 50 year old set.

Coming up in Part III I discover what is possibly the coolest retro gaming store around, quaff a few more beers on the shore of Lake Winona and set down with yet another beer, some popcorn and my favorite band of raving simians. Stay tuned!
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