Thursday, 14 September 2017

Arcades in Dymchurch, Kent

On day three of our holiday we ventured to Dymchurch, a small seaside village with a children’s amusement park, shops, cafes and sandy beach.  The journey from Romney was made on a one-third full size steam locomotive, part of the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch railway collection.


Deck Amusements

The arcade has a nice selection of videogames, including some I had never seen before.

Behind Enemy Lines: Coalition Against Terrorism – Sega / Real3D – 1998

Virtua Cop meets Operation Wolf in this awesome shooter.  I was really happy to play it, having never seen one before.  The game runs on Sega Model 2C CRX hardware, and the cabinet design is very similar to Gunblade NY with two mounted gun turrets. 

Here is a video of the game.

Operation Thunderbolt – Taito – 1988

Another awesome shooter, but from a different era.  It was great to see this classic.  Besides the broken grenade buttons on the Uzi’s, the cabinet was in excellent condition.

Side By Side – Taito – 1996
A forerunner to the Battle Gear series, the game has a strong Initial D vibe with the player selecting Japanese sports cars to race downhill.  Another arcade first for me.

A video of the beginner course.

The Electrocoin Goliath, running Tekken looked in great condition.


  1. Yet another quality Kent arcade. Surprised that no-one's bought any of the cabs shown so far, or that they've been binned.

    I too have never seen Behind Enemy Lines. It was one of the very last Model 2 games so I guess it wasn't very popular, or not many were made. Doesn't look very special but I did love Gunblade.

    I have seen Taito's Side By Side before, it was at an arcade in Matlock which also had Killer Instinct, GTI Club and a House Of The Dead 2 in a Lost World-type sit in theater that I have never seen again.

    Anyway, Side By Side never really clicked with me, but I do have memories of it. I did play it every so often but I mostly stuck to GTI instead. It disappeared a few years back, in fact all but HotD 2 (which is in terrible condition) have gone now.

    Having said that they have been replaced by Pac-Man Battle Royale, Super Bikes 2, and a upright Transformers shooter, but still.

    It's also nice to see the two Namco classics, Tekken and Ridge Racer. Whenever I see a Ridge Racer nowadays it's always switched off or has numerous faults, and it has been quite a while since I last saw Tekken.

    All I need now to convince me to come to Kent is Virtual On or Scud Race cabs. I am seriously thinking about booking a holiday there soon! Is there any other arcades with good cabs?

  2. Behind Enemy Lines was actually pretty fun and you got a decent amount of play for your credit. Side By Side was fun, but I can see how it would struggle when up against Sega's racers. I've just been reading up on the game and see that there was a PlayStation port and that it was the forerunner to the Battle Gear series.

    In Kent we also checked out Margate and Broadstairs. Margate was extremely disappointing given its arcade history. There were only a few modern videogames, including Alien Armageddon (out of order), GTI Club: Supermini Festa! (switched off), OutRun2 twin and Raizing Storm. Unfortunately Dreamland was closed for refurbishment during our visit, but has since re-opened. It would be interesting to know what they have arcade wise.

    Broadstairs didn't fare much better. There were just two arcades, but one of them had a Time Crisis II in nice condition.

    I didn't see any Virtual On or Scud Race cabs. Both games seem pretty rare these days. In fact Virtual On seemed to have a pretty limited release. I remember they had it only for a short time at Great Yarmouth seafront. The last one I saw was in 2014 at Snettisham Beach Amusements, near Hunstanton, Norfolk, but unfortunately the game was switched off. There seems to be a few more Scud Race cabs around. There is a twin cab still being operated in Hemsby and there were some DLX cabs in Southend, but I'm not sure if they're still there.

  3. The last time I saw Virtual On was at Funland on Hayling Island. I think they still have a lot of classic cabs (including Scud Race) but Virtual On went sometime after 2012.

    As for Scud Race, I did see it on a ferry last year but it was in terrible condition, as the gear shifter was broken and a lot of screen burn.

    It's a shame really, these two games for me are the epitome of Sega's arcade games (as well as the super scaler games). I have great memories of playing them at The Buzz arcade in Coventry, which had several hard to find games like the Hyper Neo Geo 64 powered Samurai Shodown 2, Operation Wolf 3, and a deluxe 4 player Tokyo Wars, all of which (except Tokyo Wars) I have never seen again. Sadly it has since closed down and as far as I know none of the cabs were saved.

  4. I do believe Snettisham Beach Amusements had a Scud Race as well? I think that is still there to this day thanks to a picture I have found on Google Maps, although the Virtual On is no longer there now.

  5. Tokyo Wars is great, I love that game.

    Your right, there was a Scud Race twin at Snettisham Beach Amusements, I forgot all about that one!

  6. Besides a lot of classic pinball tables and some very early coin-ops from Bally/Midway and Sega plus possibly an original Space Invaders, I don't think Dreamland had anything else.

    I have been to Margate before for a quick visit, for when the expo was on there a few years ago. There was a few cabs, including a DLX OutRun, but from the looks of things they never came back after that. I imagine they would be harder to maintain.

    It's a shame there was no other good arcades in Kent, but I guess the rest of the arcades make up for that. Was there anywhere else you went on holiday? Besides Skegness and North Wales I went to Whitby earlier this year, there was some nice stuff like After Burner Climax, Sega Rally 1 & 2, a DLX Time Crisis 2, and Manx TT. There was also one of the first Daytona 3's in the UK which I had a lot of plays on.

  7. Just found out that Cleethorpes has a Scud Race in Fairworld Amusements! Had absolutely no idea, Fairworld has gone under my radar as its the only arcade in Cleethorpes that isn't on the seafront.

    Also, Snettisham Beach Amusements has new owners as of last year, and Virtual On is no longer there. Scud Race and the other games remain, although one side of Scud doesn't have a good CRT and there's been some PCB swapping as one side is the Plus update and the other isn't, making 2 player impossible.

  8. It's a shame about Virtual On, I was hoping to see it back up and running on my next visit. There can't be many left now, hopefully it hasn't been scrapped.

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  10. Hi it's me again lol. Just came to say that I am fairly certain Felixstowe Pier has gotten rid of it's Tokyo Wars as well as the rest of it's older games- only Mario Kart Arcade GP and a few other newer cabs remain, due to the revamp it's had this year.

  11. Hi mate. I heard about the revamp. It's sad to hear the older games are gone. I was quite impressed by my visit a couple of years ago. I really enjoyed playing Rapid River and Tokyo Wars and all the machines seemed well maintained.