Super Chexx table hockey game Jan. 29.
Super Chexx table hockey game Jan. 29.
Owen Primeau

High Scores and Critical Hits

A Journey into the Golden Age of Analog

Prior to an era dominated by smartphones and advanced gaming consoles, people sought creative ways to indulge in games and test their skills. In contrast to the modern nature of television-centered entertainment, these pastimes allowed for more personalized and interactive entertainment. The 1970s witnessed a surge in the popularity of traditional board games, such as Dungeons and Dragons, and arcade games including pinball, skeeball, and more.


Pinball Jones welcome sign Jan. 29. (Owen Primeau)

Despite the evolution of video games, with consoles at the center of the gaming industry in recent generations, Fort Collins still hosts establishments preserving the charm of these vintage games.


Nestled in Old Town Square on Linden Street, Pinball Jones is an underground arcade and bar, offering a nostalgic journey through time. The venue displays a collection of 38 pinball machines with classic designs and an additional 18 arcade games, ranging from skeeball to air hockey promising ample entertainment.


Jack Watson, a student at Colorado State University, frequently visits Pinball Jones to test his luck. Reflecting on his arcade experiences, Watson said, “I’ve always been drawn to arcade games, so spending time there with friends is a blast.” Watson added, “I love the old-school feel of the arcade, it kind of takes you away from the norms of playing Xbox or PlayStation.”


Pinball Jones welcomes all ages, with Mondays featuring a $5 free play promotion throughout the day. Whether you’re seeking to explore new games or consider yourself an arcade expert, Pinball Jones offers an immersive experience.


While arcade games thrived in the 1970s, board games provided an avenue for face-to-face competition among friends and enthusiasts alike. Gryphon Games and Comics Cooperative, located on W Drake Road, serves as a hub for gaming enthusiasts, offering a diverse selection of games, comic books, action figures, and more. 


Willy Wonka pinball machine Jan. 29. (Owen Primeau)

In addition to retailing of these games and collectibles, the establishment hosts organized meetups, tournaments, and events that cater to individuals of all ages and skill levels.


For those eager to relive the spirit of the 1970s, Gryphon Cooperative is notable for its Dungeons and Dragons organized play. Every Saturday at five pm, the venue hosts open table games for a small fee of $5, offering an immersive journey into the realm of fantasy gaming. 


In the digital entertainment landscape, venues such as Pinball Jones in Fort Collins offer a nostalgic escape for those looking to relive the past. Likewise, Gryphon Games and Comics Cooperative offers a sense of community for board game fanatics, reminiscent of the gaming culture of the 1970s. These establishments serve as a reminder of the joy of face-to-face gaming for players of all ages.

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