We (owners Shawn and Meg) started building our arcade game collection decades ago as new college graduates, going to auctions and creepy basements together and filling our one bedroom apartment with 15 classic games as we worked our "day jobs" as a teacher (Shawn) and project manager (Meg).
Once we sold our dining room table to make room for more games, we realized we needed more room. We purchased our first home - a mixed used building in Burlington, New Jersey - with a storefront that ultimately launched the original High Scores in August of 2010.
We picked up our entire collection and made the cross country move in late 2012, closing the arcade for 6 months while we moved 3200 miles with three dogs and a (then) collection of 70 games. Fast forward years of hard work and hoarding, and our collection now boasts more than 160 games and is one of the largest privately held arcade collections on the West Coast.
With game preservation at the heart of our operations, our collection focuses primarily on the golden age of arcade gaming, the early to mid 1980's. We focus on collecting the most important titles. We have nearly all of the typical canonized games that visitors expect, like Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Ms Pac-Man, Galaga, Frogger, Tron, Star Wars, and the like. But we also have games that were important for other reasons - like Gorf , the first game to use synthesized voice, I, Robot, arguably the first 3D arcade game, and Beat Head, Atari's prototype as the first rhythm based game.
But wait, there's more! Operating High Scores gave us a reason to start building the ideas that lived inside our nerdy heads, and thus began a near-annual tradition of building our own custom games. We're best known for our hand-built, wagon inspired Oregon Trail cabinet, our sparkly hot pink Super Smash Bros. with all-original GameCube hardware, and our custom golden Legend of Zelda featuring the top of the top NES titles. We've also showcased an entire candy cabinet dedicated to Sega's Shenmue series, as well as a customized Sega Saturn machine boasting quirky titles such as Nights into Dreams.
Our California flagship location in Alameda has served as a meet up spot and memory maker for visitors for nearly a decade, and for 4 years we proudly served the greater East Bay through our sister location in Hayward. Unfortunately, that second location became a casualty of the COVID-19 crisis, as both of our locations were shuttered for 15 months. Now in 2021, we welcome the triumphant return of our Alameda location while we work to build a larger location to house our collection in the near future.
Our Alameda location has ~40+ games on the floor, some of which feature multiple games like our 161-in-1 Neo Geo. Because we don't have all the room we need to showcase our full collection, we routinely rotate new titles onto the game floor. All games within the arcade are free to play with the purchase of an hourly admission fee.