Ground Kontrol vs. Quarterworld: Which Portland Arcade Reigns Supreme?

Two arcades that are also bars? Adulthood is no longer mandatory.

By Marty Patail July 12, 2016 Published in the August 2016 issue of Portland Monthly

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 Ground Kontrol


 2,600 square feet  7,400 square feet
Video Games
 53  55
Pinball Games
 26  31
Rarest Game

 Aliens (1990) “I’ve never seen it since the mid-’90s. The most unique thing on the floor.” —Art Santana, Ground Kontrol promotions manager

Ninja Baseball Bat Man (1993)
“Only 43 were ever imported into the US.” —Logan Bowden, Quarterworld operations manager
Most Popular
 Pac-Man Battle Royale (2010)

"The boxing game where you punch the bag. It's like a street fight here on a Friday night. People are waiting three rows deep."

8 taps; 9 bottles & cans 8 taps; 10 bottles & cans 
Family  Friendly?
 All ages until 5 p.m.  All ages until 8 p.m.
Menu  Highlight
 Frito pie Deep-fried PBJ 
Expansion Plans

Adding 4,000 square feet by taking over the former Backspace café, with 60 new games and 12 new beer taps

None currently. However, Quarterworld owns more than 1,000 game cabinets it doesn’t have space for ... yet.
Hidden Gem

Dragon’s Lair (1983)
“It’s an interactive animated movie. It’s a very intimidating game. If you try it and you don’t know what’s going on, you’re going to lose very quickly. That one deserves more attention.”

Fisherman’s Bait (1998) “You troll around on a boat and sink a hook, and then you have to reel this sucker in. The control panel is a fishing reel. You can feel the tension of the fish. You get done playing the game and you’re like, ‘I’m not going to the gym.’”
Claim to Fame

Authenticity. “We really care about preserving classic arcade culture and introducing it to new generations. If we put a game on the floor it’s because we really care about it.”

Inclusiveness. “We’re all getting older and having kids. Mom can go to the lounge and have a few martinis. The way we put it is it’s a reverse-engineered Chuck E. Cheese.”

*Ground Kontrol actually opened in 1999—but with different owners and at a different location.

**Quarterworld actually opened in 1996, as a regional game supplier for bars and restaurants.

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