Battle of the Arcades and Arcade Wars Returns for 2021


In case you have not ventured out into the post apocalyptic landscape there is a lot of Arcades around Australia from Gameroom Essentials in Adelaide to the 1989 Bar in Sydney to the largest freeplay Arcade in Australia the 1UP Arcade in Brisbane (home to the Geek Society Indie Arcade machine) there is a resurgence of Retro Arcades.

Way back in 2019 we also saw the first inter-arcade battle where the best players aligned with their favourite arcades across Australia to show which is best. While 2019 was a skip year for many reasons in 2021 the Dueling Arcades  with not one but 2 major events to add to your gaming calendar.

First up we have Arcade Wars, the multi-arcade battle with venues from across the world competing. Lead by the 1UP Arcade, Arcade Wars will feature one Arcade game per month with teams from each Arcade posting their best 3 high scores (and averaged) to match against their opponents. The Arcade Wars will rage the entire year with a new game selected and announced each month (but you can check out previous games on the Official Arcade Wars scoreboard).

This year’s entrants include teams from:

  • 1UP Arcade (Brisbane)
  • Galloping Ghost (USA)
  • Gameroom Essentials (Adelaide)
  • Spacies (Toowoomba)
  • Pincadia (Brisbane)
  • Wayback’s Arcade (USA)

While some areas of the globe are still in lockdown this list may have some additions before the official start next month. Each venue will be managing their own team but all gamers are encouraged to practice to ensure they can submit the best score as their official according to the rules of engagement.

The global Arcade Wars is not the only Arcade based event coming up with the Australia/New Zealand Battle of the Arcades also now looking set for mid-May. Lead by Brisbane’s Netherworld the Battle of the Arcades features 10 games across a single weekend with teams repping their individual Arcade.

Players will be limited to official score setting between 10am and 6pm AEST (to be inline with Brisbane) on each of the 2 days for the event with each player setting the best score they can on all 10 games with only the best 8 player’s scores (with each player’s scores being combined) from each venue being counted. The team with the highest points total will be crowned the Australian Battle of the Arcade Champion (even if they are from New Zealand).

Venues participating include:

  • Netherworld (Brisbane)
  • Spacies (Toowoomba)
  • 1UP Arcade (Brisbane)
  • Pincadia (Brisbane)
  • 1989 Bar (Sydney)
  • Australian Pinball Museum (Melbourne)
  • Gameroom Essentials (Adelaide)
  • Pixelate Arcade (Christchurch, NZ)

Unlike Arcade Wars which keeps you on your dance dance revolution honed toes the Battle of the Arcade has preannounced all 10 games that are to be played. Games announced are:

  • Demon Front
  • Gyruss
  • Golden Axe
  • Outzone
  • Rygar
  • Ms Pac-Man
  • New Rally X
  • Black Tiger
  • Last Blade 2
  • Metal Slug 2

Each arcade involved either have an original machine or able to lockdown a MAME cabinet dedicated to that game for the duration of the event. There is no SEGA Megadrive Golden Axe or console action here, strictly arcade sticks.

For both the Battle of the Arcades and Arcade Wars each venue is managing their teams and conditions according with the rules so it is best to get in contact with the venue you want to represent to find out more about how to try out for their teams. Practice is of course encouraged with Highlander rules applying (the ‘there can only be one’ part not the decapitation part).

You can also find the Battle of the Arcade’s event listed on our Events page with every location (and more Arcades across Australia) on our Geek Directory but contact your local Arcade for more.