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(Topic ID: 234048)

Austin TX Needs a Barcade!


By javagrind888

1 year ago



Topic Stats

  • 71 posts
  • 28 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by javagrind888
  • Topic is favorited by 7 Pinsiders

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    There are 71 posts in this topic. You are on page 2 of 2.
    #51 1 year ago

    Oh. I see. BB is on 6th street. Haven’t been down to 6th Street in a long time.

    4 weeks later
    #52 1 year ago

    So just got back from the original Pinballz, the good news is the machine have had some TLC they played a LOT better! They now have a Munsters Pro at that location! The bad news is that it's $1.65 per play! All of their newer machines are now Pinballz card only no quarters or tokens! Card only machines from what I remember are, Metallica ($1.35), Wizard of Oz ($1.35), Houdini ($1.35), Star Wars Premium ($1.35) and I think there was one more I can't remember what. The older machines are still coin operated and still take quarters (which is recommended to take seeing as you only get 3 tokens for a dollar) But I must admit the machines I played were in much better shape than the last time I was there. So at least they are going in the right direction! I'll give credit where it's due.

    #53 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chappie101:

    So just got back from the original Pinballz, the good news is the machine have had some TLC they played a LOT better! They now have a Munsters Pro at that location! The bad news is that it's $1.65 per play! All of their newer machines are now Pinballz card only no quarters or tokens! Card only machines from what I remember are, Metallica ($1.35), Wizard of Oz ($1.35), Houdini ($1.35), Star Wars Premium ($1.35) and I think there was one more I can't remember what. The older machines are still coin operated and still take quarters (which is recommended to take seeing as you only get 3 tokens for a dollar) But I must admit the machines I played were in much better shape than the last time I was there. So at least they are going in the right direction! I'll give credit where it's due.

    Thanks for the update. Sounds like Austin is still in need of a Barcade though

    #54 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chappie101:

    But I must admit the machines I played were in much better shape than the last time I was there. So at least they are going in the right direction! I'll give credit where it's due.

    There have certainly been some positive steps:

    • The Game Maintenance Request form went online a few months back. Of the handful of submissions I've made, most have been addressed fairly quickly. I do wish there was some way to monitor the tickets I've added (and, ideally, other tickets too, so I could "+1" existing submissions instead of having to blindly submit a duplicate), but other than that it's a pretty good system. The tablets they have mounted in the arcade to allow for trouble ticket submissions are often out of commission. It's easy enough to do it on a smartphone, though, so that's not a big deal other than looking shoddy.
    • They have since hosted two playtest events, both with lunch provided. I've not been able to attend these, so I can't comment on their efficacy.
    • Overall condition of the games has improved. Work no doubt remains, but things have been getting better.
    • The transition to the player card system didn't complete in April as predicted, but they have moved ~10-15 games to the system and the remainder should follow soon. This will allow Silver-level and above members to get better pricing, will eliminate glares from Pinballz staff as you bang furiously on the coin door after the machine ate your tokens, and will hopefully get rid of the plumber's crack caused by dudes carrying around $20 worth of quarters in the pockets of their cargo shorts. Yeah, The Man knows how many times you coined-up on Playboy, so if your privacy is primary, this bullet point is a big negative for you, but overall I think it will prove to be a good move.
    • They hosted a Star Wars pinball tournament this past weekend, and they matched the prize pool with arcade credit. Unfortunately, it was poorly attended (I got pulled away at the last minute due to family obligations, and many of our other regulars were at Cactus Jack's), but I don't think that's the fault of the arcade. It was well-publicized on social media and in the venue.
    • I can't much comment on the "LEDs and visual upgrades for many of the games are committed for Q1" mentioned in a previous post. This is not of much interest to me and so I haven't paid attention. I think @javagrind888 was a big advocate for this one, so maybe he can say if any progress has been made here.

    As for the price change that initiated this whole firestorm a few months ago, nothing has changed there. If you are not a Silver-level member, you get rooked. If you are Silver-level, the prices are decent, but not stellar. If you combine it with coupons, the prices are reasonable. What, you aren't using Pinballz $25 for $20 coupons? They are everywhere (Val-Pak, Round Rock Express programs, Community Impact, Student Insider, the little touristy kiosks in rental car places, etc.) I'd much rather everyone just get good pricing without the hoops, but at least it is possible for regular players to get by without spending (as much of) a fortune.

    #55 1 year ago

    I agree the maintenance is improving. Good to see them follow up on that.

    Since the price increase I may have spent $30 total at Pinballz. They have chosen not to compete on price. I choose my entertainment based on price. Until they are competitive with their pricing I will rarely patronize them.

    The card readers offer nothing to the customer. It's a way to hide the amount of money you're spending behind another transition from dollars. If your pin doesn't take cash or tokens I'm not playing it.

    A rewards program should offer a benefit or why bother? Offering only slightly higher prices than other entertainment venues if I spend $2000 with Pinballz and allow you to track when and where every cent I spend goes at the facility falls squarely in the NO THANKS category for me.

    #56 1 year ago
    Quoted from YeOldPinPlayer:

    They have chosen not to compete on price. I choose my entertainment based on price. Until they are competitive with their pricing I will rarely patronize them.

    Thank you for your amazing contributions to our league, even as you've played less. I would love to have you competing again with us more often!

    I am one of the cheapest people I know, and they had also lost me with the price increase. With the workarounds (using quarters, etc.), though, I've gotten back into it, because what are my other options? I would love to support Buffalo more, but time is a premium, so if it comes down to the place 5 minutes from me with ample free parking vs 20 minutes away with a search for (likely paid) parking, the closer place wins almost every time. (BCO and TPL days excepted!) Buy my own machine? That requires way more money, space, and time than I have now. Hold leagues at friends' houses or other random, smaller venues? Maybe, but for sheer machine selection variety, it's hard to beat the 13,000 sqft place.

    The card readers offer nothing to the customer. It's a way to hide the amount of money you're spending behind another transition from dollars.

    I would agree more if they were doing something like Dave & Buster's: "This game requires 648.7 credits." I hate that with a passion. If they move to that I would be quite upset. The prices quoted on the Pinballz card readers are still in USD, so it's easy enough for me to intuit "I'm paying at most $0.75 for this play." (It's likely to be less though, because, again, I'm loading my card using coupons.)

    The card readers offer plenty to the customer: Not having to deal with a pile of quarters, not having to spend my time in league wandering up to get a refund when some machine invariably eats my coins, having some recourse if I lose my registered card (vs. being completely hosed when I forget and leave a cupful of coins in the Pingulp for the next lucky schmuck that walks up), being able to buy credits with a credit card, getting the discounted play rates and other random swag. Those may be of no value to you, or may not be worth the privacy tradeoffs, but to say they offer no value to any customer is wrong.

    A rewards program should offer a benefit or why bother?

    Agreed. Pens & tumblers only go so far. At least my kids are interested in the free go kart rides, redemption tickets, etc.

    Offering only slightly higher prices than other entertainment venues if I spend $2000 with Pinballz and allow you to track when and where every cent I spend goes at the facility falls squarely in the NO THANKS category for me.

    It's $500. (Your point still stands, but I want to make sure the facts are correct.) I also completely respect and understand the privacy argument, even if it is one I don't care about.

    #57 1 year ago

    I have about 3-7dollars of Pinballz tokens.
    Will they be taking those tokens back and crediting a card for me?
    OR are they just going to take that money from us?

    #58 1 year ago

    Zitt,
    Is there any video evidence of you bashing in a coin door and pilfering tokens, or are these just unused tokens you accumulated?

    #59 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    I have about 3-7dollars of Pinballz tokens.
    Will they be taking those tokens back and crediting a card for me?
    OR are they just going to take that money from us?

    That's a good question. I'm sure the answer will not be favorable to the consumer, so I used all mine up and have been strictly quarters for a while.

    #60 1 year ago

    Imho Pinballz should be willing to exchange your tokens for card credits to show that they value their customers who spend money at their arcades.

    Can the tokens currently be used at any of the Pinballz locations on any pinball machines?

    #61 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    Can the tokens currently be used at any of the Pinballz locations on any pinball machines?

    The machines that have card readers ONLY have card readers (that I've noticed.)

    In my experience the manager has been very helpful when approached about customer service stuff. I suggest using the contact form at https://www.pinballzarcade.com/contact/ and ask if you can convert your unused tokens to credit on a Pinballz card.

    #62 1 year ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    Imho Pinballz should be willing to exchange your tokens for card credits to show that they value their customers who spend money at their arcades.
    Can the tokens currently be used at any of the Pinballz locations on any pinball machines?

    As yeoldpinplayer said, pins that haven't yet been converted to card readers (which is most of them) still use tokens. I agree that converting tokens to credit on the card would be a good move on their part. I also noticed this week that they are trumpeting that all redemption tickets will be strictly on-card from now on unless you request otherwise. This makes me happy, as my kids will no longer have massive snakes of those things lying around.

    #63 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    I have about 3-7dollars of Pinballz tokens.
    Will they be taking those tokens back and crediting a card for me?
    OR are they just going to take that money from us?

    Put them on ebay as a collectible.

    1 week later
    #64 1 year ago

    No LED upgrades so far I'm afraid. The pins are broken less often, but the wow factor of what these games could be for so cheap a visual upgrade is still very much lacking.

    I'm still going there and having fun weekly, but the jealousy of other cities who have barcades where the owners truly love their machines is still solidly there.

    4 weeks later
    #65 1 year ago

    Just read in the Austin American Statesman that Cidercade is coming to Austin!!!!! At the location of the old Joe's Crabshack, they will have 250 games!
    That's great news for Austin Pinball fans

    #66 1 year ago
    Quoted from Chappie101:

    Just read in the Austin American Statesman that Cidercade is coming to Austin!!!!! At the location of the old Joe's Crabshack, they will have 250 games!
    That's great news for Austin Pinball fans

    Look out Pinballz, there’s going to be stiff competition soon. Can’t wait!

    #68 1 year ago

    Interesting... but doesn't really sound better to me as there was some drama in the DFW pin list about Cidercade, IIRC.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/dfwpinballclub/permalink/2433597856691604/

    that said; I def agree more competition is needed and I look forward to trying them out one day after they open.

    #69 1 year ago
    Quoted from Zitt:

    Interesting... but doesn't really sound better to me as there was some drama in the DFW pin list about Cidercade, IIRC.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/dfwpinballclub/permalink/2433597856691604/
    that said; I def agree more competition is needed and I look forward to trying them out one day after they open.

    I’ve been to all of the Pinballz locations and Cidercade several times. Cidercade blows them out of the water. No location is going to have every game working perfect, but they do a good job.

    An article said they were coming to Houston too.

    #70 1 year ago

    Was in Austin last weekend and visited all three Pinballz locations. 3 tokens for a dollar is insane! I love how small the sign is on the change machines too for "2019 pricing."

    The owner of those places is either desperately trying to pay off the go kart track at the northern location (which sucks) or extremely greedy. Maybe both.

    The machines at the original location were fine but the northern pins were in shambles. Would never frequent those places unless they are going to adjust the token amounts. I love Creature From The Black Lagoon but I am not paying $1.33 per game.

    1 week later
    #71 1 year ago

    Super stoked that we're getting Cidercade here in Austin. I wish it were further north so we wouldn't have to fight the downtown traffic, but beggars can't be choosers.

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