Once upon a time, pinball and Frogger ruled recreational spaces. Today, dive back into that bygone era with Tilted Arcade — a new destination in Mooresville sharing nostalgia and game play.
Still in possession of his first game system, Craig Kurtzner still plays his 30-year-old early edition Nintendo. But for this Tilted Arcade owner and operator, the “classic, old school stuff” is where his passion lies and it’s what he’s bringing to Mooresville with his newly opened business.
“[Kids] are missing the golden age of gaming,” he shared just two weeks after debuting Tilted Arcade in late January.
Tilted Arcade features 20 games in total — 16 arcade games and four pinball machines. They invite guests to “tilt your way back to the ’80s” with features such as Pac-Man, Mortal Kombat, Lethal Weapon 3 pinball and Cruisin’ Exotica. Reaching back as far as 1982, the arcade shares Frenzy with guests as well as 1990s games like The Fast and the Furious and Bags, a digital corn hole experience.
For Kurtzner, the new business began as just a dream three years ago. Then eight months ago, he worked to turn his dream into reality. Wanting to share his love for gaming with others, he began to swiftly collect various machines, traveling as far as Philadelphia for many of them.
Following a few repairs and upgrades to his 20 current features, Kurtzner opened Tilted Arcade on Jan. 17. Games are only 25 or 50 cents per play. And to make things simple, Kurtzner says to leave the quarters at home; debit/credit cards are accepted in exchange for coins readily available on site.
At 306 W. Plaza Drive Suite 9, Tilted Arcade can be discovered behind lock and key. Located within the U-Haul complex, the business has limited its public hours to Friday nights, 8:30 p.m. to midnight, extending Saturdays and Sundays for special events. The business is a part-time gig for Kurtzner and his long-time partner Tami, but there exists optimism to expand in the future. They also anticipate buying and selling arcade games to provide occasional rotation among options.
“I know we have something special here. Now we just have to tell everyone in town,” said Tami, calling the spot Kurtzner’s “man cave away from home.”
For now, they welcome visitors for Friday night game play and weekend birthday parties — parties that include free gaming for two hours as well as pizza, beverages, memorabilia and more.
“It’s simpler times,” said Kurtzner. “Step back into the ’80s and ’90s and just have a good time.”
Learn more about Tilted Arcade via Facebook, facebook.com/Tilted-Arcade-105321767664416.