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The Gaming Garbage Man Reviews: The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Arcade

TheGarbageManJul 19, 2018, 3:46:43 AM

I recently got loose outside and I wanted to share some of my travels with everyone! 

Here is part of it, Garbage Man-style!

Keeping it cool.

With the weather at 68 degrees, a constant breeze blew off the Pacific ocean and cascaded into the beach where I stood. I could have asked for it to be better, but not by much.

Fair warning, Santa Cruz is crowded as fuck during the height of summer. The Boardwalk parking lot was overfull, the traffic was stopped, and the beach was stacked with fatties and screaming kids.

I highly recommend parking inside the town of Santa Cruz and making a short four or five block walk, which is what I did. But you don’t have to be smart like me, go ahead, spend two hours locked in traffic, it’s your vacation.

Low-rez is how Minds likes it's photos.

The first stop is the indoor mini-golf course. A double-layered 18-hole course located inside Neptune’s Kingdom, Buccaneer Bay Mini Golf is a premium putting experience. From cannons to wax figures, everything makes “Aaarrrr!” and parrot noises, but in a quaint, piratey sort of way.

Neptune’s Kingdom also features climbing walls, pool, ping-pong, food, and beer! It’s atmospheric and neat, not bad to cool off and enjoy all the man-made amusements next to God’s blue jewel.

At six bucks a round for mini-golf, it’s not too shabby and takes about half an hour to complete. Start here, because the next part is going to swallow your soul!

The real meat is at the Casino Arcade, hailed as “one of the largest arcades in the area!” It is really big, I'll give it that. Over 300 games are here, give or take a few Out-of-Order and ones being used as a ticket squirters.

My favorite was the shooting gallery. These are becoming a relic of the past, as noticed by the complete lack of a crowd around it, as though it was the Star Wars: Episode I Pod Racer machine or something.

I played a few rounds and the gun sights were on point. I’m sure it’s a forgiving targeting system, though my personal auto-aim settings are always on high. Great fun in a Wild West setting.

The arcade floor has many machines, typically divided into three categories: Video games, tickets, and instant prizes, like The Fast and the Furious 6, now available on DVD! Fun!

The video game assortment they had was amazing. Almost every Star Wars large arcade machine, light gun cabinets, even some classics redone in High Definition!

The ticket and prize games were the kind you’d expect to find, though with way more polish and diversity than your local roller rink. Everyone can have a go and try to score tickets for awesome prizes, like a Xbox One with PUBG pre-installed! Wow!

Rounding it all out is laser tag, great views, and instant access to the Santa Cruz Beach. If you have more time and money, I’d recommend checking out the ferris wheel and the rest of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Amusement park right next door.

Rating: 4 out of 5. This was truly an entrancing and entertaining arcade. The Casino Arcade and Neptune’s Kingdom both hail back to the old-age of arcade gaming, while still embracing new trends, such as mobile gaming and shortened attention spans.

My only complaints are the accessibility and the crowds. But that’s what happens when you go to good places that have been around for a long time. People have been coming to this beach for generations now, and it sure doesn’t look they are stopping anytime soon.

I’d recommend both the Casino Arcade and Neptune’s Kingdom to families, gamers, golf pros, and old people who remember what an arcade is. Do some mini-golf first, then hit some arcade games in afterwards.

This was the Gaming Garbage Man. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen at the beach, even when it's cloudy!