Gemma Critchley: Adventures-on-sea

Posted on April 28, 2011 by


Today the chap and I took a jaunt to the glorious Yorkshire coast to visit the illustrious seaside town of Bridlington. Now, I can last remember visiting here on a daytrip with my family a good 20 years ago, so it was nice to visit and find it still bustling and busy, basking in the unseasonal Spring sunshine.

We took a stroll around the little harbour, marvelled at the sympathetic and rather lovely regeneration of the South Shore, pondered the fact that Yorkshire is home to some of the most beautiful and wild coastlines in the world, ate our picnic whilst looking at the sea and then headed to the North Shore where we got to the good stuff.

You know what I’m talking about. The arcades.

Bridlington Yorkshire coast amusement arcade
photo credit Gary Balding, Flickr

Now, a while ago, we’d taken a similar trip to Filey, just up the coast from Bridlington. On this day, in the lustrous August Leeds sunshine, we’d headed of in the throes of youth without coats. When we got to Filey it was tipping it down with rain. Sideways rain, thanks to the gale force winds rolling in off the North Sea. So we took refuge in one of the brightly lit amusingly named amusement arcades. Deep within the Vegas-like murky depths of Funtime/Pleasureland/Goodtimesville (delete as applicable), we came across the best amusements game I’ve ever played. We spent a good hour (and the best part of a tenner in 2ps) playing this machine, then as the rain subsided, we bid our farewells to it and left the machine blinking and whirring in the gloom, never expecting to see it again.

But behold! When we entered the Bridlington Forum, a veritable rabbit warren of tumbling two pence pieces, flashing lights and scruffy children, we stumbled across The Machine.

Pac Man Ball amusement arcade game bridlington yorkshire

I felt like Tom Hanks in Big, when he rediscovers the fortune telling machine on the pier at the end.

tom hanks big fortune telling machine pier end

There, in all its glory was Namco’s Pac Man Ball. A two-metre high effigy of addictive fun. Like Bubble Bobble or Peggle crossed with a 2p machine. It’s built to be played by two people as well, although it’s not a two player game. Basically, you fire 2p coins into it and they drop down the back wall, pinball-style, hitting or dropping through multiplier buttons as they go. Depending on which you hit, you get bubbles pushed into a screen and these add up to give you free coins that the machine fires in for you, giving you more chance of toppling the 2ps and winning.

It’s massively addictive, easy to play and loads of fun.

This time we hit the maximum multiplier of 50 free coins. We celebrated, then proceeded to feed these all back into the machine, before leaving, triumphant in our discovery and just a little bit disbelieving that we would ever find Pac Man Ball ever again.

Posted in: Gemma Critchley