I’m particularly jaded when it comes to arcades. I’ve been going to arcades in Indianapolis since both Lafayette Square Mall and Circle Center Mall were literally elbow-to-elbow foot traffic spaces! If you’re local, that should probably denote my age and longevity in this city. If not, it may mean more in your own city as we’ve all watched arcades battle with home entertainment systems since they began to go 3D. Not going to go into the history of arcades, but some backstory is indeed needed to get a short version: I love arcades!
So let’s talk about Boss Battle Games!
Last summer 2021 a friend posted on Facebook about Boss Battle selling retro game systems like Nintendo 64s and NES/SNES joint systems. Needless to say, I had to procure a Nintendo 64. My wife had been very fond of that era of gaming and wanted that little retro dopamine hit and I wanted the exact same. Plus with Xbox Ones and Nintendo Switches in the house, a little bit of history next to my wife’s Sega Saturn and Playstation 2 in our entertainment center never hurts!
I’m gonna give the short and long version of how I feel about Castleton Mall’s little virtual oasis starting with the short: GET YOUR BEHIND IN THERE!
The long? That’s where I let the pictures tell you for themselves.
I took my older daughter there today as a chance to travel out of the house and to reconvene with the teenager’s social needs. Boss Battle Games is the exact spot to just ZONE out.
Every visit to this place has always warranted a good feeling. From the sight of the pinball machines (the arcade entry is $10, but the pinball machines are still quarter-fed. Gotta feed the Pinball Wizard habit the old-fashioned way) to the glass cases showcasing multiple gaming relics, you’ll always be in proximity of every facet of gaming culture.
Once you walk in, pay your fee, and get wristbanded it’s time to select your poison. Are you prepared to aim and shoot your way to victory in Time Crisis or maybe you’re feeling like zombies should be your fodder in House of the Dead? Might be your time to get low swept to death by Vega in Super Street Fighter II or is it the time to run in the 90s and drift down the mountain in the famous tofu delivery car itself in Initial D Arcade?
The supposed answer? Any of the above!
You won’t be without amazing timeless choices!
Maybe you’re one of those people that don’t necessarily like the fight stick in fighting games or standing over a monitor fighting Shredder as Leonardo. There’s something for you there too!
They offer multiple televisions that host video game consoles from Sega Genesis to even the Switch. They’re included in the entry fee for no extra charge and are as easy to access as just picking up a controller and playing!
You won’t have to worry about finding a game being “too young” or “too old” because they have covered that very well. Want to play Dig Dug and reminisce on Reaganomics? You can! Want to play Power Stone and contemplate if the Dreamcast is still the greatest console we let fail? You can! This is the most diverse gaming selection I’ve seen in an arcade in my entire life!
I’d also like to address the arcade decor because it looks like it was ripped entirely out of my imagination of what I’d assume an arcade set inside of a video game would look like. Take a look! My personal favorite is the Beat’em up Capcom franchise, Final Fight, having their graffiti art neatly placed by the same arcade machine housing the game!
The light-up graphic above the pinball machine is glorious. It also serves as a waypoint for finding many older gamers looking for a quick wind-down or pick-me-up game while entertaining grandchildren or themselves.
And let’s not forget the super-serious fighting game wall that catches your eye (and your determination to destroy anyone that presses 2nd player next to you) adorned with several fighting game icons and posters!
They even offer party packages and a big hosting room, as well as hosting several video game tournaments ranging from Super Smash Bros. to Street Fighter! With their headway into becoming a stable Midwest FGC (Fighting Game Community) contender in the future, you’d do best to pay close attention to this place.
Coming from a history of arcades in Indianapolis, I’m just glad we have a great location to call our own. The price is literally a selling point of the arcade, beating out Dave and Busters just down the street from the mall. I’ve spoken to several gamers today and most have told me that the ingenuity of the decor, the games, and the pricing have been the trifecta for getting them there and remaining loyal customers. I hope that my blog has convinced you to travel to Castleton (or even to Indianapolis, IN!) to visit and who knows, maybe I’ll see you there and we’ll play Daytona USA!
(These review pictures have been accepted on behalf of the Boss Battle Games management and is no way an endorsement of the entirety of this blog or past, present, and future endeavors of Christyle Inc.)
Photographer: T. Curtis