“Largest Pinball Exhibition in Europe” read the flyer, a short walk from the Danube river in the heart of Budapest, Hungary. An unexpected treat for a travelling retro fan, I finished my beer and made my way to this home away from home, a retro cave deep in the basement of a red brick building in the 13th district.
Described as both a museum and an exhibition I would simply describe the experience as an arcade. Thankfully missing only cigarette smoke in its authenticity the 130 machines and rising are all hands on and freeplay once the entrance fee of under $10, £8 is paid.
The underground rooms welcome you with the sounds of a selection of machines proudly beckoning you at high volume and others more muted so as not to create absolute aural insanity with so many tightly packed machines vying for your attention. Machines from the 1920’s to the present day reflecting on the pop culture of their day. Elvira, Terminator, and The Simpsons stand table to table with 70’s and 80’s classics from Bally and Williams.
A pleasant bonus was a scattering of mechanical arcade machines such as Sega’s Grand Prix and Taito’s Borderline harking back to the 1960’s, a pre-CRT era of coin-ops which you’ll be hard pressed to experience today.
Thankfully I had both my camera and Mrs Retro Man Cave with me for the trip willing to play the machines while I filmed, and here’s that footage . If you should ever find yourself in Budapest and looking for a retro hit then this is a must stop during your stay.