• Open Noon-2:30AM Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 5PM
  • 21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM


CLOSED For a Private Event – Wednesday 3/11, 4-7pm

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will be closed during the following period for a private event:

  • Wednesday March 11, 4pm-7pm

We will re-open at 7pm for the Widmer Brothers Replay IPA Launch Party!

Ground Kontrol is a fantastic place to bring your company for a holiday party, to celebrate a milestone birthday, or to throw your wedding reception. If you are interested in renting Ground Kontrol for an event, check out our Rentals page!

Categories: Bar News, Events

Widmer Brothers Replay IPA Launch Party – Wednesday 3/11

WB Replay IPA LaunchGround Kontrol is partnering with Widmer Brothers to launch their brand-new brew with a name that’s perfect for an arcade: Replay IPA!

Replay IPA is a session-style IPA that we’re sure will pair nicely with a round of pinball or a game of Ms. Pac-Man. In fact, Widmer will even buy you some game credits when you purchase a pint of Replay!

Doors open at 7pm, and the party runs late, but don’t hesitate – there won’t be any replays after this special event!

Introducing Ground Kontrol Tours! – Debuting Saturday 3/21

Want to know more about arcade and pinball history while learning more about Portland’s premiere classic arcade? Join tour guide Marina Martinez at Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade for an informative and fun trip through several decades of arcade gaming, with plenty of interesting highlights about Ground Kontrol’s unique role as both a Portland institution and a destination for visitors from around the world.Once the tour concludes, you’re more than welcome to stick around! Step over to the change machine and get some quarters so you can revisit favorite games (or try some new ones), and head to Ground Kontrol’s lounge for soft drinks and something from our delicious food menu. You’ll be an arcade expert before you even press start!

Tickets are limited for each tour, so be sure to get yours right away. Ground Kontrol welcomes all ages from Noon-5pm, so feel free to grab tickets for the entire family. The first tour is scheduled for Saturday March 21st at Noon, and tours will repeat monthly.

To purchase tickets, head on over to Mercury Ticketing! There are limited spots available, so don’t wait!

WHAT: Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade Guided Tour

WHEN: Saturday March 21st at Noon. Repeats monthly on the 3rd Saturday monthly.

COVER: $20 per person (with ticketing fees). All ages welcome! Purchase tickets at Mercury Ticketing.

Categories: Arcade News

New in the Arcade – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Terminator 2: Judgment Day“You got a quarter?”

The classic shooter based on one of the biggest action films of all time is finally at Ground Kontrol!

There’s a lot to like in this awesome cabinet for both fans of Terminator 2 the film, and gun games in general! The action here is fully automatic, and the two simultaneous players yield twin uzis at the recessed screen. In the first level, the players spend plenty of time in that morbid blue apocalypse only briefly seen in the Terminator films. Wave after wave of skeletal terminators come at the players, and are best taken out with a rewardingly effective headshot. The uzi weapons do overheat, though – so keep an eye on the power-ups scattered throughout! These include the coolant to keep your gun operating, shotgun shells, grenade launchers, and various weapon upgrades: everything a heroic cyborg needs to protect humanity’s only hope, John Connor.

This arcade game does a good job of capturing some elements of the film, with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eddie Furlong and Robert Patrick all supplying vocal work with iconic lines. These sound clips are presented nicely throughout the game along with digitized sprites of the actors, which were actually filmed on set, during the production of the movie! After the initial apocalyptic future level, the adventure progresses through various scenes from the film, eventually ending up in that fateful steel mill (“It has to end here…”) The game even features some digitized movie clips between stages, for one of the most comprehensive arcade adaptations of a movie ever produced!

The Terminator 2 arcade game is a great throwback to when that landmark sequel caused a big splash in not just the theater, but the arcade and the home console scene as well! Don’t wait for Judgment Day: Play it now!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Blasteroids

BlasteroidsThis month, we’re featuring a neat update of a landmark title! In the late 80s, arcades began to see throwback efforts and sequels, resurrecting old franchises with varying degrees of success. With home consoles now a viable option for gamers, the game development scene was starting to diversify and vary a lot. Around this time, Atari released Blasteroids, a psuedo-sequel to one of the most popular games ever: Asteroids.

While retaining the basic gameplay of Asteroids, Blasteroids introduced plenty of new elements, and took its sci-fi theme quite seriously. Players are treated to an immersive universe of spacey music and galaxy maps, complete with colorful planets and nebulae. Of course, there are asteroids, and they’re well-rendered here, looking realistic as they spin through each sector. Players clear sectors and select the next one to invade, contending with a field of rocks and a variety of enemy spaceships along the way. After clearing enough sectors, one must then contend with Mukor, a talkative green alien ghoul who floats menacingly much like Sinistar! He taunts the player and launches projectiles, but with enough shots to his tentacles he’ll escape to the next galaxy. Eventually, the player can defeat Mukor for a satisfying game completion screen.

Along the way, several powerups can upgrade the main ship’s shooting power, energy duration and speed, adding new elements to the game. A two player simultaneous option is also available, built in to the game’s unique cabinet. Blasteroids takes a cornerstone of classic arcade gameplay and updates it for the late 80s, complete with a top-of-the-line soundcard (for the time), and modern graphics. Give it a shot, you’ll find the sector selection screen strangely addictive!

Indie Game Night: #IDARB, Nidhogg Tournament – Thursday 2/26

Indie Game NightThis edition of Indie Game Night brings you the brand-new multiplayer game #IDARB along with a tournament for an Indie Game Night mainstay, Nidhogg!

What the heck is #IDARB? Well, it stands for “It Draws A Red Box”. What started as a simple red box presented to Twitter by developers Other Ocean eventually became an ambitious “chaotic 8-player eSport jumping jetpack future arena ball game that is as inspired by Bomberman and Smash Bros. as it is by cans of soda, paint-by-number books, and driving five miles faster than the speed limit”.

#IDARB’s basic structure is simple – get the ball, and put it in the goal. Things get intense when the competition heats up, though, with up to 8 players not only trying to score, but stop each other from scoring. There’s so much going on here, it’s nearly impossible to condense the game in a few paragraphs: #IDARB must be played to be (somewhat) understood!

The collaborative nature of #IDARB didn’t end with the release of the game – the game also features “hashbombs”, special hashtags that can be submitted via a live game’s Twitch.tv chat window or replies to the Twitter account @idarbwire! We’ll be streaming the game play, so watch out for our stream during Indie Game Night and surprise us with some hashbombs!

After #IDARB, stick around for a tournament in the hectic and highly precise fencing game Nidhogg [messhof]. We expect more than a few capable players will be here, but Nidhogg’s also a game that welcomes new players with its simple control scheme and stark-yet-striking graphics and animations. Just let Indie GameMaster Matt Hunter know you’d like to sign up, and you could walk away with some Ground Kontrol credit if you win!

WHAT: Indie Game Night featuring #IDARB and Nidhogg Tournament

WHEN: Thursday February 26, beginning at 7pm. Nidhogg tournament roughly scheduled for 9pm. Indie Game Night repeats every Last Thursday!

COVER: No cover or cost to play! Grab a drink and let Matt or another player know you’d like to play. 21+ only, since we’ve got a full bar! RSVP on Facebook and invite your friends!

Categories: Events, No Pun Intendo

No Pun Intendo: Stand-Up Showcase – Thursday 2/19

No Pun IntendoEvery month, No Pun Intendo brings some of the best comics from Portland and beyond to our lounge! Over the past year alone, No Pun Intendo has seen a consistently solid lineup each month and was featured as one of Willamette Week’s 10 Portland Comedy Showcases Worth Seeing. We even had a drop-in set from Silicon Valley’s TJ Miller!

We’re continuing this trend of ridiculously good shows in a super fun and chaotic space with this month’s lineup:

Neeraj Srinivasan
Lewis Sequeira
Caitlin Weierhauser
Nariko Ott
Anthony Lopez

All hosted by Portland’s Funniest Person 2014, Steven Wilber!

The show starts at 9pm every Third Thursday, but seating is limited, so get here early to grab a seat!

Thanks to our sponsor, The Devastator – The Comedy Magazine For Humans – featuring writers and artists from Adult Swim, The Onion, The Daily Show and Marvel Comics. You can get an issue at your comic book shop of choice, Amazon or direct from DevastatorQuarterly.com!

Killer Queen Tournament – Monday 2/16

Our monthly Killer Queen tournament returns! Every 3rd Monday, it’s time to throw down on the pollen-polluted battlefield in an epic battle!

Killer Queen challenges two teams of up to 5 players to take control of worker bees and their Queen working to defeat the opposing team in one of three ways: Filling your hive with pollen, riding the snail to your base, or killing the Queen (of course!)

The game is gaining a steady following in the handful of locations across the USA lucky enough to feature one, and we’re excited to bring the Portland Killer Queen community together and introduce some new players to one of the best arcade games we’ve ever played.

The tournament will be a double-elimination, best-of-five format, “Chicago style”. You can sign-up on-site from 5-7pm, or sign-up in advance online: http://goo.gl/KsmhLu

Special thanks Killer Queen Mercury Squad Chicago for their help and advice. Be sure to join the Killer Queen Mercury Squad Portland to keep up with events and drop-in games!

This tournament is powered by Brackelope: Tournament Builder.

WHAT: Killer Queen Arcade Tournament
WHEN: Monday 2/16. Sign-ups open from 5-7pm, first game starts at 7pm. Repeats every 3rd Monday!
COVER: Free to enter, $50 Ground Kontrol credit to top team, $25 to 2nd and $10 to 3rd. 21+ only, please bring ID!

Geeks Who Drink Trivia at Ground Kontrol – Starting Tuesday 2/10

Geeks Who DrinkOne of the most popular and well-known trivia nights in the nation comes to the best arcade-lounge in the world! We’re excited to announce the debut of Geeks Who Drink trivia at Ground Kontrol, every Tuesday starting February 10!

Geeks Who Drink is a pub quiz modeled after those in Ireland and the UK. Each week’s quiz covers a wide variety of pop culture topics and includes multimedia rounds with “Name That Tune” challenges and soundbites from movies and TV. Prizes will include gift certificates to Ground Kontrol, Geeks Who Drink merchandise and whatever other great stuff we can get our hands on. You can even win extra prizes with bonus round questions, and be sure to sign up for the Geeks Who Drink email list so you don’t miss the weekly email bonus question!

Teams of up to 6 can play. If you show up solo, we can probably get you on a team – or you can take the world on as a one-person knowledge army! Got a group larger than 6 and you want to quiz? Teams larger than 6 are welcome to play, but you won’t be eligible for prizes. We recommend splitting up into smaller teams and creating some friendly rivalries!

Get down to Ground Kontrol every Tuesday night before 8pm to grab a seat and quiz for prizes and glory. It’s also happy hour from 5-7pm, so you’ve got no excuse to not get here early!

WHAT: Geeks Who Drink Trivia Night

WHEN: Every Tuesday at 8pm. Begins February 10.

COST: Free to play! You must be 21+.


Clash of the Classics: Dr. Mario VS Defender!

Clash of the ClassicsIt’s time once again to pit two very different arcade classics against each other in a battle for arcade glory and, most importantly, real estate! This month, the Nintendo puzzler Dr. Mario takes on the Williams shooter Defender!

Originally released for the NES in 1990, Dr. Mario was quickly released in arcades as well in two different formats – a PlayChoice-10 board, and a special VS. UniSystem version that we’ve operated at Groiund Kontrol for several years. The game sports many Nintendo trademarks – bright, colorful graphics, catchy music and refined gameplay that allows those that may consider themselves non-gamers to get sucked into the strategy of matching colored pills as they drop down, Tetris-style, to destroy attacking viruses and avoid overfilling your pill bottle!

Defender hit arcades earlier in 1980, but made a lasting impact with its revolutionary-for-the-time gameplay and graphics. Sporting several more buttons and quite a few more things to concern yourself with than Dr. Mario, Defender definitely aims for the hardcore gamer and even challenges them to their limits with a mix of blasting aliens, saving astronauts and keeping your ship from being obliterated on the surface of an unknown planet. Defender’s a game that many people ask for, but few people truly excel at – and we want to see even more people give it a shot!

From Thursday 2/5 through Wednesday 2/11, your quarters will tip the scales in favor of either Nintendo’s prescription for fun or Williams’ impossible mission. When we open the coin boxes of Dr. Mario and Defender after the games goes quiet after the challenge closes, we’ll find out what game you really want on our floor – and what game you don’t mind sending back into our secret video game cavern, to collect dust and quietly wait to bleep and bloop another day.

Whether you catch Dr. Mario fever, protect Defender’s legacy or choose to support both, we want to see you and your friends down here giving these games their due. With Clash of the Classics, the true winner is you!