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


Portland Pinbrawl 2015: Special Hours & Information – Sunday 4/19

Just a few things you should know about our hours on Sunday 4/19 during Portland Pinbrawl:

  • We’ll be closed to spectators until 3pm. If you’re not playing in the tournament, we may not be able to admit you entry until then!
  • Ground Kontrol will be 21+ all day – no minors will be admitted. Sorry, but in order to serve from our bar during the tournament, we have to be 21+ only.
  • Only Portland Pinbrawl tournament players will be admitted upstairs into the pinball mezzanine during the tournament. If you need your pinball fix, you’ll have to wait until the tournament’s over (generally not until later in the evening)!

If you’re not playing in the tournament, we appreciate your understanding on these few tweaks we have to make in order to host the biggest & best pinball tournament in Portland!

Thanks everyone!

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Jungle King

Jungle KingJungle King (Taito, 1982) is a rather innovative title from a time when side-scrolling games weren’t nearly as common as they would later become. With four different modes of gameplay, there’s a good amount of variety in this easy to pick up, yet still rather challenging title.

The first mode has the player, who is basically Tarzan (the game would later encounter some legal problems with this), swinging from vine to vine – a task that takes careful timing. After that, our hero dives into the river, and swims upstream against vicious crocodiles. This second part is the only section where the player has some defense, and can knife the vicious fish. The third section involves running up a hill and avoiding a bevy of boulders. This bit sort of resembles Donkey Kong, as the player will control their speed to duck or jump over the bouncing boulders. The final section is a rather challenging single frame, where our hero must avoid a pair of spear-wielding cannibals, who have a lovely lady dangling over a boiling pot. Successfully contacting this jungle queen leads to a rather charming win screen, complete with its own graphics and music, before the game starts over and the difficulties are all increased.

Jungle King has an impressive soundtrack, with a song complex and melodic enough to belong in a Mega Man title. It’s definitely a memorable tune, and will set the stage for many a jungle adventure! Unlike just about every side scroller before or since, Jungle King goes from right to left, which really does feel like a change of pace.

From the barely-audible Tarzan yell that kicks off the gameplay, to the hard-earned win screen, Jungle King is a great example of early side-scrolling, and a lot of fun to play!

Fremont Brewing Invades Portland – Wednesday 4/15, 5-9pm

Fremont Brewing Invades Ground Kontrol - 4/9Seattle’s Fremont Brewing invades Portland this week as part of Craft Brewers Conference, and they’re taking over Ground Kontrol’s bar for a special event!

Join Fremont Brewing at the Pacific Northwest’s premier arcade & lounge to try select beers from their portfolio, and get free game coins!

We’ll be serving three brews, while supplies last:

  • Interurban IPA – Interurban India Pale Ale offers the adventurous beer lover a warm embrace of roasted pale malt swirled with a hand-selected blend of flavor malts and filled with the rich spice of Chinook, Centennial and Amarillo hops. 
  • Fremont Summer Ale – Tangerine flower in a glass, endless days distilled into nectar of barley and hops. One grain, one hop. Simplicity….yet, so much more.
  • The Sister Imperial IPA – Family always comes first. Just when you thought that your poor tongue couldn’t stand any more humulus lupulus, The Sister comes home to prove you wrong. Using the same unbreakable malt backbone of The Brother to balance out a truckload of Calypso and Bravo hops, The Sister weighs in at approximately a billion IBUs. 

This is a rare opportunity to try some of Seattle’s best beer! Find out which Fremont Brewing beer pairs best with a game of Asteroids, or which one compliments a fully-loaded basket of baked Killer Nachos. We’re excited to welcome Fremont Brewing to Portland!

WHAT: Fremont Brewing Invades Portland – Special Beer Event

WHEN: Wednesday, April 15, 5-9pm.

COVER: No cover! 21+ only.


KPSU Free Play Fundraiser feat. Magic Fades – Thursday 4/9

KSPU Free Play Fundraiser 4/9On April 9th, Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade plays host to KPSU for an unlimited play fundraiser night. $5 cover for unlimited free play inside with an eclectic group of DJ’s spinning tracks including Portland electro R&B act Magic Fades performing a special guest DJ set. A portion of door proceeds from 5-8pm will go to benefit KPSU – Portland’s College Radio!

Free play on over 90 arcade games and pinball tables, plus happy hour from 5-7pm AND you can help support student-run, non-commercial college radio – this is going to be one of our best Free Play Parties ever!

WHAT: KPSU Free Play Fundraiser featuring Magic Fades
WHEN: Thursday 4/9. Doors at 5pm. Regular 2nd Thursday Free Play repeats every 2nd Thursday.
COVER: $5 at the door. A portion of proceeds from 5-8pm benefit KPSU! 21+ only.

Ninkasi Brewing Tap Takeover featuring Ground Control Imperial Stout – Thursday 4/16

Ninkasi Brewing Tap TakeoverFor their latest beer, Ninkasi Brewing sent brewer’s yeast to space and back! The wildly popular brewery recently launched the Ninkasi Space Program, and they’re ready to debut their first beer as a result: The appropriately-named Ground Control Imperial Stout!

Ninkasi says Ground Control Imperial Stout “is brewed with Oregon hazelnuts, star anise and cocoa nibs, and fermented with an Ale yeast that survived a trip to space and back.” (We say it sounds delicious, but we’d spell it with a ‘K’…)

Be among the first to try Ground Control before it hits store shelves, and win Ninkasi stuff with raffles and arcade high score challenges! Supplies of Ground Control Imperial Stout are very limited, so don’t wait: take one giant leap towards Ground Kontrol on Thursday April 16 at 5pm!

WHAT: Ninkasi Brewing Tap Takeover featuring Ground Control Imperial Stout

WHEN: Thursday April 16, 5-9pm.

COVER: No cover! Arrive early to make sure you get a chance to try Ground Control Imperial Stout. 21+ only.

Categories: Arcade News

Open Regular Hours on Easter – Sunday 4/5

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade will be open regular hours on Sunday, April 5 during the Easter holiday.

We open at Noon, and all ages are welcome until 5pm. At 5pm, we begin serving beer, wine & spirits and are 21+ only (with valid I.D.) Our full food menu is available all day!

Bonus: We serve beer, wine, cider and well cocktails at happy hour prices from 5pm-midnight, every Sunday!

We hope you can visit us with your family and friends this weekend!

Clash of the Classics: Q*Bert VS. Mr. Do

It’s time once again to find out which game commands more coinage, during Ground Kontrol’s Clash of the Classics!

Q*Bert’s an arcade legend – odd, orange, and sporting a comically large snout, he looks like a Jim Henson doodle scrawled on a notebook during study hall. The game was equally weird, challenging players to hop up and down pyramids to change the color of cubes while avoiding baddies like a spring-loaded snake and strange purple trolls. The act of moving up and down the cubes is simple enough, but you need to be more than a few steps ahead to really advance, or you’ll risk falling off the map altogether!

Universal’s Mr. Do bears more than a passing resemblance to Dig Dug, but it’s not simply biting the game’s style. Released just a few months after Namco’s title hit arcades in 1982, Mr. Do offered a few more layers of game play. Sure, you could still dig tunnels and drop heavy objects on the baddies pursuing you (in this case, an apple a day is enough to keep the monsters away). However, Mr. Do also has a mean throwing arm – specifically, a magic ball that bounces throughout the tunnels, taking out the first enemy it encounters. Add to that the option of spelling “E-X-T-R-A” by defeating “Alphamonsters” every 5,000 points, and a bonus credit award rarely seen in video games, and Mr. Do is a surprisingly deep game that demands more than a few quarters!

Whether you tip the scales towards Q*Bert or Mr. Do, we hope you’ll give both of these games a fair shot and invite your friends to check ‘em out, too. Clash of the Classics is all about making sure your favorite game is here every time you walk in the door, one quarter at a time!

Categories: Arcade News

Meet Polaris at Ground Kontrol! Thursday 4/23, 3-3:30pm

PolarisMeet Polaris at Ground Kontrol! Polaris is the house band for The Adventures of Pete & Pete. Muggy, Jersey, and Harris Polaris. They open every show and perform much of the music heard in each episode. They made a record, made t shirts, appeared on a cereal box, but they never played a show. Never. That all changed last year in Hollywood. Polaris headlined the Pete and Pete reunion show at the majestic Orpheum Theater and sold it out. The people had waited long enough. They waited for October and now it’s here. The Polaris lads are about to do their first ever tour!

Before their sure to be sold-out show at the Aladdin Theater, come down to Ground Kontrol to meet the band! They’ll be hanging out to say hi, take photos and sign your stuff. We’re giving priority to the diehard fans that bought tickets in advance, so bring your ticket or proof of purchase so we can get you to the front of the line!

Access limited by capacity, so please show up early and be patient!

Buy tickets to Polaris @ Aladdin Theater now, and we hope to see you at Ground Kontrol!

WHAT: Polaris Meet & Greet at Ground Kontrol

WHEN: Thursday April 23, 3:00-3:30pm.

COVER: No cover! Show your ticket to the show (or proof of purchase, ie. email) for priority access to the meet & greet and signing. We’ll get as many of you through the line as possible, but please be patient! Access to Ground Kontrol depends on capacity, so get here early! All ages welcome.

Win WEIRD AL Tickets at Player’s Choice Video Game Quiz Show – Sunday 3/29, 9pm

"Weird Al" YankovicThe legendary “Weird Al” Yankovic is coming to the Oregon Zoo this summer! Of course… the show is completely, utterly sold out! Luckily, you’ve got Ground Kontrol, and we’ve got a deal for you: Take first place at this month’s Player’s Choice Video Game Quiz Show and you’ll walk away with 2 tickets!

Player’s Choice Video Game Quiz Show challenges teams of up to 5 to flex their arcane arcade knowledge and curious console cognition, for bragging rights and of course, amazing prizes. Everything from the earliest battle of blocks to the latest eye-melting entertainment technology can be covered!

Hosts Scoot Herring, Nic Goans and Andy MacDonald have been playing video games and cracking jokes for a while, so they’ll keep you entertained as you search your memory banks (not your phones) for the name of that obscure Final Fantasy summon, or reach to grab the answer sheet before you forget how to start a 2-player game of Contra with 30 extra lives.

The show starts at 9pm, and we suggest you get here early to grab a seat – this should be one of the most competitive editions yet! Don’t forget that Ground Kontrol offers happy hour pricing ’til midnight on beer, wine, cider and well cocktails every Sunday night!

WHAT: Player’s Choice Video Game Quiz Show – WEIRD AL Giveaway! Win tickets to his Sunday 9/6 concert at the Oregon Zoo!

WHEN: Sunday, 3/29. Starts at 9pm.

COVER: No cover! 21+ only.

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Mr. Do

The latest classic featured in our Raiders of the Lost Arcade series, Mr. Do is a truly fascinating game from the Golden Age of Video Arcades that combines aspects of Pac-Man and Dig Dug to create its own unique and charming title. Like Dig Dug, players dig through a maze and can drop heavy objects on enemy monsters. And like Pac-Man, the monsters generate from the middle of the screen, and the player completes a stage by collecting items, in this case – cherries. Collecting these cherries generates a “do-re-mi” tune that’s a defining sound bite of Mr. Do!

You’re not just limited to digging pathways and collecting cherries, however. Mr. Do can also attack his enemies with a “magic ball” that bounces wildly through the tunnels. Taking out every monster completes the stage for big points. Additionally, with every 5,000 points earned the playfield is joined by the Alphamonster and his minions. Taking out the Alphamonster five times to spell E-X-T-R-A is an advanced method of finishing a level!

Known for its memorable music, bright colors and unique gameplay, Mr. Do is a bit less common these days, but definitely a game worth getting to know. It’s a great example of a time when games required finesse, skill, and maybe just a few extra quarters!