• Open Noon-Late Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 4:30PM
  • 21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM

Categories: Arcade News

Shall We Play A Game? Experience the New Ground Kontrol – Wednesday 4/12, 5pm

Shall We Play a Game?

TL;DR version:
We are excited to announce the soft opening of our expansion at 115 NW 5th Ave! We will be closed on Monday the 10th and Tuesday the 11th, and then we will open our new space to the public on the evening of Wednesday the 12th. However, 511 NW Couch Street will be closed for renovations until later this summer. Once we have improved the old space, we will re-open it with a doorway connecting the two spaces, finally completing our expansion process.

The full story:
The time has nearly arrived for us to show you what we’ve been working on since 2014. Many of you have probably seen the white and red signs glowing outside of the entrance of our expansion at 115 NW 5th Ave, with the Ground Kontrol ship slowly spinning like a loading screen icon. Next week, we will be moving operations from our current location over to the expansion, just around the corner of the same block that we’ve been on for nearly 13 years.

We will be closed on Monday, April 10th and Tuesday, April 11th to allow us to move equipment and make final preparations, and we’ll finally be opening our new space to the public on the evening of Wednesday the 12th. We’ve been looking forward to this week for a long time, and we know you have been too! An entirely new arcade and bar with improved features and a mixture of new games and familiar favorites awaits you.

So, will Ground Kontrol’s expansion be complete next week? No, this is just the first of two steps to Ground Kontrol’s expansion opening. We will be operating solely out of the new space for the next few months while we keep the old space at 511 NW Couch Street closed so that we can make renovations and improvements, including the installment of an entirely new floor. Once we’ve finished fixing things up, we’ll be connecting the two spaces with a short hallway, at last completing the final step in Ground Kontrol’s expansion process. We’ll have two fully operational bars, twice the square footage, and nearly twice the number of games, giving you even more Ground Kontrol while maintaining our commitment to being the best arcade and lounge you can experience.

One thing that we’ve learned over the past year is that we don’t like putting a time limit on polishing our upgrades to the arcade and bar, so we’re hesitant to put a date on the re-opening of the old space at 511 NW Couch Street. However, we hope to have this final step of our expansion finished before the end of the summer. In the meantime, we could not possibly be more excited to welcome you to the newest version of Ground Kontrol at 115 NW 5th Ave. The new arcade is full of surprises, and we simply can’t wait any longer to show you. Thank you for your unending patience and support!

Pre-Order Your Pinbrawl IX T-Shirt Today!

Portland Pinbrawl IX T-Shirt Pre-Orders Open!

Pinbrawl IX

PREVIEW ONLY – Final art subject to change

Each year we produce a commemorative shirt for Pinbrawl, and we’re really excited to unveil this year’s design! Local artist Vo Minh McBurney (also responsible for last year’s Pinbrawl VIII design and our contest-winning “Arcade Meltdown” design) and colorist Lee Zeman stepped it up yet again and delivered one of our favorite designs yet, featuring Willy from White Water riding Paragon’s chimera off of a waterfall by a floating volcano – truly mystical!

The t-shirts will be printed on high-quality stock by our friends at Mad Pakyderms, but they’ll only be produced in limited quantities! If you want one, you’ll need to secure yours by pre-ordering it using the form below by 12pm PST on Saturday 4/15!

Portland Pinbrawl IX t-shirts will be available at Ground Kontrol during the tournament. We’ll also ship mail orders beginning that day!

Whether you’re the pinball hero we need or you just want to look the part, you need this limited-edition shirt. Order now!

UPDATE 4/15: Pinbrawl IX t-shirt pre-orders are now CLOSED. Thanks everyone!

Categories: Arcade News, Bar News

Available Now: The Ground Kontrol Kompanion App!

The wait is over! Introducing the Ground Kontrol Kompanion App for iOS! Packed full of cutting-edge features, modernizing your classic gaming experience has never been easier. Whether you want help meeting like-minded gamers, tracking your spending, or documenting your arcade achievements, we’ve got you covered!

Take a look at what’s possible with the Ground Kontrol Kompanion App, then head over to the App Store and download it today!*

GK Kompanion App Available Now! GK Kompanion App Available Now! GK Kompanion App Available Now! GK Kompanion App Available Now!

Android version coming in 2028

Indie Game Night: Disc Jam – Thursday 3/30, 7pm

Indie Game Night - Disc Jam

Every Last Thursday, Indie Game Night invites you to play some of our favorite independently-developed video games in Ground Kontrol’s lounge. These games are made by small teams (often just a few people) and are usually retro-inspired with refined game play that’s easy to pick up in just a couple of rounds.

This month, we’re featuring Disc Jam!

DISC JAM [High Horse Entertainment]
A fast-paced action-sports game that pits 2-4 players against each other in a frantic combination of air hockey and tennis. Players scramble to retrieve and throw a glowing disc while unleashing devastating abilities and defending their end zone. An exciting blend of strategy and skill, this arcade-inspired title boasts a zany roster of characters to compete with friends both on the couch and online.

Get down here at 7 and join gamemasters Art Santana and Dylan Reiff, who will be on hand to help you get started. There’s no cost to play and no pressure to win, just grab a beer and a controller and have a blast!

Indie Game Night · Every Last Thursday · 7pm-late · 21+ · FREE

RSVP on Facebook!

All Ages Free Play Party – Wednesday 3/29, 11am-4:30pm

All Ages Free Play Spring Break 2017Power up your Spring break with free play at Ground Kontrol! Our All Ages Free Play Party offers you another chance to introduce your young ones to the games you grew up with, in their original condition!

Everything from Donkey Kong to The Simpsons will be available to play with no quarters necessary, for one low $5 cover! Wander through decades of arcade history to find old favorites and new ones, and see if you’ve still got the skills to beat today’s high scores. Don’t forget about pinball – our selection of 26 tables features some of the most popular games ever made, maintained in excellent condition!

To fuel a full day of free play, our kitchen will be open serving tasty snacks and hearty sandwiches. Get a basket of fully-loaded Killer Nachos big enough to share, or go for comfort food classics like a grilled cheese or chili dog. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options are available for nearly every item. Save room for dessert, too: We also have amazing ice cream sundaes and root beer floats!

Entertaining the whole family can get expensive, but All Ages Free Play makes it affordable and easy. Bring everyone down and have a blast without busting your budget! Get here early, though – capacity is limited!

All Ages Free Play Party · Wednesday 3/29 · 11am-4:30pm · $5 · All ages welcome!

RSVP on Facebook!

* SOLD OUT * Portland Pinbrawl 2017 – Pre-Registration 3/11, 12pm PST

Portland Pinbrawl 2017

Ground Kontrol’s 9th Annual

Pinball Tournament!

Portland Pinbrawl IX

PORTLAND PINBRAWL IX IS SOLD OUT! Tournament registration filled up in a new record time of only 6 minutes! Miss out? Don’t worry, we’ve started a standby list to get as many of you in as cancellations etc. occur! Fill out our Google Form to join the standby list.

Online registration for Portland Pinbrawl IX will open Saturday March 11th at 12:00pm PST. Set a reminder and bookmark the ticket page below! (Don’t wait to register in person – Pinbrawl WILL sell out!)

For all other information about Portland Pinbrawl IX, click here.

Bonus Round All Ages Free Play – Friday 3/10, Noon-3:30pm

Bonus Round Free Play 3-10-17

Looking for another opportunity to enjoy free play during our all ages hours? Kick off your Friday afternoon with Bonus Round All Ages Free Play!

From Noon-3:30pm on Friday March 10, every arcade game and pinball table at Ground Kontrol will be set to free play. Over 90 games spanning decades of arcade history from the vector classic Asteroids to the indie game Killer Queen, all for one low $4 cover!

Feel like you’re not quite good enough at pinball to sacrifice crucial coinage? Can’t crack the high score on Frogger without a practice game or ten? This is the perfect opportunity to play anything and everything – no quarters necessary! As always, we’ve also got snacks and a food menu with plenty of vegan and gluten-free options!

Ground Kontrol will be closing at 3:30pm for a private rental, so we recommend showing up to our Bonus Round Free Play party on the early side! We’ll re-open at 6:30pm for the 21+ crowd with free play turned off until our next free play party.

Bonus Round Free Play · Friday 3/10 · Noon-3:30pm · $4 cover · All ages welcome!

Categories: Arcade News

New in the Arcade – Spider-Man: The Video Game

spider-man the video gameA powerful ancient artifact, the Sorcerer Stone, has been stolen by the evil Doctor Doom. Join 4 comic book heroes in an action-packed adventure to get the artifact back! Play as Spider-Man, Black Cat, Hawkeye, or Sub-Mariner to defeat foes along the way. These heroes are jumping in the air, crawling on walls and clinging to helicopters while being pitted against extreme supervillains (including a 30 foot tall Venom!).

Spider-Man: The Video Game is the first Spider-man-exclusive arcade game. This beat ’em up comic book brawler combines a mix of side-scrolling and platform gameplay. Playable for up to four people, each of the four characters has their own unique moves. Players control their character using an 8-way joystick, an attack button and a jump button; push the two buttons at the same time to employ the mega-effective Mutant Power (be careful, doing this will drain energy). Players must battle through four acts and ten villains to obtain the artifacts and beat the game!

This game was a smash-hit amongst players and critics upon its release. It was praised for its graphics and use of many characters from the Marvel Universe. Spider-Man: The Video Game is a classic that still holds up decades later.

Did You Know?

  • Spider-Man: The Video Game was never ported to a home system, despite being a wildly successful arcade game. To this day, rumors circulate regarding an in-home version being produced.
  • The soundtrack “borrows” a lot of its tunes from Sega’s 1986 arcade game, Quartet.
Categories: Arcade News

Superb Owl Sunday: Sports-Free Happy Hour All Night! Sunday 2/5, 5pm

Superb Owl GK 2017Need something to do on Sunday night that doesn’t involve sportsball? Stop by for some classic arcade gaming and extended happy hour in honor of the highly effective bird of prey from the order Strigiformes!

Known for their nocturnal schedule, ability to rotate their heads more than most creatures, and a tendency to swallow their prey whole, owls are sorely underrepresented in classic arcade gaming and are rarely seen in arcades or game rooms. In fact, should you see an owl near any type of arcade game or pinball table, it is advised to call an animal control professional so that the bird can be safely removed and released in the appropriate habitat.

Possessing sacred knowledge regarding candy lollipops, owls gain the ability to speak perfect English while wearing a square academic cap, and have no reported interest in alcoholic beverages. That’s good news for you, because Ground Kontrol will be serving draft beer, draft cider, PBR, Tecate, Coors Light and well cocktails at happy hour prices until midnight! Enjoy a pint without fear of swift and silent retribution from the fearless predator with razor-sharp talons, and play your favorite games from the past four decades with absolutely no broadcast of any sports competition whatsoever!

Over 90 arcade games; beer, wine, cider and well cocktails at discount prices; and freedom from being consumed and turned into a pellet or having to watch hours of sports – it’s Superb Owl Sunday at Ground Kontrol!

Superb Owl Sunday – Extended Sports-Free Happy Hour · Sunday 2/5 · Happy Hour 5pm-Midnight · 21+ · FREE

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Double Dragon

Double Dragon

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Double Dragon, so we’ve doubled our Double Dragon! The original arcade version of Double Dragon is here as our new Raiders of the Lost Arcade feature! Prefer the vastly different NES version? Don’t worry, it’s fully playable in our PlayChoice-10 cabinet!

In Double Dragon, twin brothers Billy and Jimmy Lee (also known as Hammer and Spike) must venture into the territory of the Black Warriors street gang in order to rescue Billy’s girlfriend, Marian! Trained in the martial arts, the Lee brothers are well equipped for combat with a variety of techniques at their disposal, but tracking down and defeating the gang’s leader, Willy, won’t be an easy task. Braving the mission solo or teamed up with a partner, do you have the strategic button mashing skills necessary to defeat the ruthless Black Warriors gang and save Marian?

Developed by Technōs Japan and published by Taito, Double Dragon is one of the earliest successful beat ‘em up games and is commonly considered to be the granddaddy of the genre. Although it’s technically the spiritual successor to the 1986 beat ‘em up Renegade, it was Double Dragon that defined the two-player co-op mode that became central to the genre and inspired numerous sequels and spin-offs in arcades and on home consoles. One of the most exciting features of the game was the advanced combat system, which was relatively complex at the time of the game’s release. In addition to a variety of moves that can be performed with combinations of the kick, jump, and punch buttons, Double Dragon introduced the ability for the players to arm themselves with weapons dropped by enemies, such as whips, baseball bats, and dynamite. The game’s four stages take the players through city slums, a factory, a forest, and finally the gang’s hideout, with plenty of enemies and bosses to beat up along the way.

Did You Know?

• If two players beat the final boss together, they are then forced to fight each other to determine who will win Marian’s love.

• The popular NES version of Double Dragon (playable in the Playchoice-10 cabinet) features several significant changes from the arcade version and lacks two-player co-op mode. Notable features include a level-up system with unlockable attacks, different level design, an alternative story where Jimmy Lee replaces Willy as the antagonist, and a one-on-one battle mode with two-player support.

• According to one of Double Dragon’s creators, Muneki Ebinuma, many of the game’s features were influenced by Bruce Lee movies.