• Open Noon-Late Daily
  • All Ages Admitted Until 4:30PM
  • 21+ & I.D. Required After 5PM
Categories: Events, Free Play Party

New Year’s Eve Free Play Party – Thursday 12/31, 5pm-close

2016 NYE Free Play PartyWe’re wrapping up another great year at Ground Kontrol the only way we know how: by flipping the “free play” switch on every single game and inviting YOU to party like it’s 1985!

Leave 2016 at the door at our New Year’s Eve Free Play Party with an arcade full of classic games and the best selection of pinball in the Pacific Northwest. Save your quarters for the first laundry day of 2017 because they’re all ready to play, absolutely free! Enjoy 8 taps of craft beer and cider and a full bar and food menu with specials all night long. Take a break for some nachos in our retro-futuristic lounge, or just grab another pint and head for your favorite game – we’ve got drink holders everywhere, so you don’t have to balance a beer while you climb the high score board!

DJs Alan Hart, New Year’s Reiff and Mechlo will keep things kicking with an eclectic soundtrack selected for maximum party potential. As we get close to midnight, you’ll be able to grab a glass of champagne (included in your cover) and toast to 2017 with the traditional countdown and balloon drop!

All of this is just $15 at the door, making it the best NYE deal in town. Doors open at 5pm, and capacity is limited, so get here early! If you’d rather skip the line (and get some nice bonuses while you’re at it), check out our super-limited VIP wristbands: http://groundkontrol.com/2016/12/now-available-new-years-eve-2016-vip-wristbands-while-they-last/

New Year’s Eve Free Play Party · Saturday 12/31 · 5pm-close · $15 · 21+

RSVP on Facebook!


Categories: Events, Free Play Party

All Ages Free Play Party – Saturday 12/31, 11am-4:30pm

NYE 2016 All Ages Free PlayWrap up 2016 with all-day, family-friendly 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!

NOTE: This is a separate cover from the evening 21+ NYE Free Play Party. If you are attending both events, you will need to exit Ground Kontrol at 5pm, re-enter and pay the cover for the NYE party!

All Ages Free Play Party · Saturday 12/31 · 11am-4:30pm · $5 · All ages welcome!

RSVP on Facebook!

Indie Game Night: Rich’s Bummer Farewell – Thursday 12/29, 7pm

Indie Game Night: RBFThis month, we bid farewell to our beloved gamemaster Rich Lau before he leaves town with a special night dedicated to his contributions to Indie Game Night over the last couple of years! Although it’s a bummer to see him go, we want to give him a proper send-off with a night full of Indie Game Night’s greatest hits such as Gang Beast, Nidhogg, Samurai Gunn, TowerFall Ascension, Ultimate Chicken Horse and MORE!

Get down here at 7pm and join gamemaster Rich Lau, who will be on hand to help you get started one last time for 2016. 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!

Now Available: New Year’s Eve 2016 VIP Wristbands – While They Last!

NYE VIP WristbandsUPDATE 12/29: VIP Wristbands are now SOLD OUT! If you purchased one, you’ll receive a follow-up message soon. Thank you to everyone that purchased one! 

Our NYE party is already a killer deal, but sometimes you just need a little bit of VIP treatment. Get a VIP wristband and skip the line at the door, so you can get right to gaming! Not only that, your VIP cover includes two drink tickets worth $5 each at the bar, in addition to the champagne toast at midnight!

Even if you miss this ultimate power-up, we still want to see you on New Year’s Eve. Standard cover is just $15 at the door for free play on our entire lineup of games all night plus a champagne toast at midnight!

NYE VIP wristbands are on sale NOW, and once again, quantities are VERY limited. To secure yours now, purchase it using the form below!

THE FINE PRINT: All sales final. Must be 21 years or older with valid ID for entry. VIP Wristband allows bearer priority entry to Ground Kontrol, but does not apply to bar service or access to games. Ground Kontrol reserves the right to refuse entry to anyone. Entry to Ground Kontrol is limited by legal capacity and Ground Kontrol’s policies. Please be respectful of Ground Kontrol staff and your fellow customers, and have a great night!

Purchase Your NYE VIP Wristband!

VIP wristbands are $40 each, and include:

  • Priority admission to Ground Kontrol’s New Year’s Eve Free Play Party – Saturday 12/31, 5pm-close
  • 2 drink tickets worth $5 each at the bar
  • Champagne toast at midnight

Raiders of the Lost Arcade: Double Dribble

The Ultimate Basketball Game!Double Dribble

Konami released Double Dribble in arcades in 1986 as a follow-up to their first basketball arcade game, Super Basketball. The game boasts realistic features including five-player teams with specialized characters, official quarters and half-time switch as well as a national anthem ceremony, cheerleaders, mascots and fans. The player can replicate all of the actions of a real basketball player: dribbling, passing, shooting, and even attempting a slam dunk, shown in a slow motion zoom shot. Referees keep an eye on the game, calling fouls and sending players to the free-throw line. The game is timed so that a credit must be added to continue game play after every minute if the computer’s team is winning, so try your best to get an early lead on the scoreboard! At the end of four quarters, the winning team holds a victory celebration.

After its release, Double Dribble quickly gained popularity and was considered the most realistic basketball game at the time due to the innovative cinematic shot and dunk animations and the impressive attention to detail. The game was then ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1987 and then later released in Japan for the Family Computer Disk System under the title Exciting Basketball.

As with all featured Raiders of the Lost Arcade games at Ground Kontrol, Double Dribble might only be in the arcade for a limited time, so come get your dunk on and remember to keep a finger on that dribble button!

Did You Know?

• The Star-Spangled Banner is played during the game’s attract mode, which made it the first arcade game to feature the national anthem

• Unlike other basketball games, the player must actively dribble the ball to move up and down the court

• Gameplay of Double Dribble was featured in the Family Guy episode “Run, Chris, Run”

Categories: Arcade News

Available Now: Art of Atari Deluxe Edition (Signed!)

Art of Atari Deluxe EditionAtari fans rejoice! We saved some copies of the Deluxe Edition of Art of Atari from our book signings at PRGE a couple of months ago, and we even got a few of them signed by the author Tim Lapetino, former Atari artist Steven Hendricks and industrial designer Barney Huang! A very limited number of these out of print Deluxe Edition copies are available at GK now, signed copies for $125 and sealed unsigned copies for $100 (MSRP)!

In addition to the beautifully crafted book itself, the Deluxe Edition of Art of Atari features special packaging that captures the original design of Atari games, includes an Atari Vault Steam key for 100 Atari games on PC and a limited edition print featuring new artwork by Atari artist Cliff Spohn. Whether you’ve been trying to track down a copy for yourself or you’ve been looking for a holiday gift for your favorite retro gaming fan, swing by GK and grab one while they’re still here!

Clash of the Classics – Aliens VS Shinobi

Clash of the Classics: Aliens VS ShinobiThere’s a tough choice to make for fans of side-scrolling action games during this month’s Clash of the Classics! We need your help in deciding who is most worthy of a spot in the arcade: Aliens or Shinobi?

Aliens is a side-scrolling shoot ’em up game developed and published by Konami in 1990. Players can choose to face the deadly Xenomorphs solo or cooperatively with another player as Ellen Ripley or Corporal Hicks. In order to survive the onslaught of aliens, players must use the a variety of iconic weapons from the films such as the M56 Smartgun, pulse rifles and flamethrowers. Some levels even feature power loaders that the players can control and inflict extra heavy damage with. Although the majority of the game is played as a side-scrolling shooter, certain sections feature vertical shooting (similar to some levels in Contra), adding more variety to the action. Aliens is considered to be one of the goriest arcade games of its time, with well animated creepy graphics that did justice to the well-loved movie series in the arcades.

Shinobi is a side-scrolling hack and slash action game released in arcades by Sega in 1987. The player controls the ninja protagonist Joe Musashi with an eight way joystick and three buttons to attack, jump and use ninjutsu techniques against the evil criminals that lie between him and his captured students. An unlimited supply of shurikens can be used to attack enemies from a distance, but the player can also punch and kick enemies at close-range. Rescuing certain hostages will grant the player attack upgrades in the form of a powerful gun for long-range attacks and a sword for close-range encounters. There are also 3 ninjutsu techniques (also called “ninja magic”) at the player’s disposal: a sandstorm, a tornado and a doppleganger attack. Although Shinobi was not the first ninja video game when it was released in 1987, it remains one of the most popular and highly acclaimed ones from its era, and the original arcade version of Shinobi is still widely considered to be the smoothest playing, finest version of the game.

While Aliens and Shinobi are both great games that deserve the attention of all side-scrolling action game fans, the time has come to give one of them a break from the arcade floor and allow room for a newcomer. You have until the end of Wednesday, December 7th to vote, so grab some quarters and head over to Ground Kontrol to play your favorite today!

No Pun Intendo featuring Bri Pruett – Thursday 12/15, 9pm

No Pun Intendo 12/16

Stand-Up Comics & Stand-Up Games! Every Third Thursday, No Pun Intendo brings fantastic comedians to our lounge! Plus – video game competitions between teams of audience members with fabulous prizes!

Each month, we feature fantastic comics from Portland & beyond. This month’s lineup:

David Mascorro
Mohanad Elshieky
Katie Nguyen
Brandon Lyons
Bri Pruett

Hosted by Portland’s Funniest Person, Nariko Ott!

Just $3 at the door to support local comedy at your favorite arcade-slash-bar! Show starts at 9pm. It’s 21+, so bring your I.D.!

We’d like to thank our sponsor The Devastator – Funny Books for Humans – the only all-comedy publisher featuring writers and artists from Adult Swim, The Onion, The Daily Show and Marvel Comics. Pick up their books at your comic book shop of choice, Amazon or direct from http://devastatorpress.com/

Categories: Arcade News

New in the Arcade – Captain America and The Avengers

Captain America and The Avengers

One of the things that we love doing at Ground Kontrol is buying an old video game that’s been converted to a crummy game, and restoring it to its original glory. Last year we purchased a cabinet that we quickly realized was originally a Captain America and The Avengers. After peeling away the old artwork, filling various holes, cutting a new control panel on a CNC machine, installing new artwork and new controls, and replacing the circuit boards, we have this game looking and playing like it did when it rolled off the factory floor!

1991’s Captain America and the Avengers was Data East’s only foray into the 4 player beat-em-up genre dominated by Konami. Luckily for fans of the genre and Marvel fans alike, the game was a thrilling success. Players team up as Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Vision to battle against Red Skull’s assembly of supervillains in metropolises, a secret underwater base and even the moon! The heroes fight through hordes of enemies by utilizing hand-to-hand combat, throwing select items, using ranged special attacks, or by employing their unique “Avenger Attack.” Special power ups are also available throughout the game to summon help from other Marvel superheroes. The heroes must complete a total of five stages while battling mega-foes like Klaw, The Living Laser, Whirlwind, The Grim Reaper, The Wizard, and The Juggernaut.

No one should group the arcade game in with the poorly ported home console versions; the original Arcade version is widely considered to be one of the best classic, co-op beat’em up games of all time! The game provides a TON of Marvel cameos that are surely to excite any comic book fan. The game can be a bit too difficult if you go it alone, so bring along a friend or three to help defeat The Red Skull and his gang!


Did You Know?

• The arcade cabinet is visible in the 1994 comedy Airheads.

• Captain America and The Avengers was the second most successful game for the now-bankrupt and gone Data East (first being RoboCop, 1998).

• There is a special ending if the game is beaten using just one credit.

Categories: Arcade News

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time

Turtles in Time

Our TMNT: Turtles in Time game just got better! We had a spare generic black Konami cabinet that had seen better days, so our tech team bondo’ed the rough edges, installed new artwork and new controls, and made it look as good as a 25 year old game can. Most people would put it in a museum behind velvet ropes, but we want you to play it!

Turtles In Time is the 1991 sequel to the 1989 arcade hit TMNT, pushing the classic 4-player beat ’em action to new heights with improved gameplay, graphics and sound. Each playable turtle has his own unique special attack and strengths and weaknesses that add to the simple yet satisfying cooperative combat. The game takes place in past, present and future settings as the turtles are sent through a time warp while chasing after their nemeses Shredder and Krang. The turtles must face Shredder’s army, the Foot Clan, and a variety of enemies and iconic bosses from the TMNT universe along their time traveling adventure.

TMNT: Turtles in Time is a true fan favorite, commonly considered to be the best TMNT game of all-time and even one of the best games in the beat ’em up genre. With our newly refinished cabinet fresh on the arcade floor, there’s never been a better time to team up with some friends, select your favorite character and travel back in time with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles!