Arcade Tokens: Time-Out



Time-Out was one of the most iconic arcade chains on the East Coast, famous for its layout connecting two arcades on two different sides of a mall via the Time-Out Tunnel (pics of which you can see over at the TimeOutTunnel.com). Above is a quarter-sized game token from this arcade giant but when this token was in circulation is anybody's guess. Judging from the scans of Time-Out invoices, it seems like it might have started circulating in the early to mid 90's. There was also a silver half-dollar sized token used for prizes, but I certainly didn't go there for the prizes when I was a kid... there were games to be played.


The Time-Out I remember from my early childhood was located in Springfield Mall, Virginia. We didn't go to Springfield all that much back then, so the fact that I remember Time-Out at all speaks to the impression it can make on a young mind. Time-Out had a different layout than any other arcade I had seen, and the "Time-Out Tunnel" was wondrous to behold. Not only did it connect two spatially disparate arcades, it was also peppered throughout with a number of great games. I remember being flabbergasted at traveling through the Tunnel and emerging into a different part of the mall! Of course, now I realize that they just connected two store spaces with the tunnel, but to a kid it was a real jolt.

One of the games that comes to mind when I think of Time-Out is Spy Hunter, a classic that I enjoyed primarily on the Commodore 64.




I also remember rows of Pac-Man machines lining the Time-Out tunnel.




But probably the game with the biggest wow-factor for me was Dragon's Lair. I remember being mesmerized by it, thinking how impossibly difficult it must be to control a game that was a "real" cartoon. More recently, I've found out just how simple the gameplay really is... although I don't think I would have been able to nail the timing back then.




Interestingly enough, Springfield Mall's Time-Out is still in business. I'll have to drop by sometime. Hopefully it's fared better than the Manassas Aladdin's Castle. For more Time-Out history, check out this brief documentary.


DISCLAIMER: All items reviewed on Dork Dimension were purchased by the reviewer unless otherwise noted. The opinions expressed on Dork Dimension are solely those of the author and are presented for entertainment purposes only.