Is that Optimal?: The Game Terminal

This past week I vacationed in Tennessee, staying in both Sevierville in the Smoky Mountains and the state capital Nashville. This coincidentally worked heavily in my favor because, although the vacation had been planned for some time, it allowed me to visit a much more recently discovered haven for anyone interested in arcade games and a good time in general. Due to the plans already put in place, I had the good fortune to spend 3-4 hours at “The Game Terminal”.

Indoors at The Game Terminal
The Game Terminal’s outdoor area

The Game Terminal is a barcade located in South Nashville at 201 Terminal Court within the city’s industrial park and is actually housed inside a repurposed truck terminal from the 1960’s. Utilizing 10,000 square feet of space, the away from the city location is a big bonus because it allows patrons to avoid downtown rush hour and nighttime traffic and lets the staff play music loudly all day and night.

Within its walls are a seemingly endless amount of options for entertainment including 95 pinball machines, 138 arcade cabinets, 2 bars (both with seating), a healthy amount of drink holders so you can sip and play, some reserved seating and 3 separate game rooms that can be reserved as well. Of course there is a selection of fighting games among the the wealth of cabinets, which were of course a huge highlight of the night, including Killer Instinct, Soul Calibur 3, Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat II, Tekken 6 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3. But inside is only half the party!

If you venture out to The Game Terminal’s backlot you’ll find a third bar, copious open seating, cornhole, ping pong, shuffleboard and jenga, connect 4 and beer pong, all of the “giant” variety. Still, it gets even better. If you get hungry, there’s a lineup of local food trucks offering Nashville’s signature hot chicken and their native style of bbq in an array of dishes. The trucks swap out everyday in order to offer an even more expanded menu and keep the experience fresh for every visit.

Now, you’re probably thinking it must cost a hefty chunk of change for a day, or night, of fun but here’s the kicker, the piece de resistance, so to speak. Entry into The Game Terminal is 100% FREE for each and every patron, regardless of age. On top of that, the pinball machines cost just $1 and nearly all of the 138 arcade cabinets and all outdoor games are entirely free as well. You’re not even required to purchase drinks or food while you’re there, leaving you with the option to have an entirely cost exempt experience.

All in all, The Game Terminal is a 5 star, two thumbs up experience. The location is excellent, providing ample space for the 200+ game machines, music, multiple bars, seating, food trucks and outdoor area. You get a massive bang for your buck, the food and drinks can be a little expensive but those are your only expenses outside of pinball machines and a few, select arcade cabinets. You can forgo all those options if you choose and still have hours of excitement all for free. The service is friendly and expedient, food and drinks are delicious and with countless classic arcade titles to choose from one will never experience a dull moment. Please check out The Game Terminal’s website, I’ll drop the link below, and if you get a chance to make a visit don’t squander it it’s a great time.

Published by Ty Valentine

Hi, I'm a student studying for an Associate of Arts Degree and later pursuing my Bachelor's in Digital Journalism. I've been playing fighting games since I was a young buck in the late 90's and began delving into the competitive side of the genre 6 years ago. Hopefully you'll be entertained and educated by the content I'll be posting in this blog such as: fighting game history, game reviews, retrospectives, mechanics breakdown/analysis and me teaching my girlfriend Kirsten how to play Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat and Smash among other titles.

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