1UP Arcade

Brisbane's retro-style freeplay gaming arcade.
Sarah Ward
June 01, 2017


UPDATE: AUGUS 13, 2020 — 1UP Arcade is currently closed to walk-ins, but it's now offering full venue hire. So, round up your mates and hire out the space for a night of pushing buttons at the largest retro gaming video arcade in the country.


When it comes to all things gaming, Brisbane has been levelling up over the past few months. First came Netherworld, the city's first arcade game bar. Then Super Combo arrived with its Street Fighter-themed burgers. Now, add 1UP Arcade's retro-style freeplay gaming to the mix.

Setting up shop on the basement level of 230 Lytton Road, Morningside, 1UP allows patrons to mash buttons on usual suspects such as NBA Jam, multiple versions of Street Fighter and rarer finds like Garou: Mark of the Wolves, however, it has more than just pumping coins into machines in mind.

In fact, the 80-machine joint wants you to play all of the above, plus the likes of Tekken, Cyber Sled, Puzzle Bobble, Bad Dudes Vs DragonNinja, and Aliens, The Simpsons and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles tie-ins too, without needing to continually reach for your wallet. Patrons will pay a flat $15 daily entry fee, or opt for a weekly ($29), monthly ($79) or quarterly ($129) membership, and then play to their heart's content. If you've been having Timezone lock-in withdrawals, you'd best start stretching your fingers now because you'll be in your element.

We want to attract players of all ages and skill levels, and that means removing all roadblocks to enjoyment," says owner and founder Stephen Holmes. "Usually you have to feed a machine dollar after dollar to get enough playtime to improve — but not at 1UP."

Yes, gaming is firmly in the spotlight — and, in a departure from the current trend, drinking and eating at the same venue isn't. While a selection of suitably retro snacks is on offer, including drinks such as TAB, Minute Maid and Cherry Coke, 1UP proudly stands alone as dedicated arcade, rather than falling within a bar or cafe. Staying true to old-school parts is also on the agenda, with Holmes focusing on authenticity, both among the machines he has in place, and in his forthcoming additions. Prepare to stare at arcade-standard CRT monitors in original cabinets for hours on end, with anything needing a bit of love being rebuilt from original bits and pieces. Game on.


Tap and select Add to Home Screen to access Concrete Playground easily next time. x