Fantastic Arcade for the Average Austinite

A preview of free, public events at this weekend of indie gaming

Sure, Red Dead Redemption II is available now, but maybe you’re looking for an interactive experience with a little less temperature-sensitive horse testicles and a little more heart. To cater to those interested in the arty and outré side of the gaming world is Fantastic Arcade.

A Memoir Blue by Cloisters

Converging on the Mueller Drafthouse for the weekend is this celebration of video games that specialize in singular visions and under-represented perspectives. You might be able to get your hands on a day pass to the talks and tournaments in the theatre, but for those who just want to play there are computers and arcade cabinets set up in and around the Barrel O’ Fun. The more than 40 games range from an interactive memoir of a fictional champion swimmer to a competitive cat petting simulator.

Spotlight games commissioned for the fest can be played at custom arcade cabinets. It’s a one-of-a-kind chance to enjoy an arcade interface for these one-of-a-kind games. If you can’t make it to the Drafthouse to see for yourself, don’t fret, you can still try them out in the comfort of your home. The Fantastic Arcade Bundle can be purchased for $15 with the proceeds going to Juegos Rancheros, the local nonprofit that organizes the event.

Consume Me by Jenny Jiao Hsia and AP Thomson

Want to see what the developers and attendees are up to in the theatre? The talks and tourneys can be streamed on Twitch.

Step away from the screens for a bit and head out to the notoriously well-hidden Museum of Human Achievement on Friday night for a Real World/Witch House party. Bring a donation and take a tour of the witch rooms and get another chance to play a few games. There will be performances by Void Egg and 98 Dads Creative Suite 2018. Your guess is as good as ours what these “performances” will entail, but the names alone have us intrigued enough to attend. We were also told there will be tacos available, so we’ll see you there.

Capping off the fest is the awards ceremony and game show hosted by Juegos Rancheros founder Wiley Wiggins. There will be a Halloween theme and just enough alcohol to ensure the proceedings will go delightfully off the rails. Right where we like it.

Fantastic Arcade
Barrel O’ Fun at Alamo Mueller
Friday-Saturday, 11am-midnight
Sunday, 11am-6pm

Real World: Witch House party
Museum of Human Achievement (inside complex at Springdale & Lyons)
Friday, Oct. 26, 8pm
Donations appreciated

Awards and Spookycade
Barrel O’ Fun at Alamo Mueller
Sunday, Oct. 28, 6pm

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