Melbourne, Australia. I walk in off the street and see a few pinball machines in the main bar as well as one of those ancient dancing marionette games (Pirate Pete) that mainlines your brain straight back to when you were a kid in the late Sixties or early Seventies and one of these strange puppets would be sad, lonely and forgotten in a corner of the local ‘games room’ pinball parlour. Wow. I spent a moment with the pirate, paying homage to his age, before I even noticed the sign hinting to the existence of a secret entrance somewhere in the room.

Pinball heaven. You’re going to need a few hours …

I looked around, found it, and climbed some stairs and suddenly, I was staring at the motherload.

At least, it is if you’re like me and grew up addicted to pinball machines and the early video games. (I still remember my first tabletop ‘Pong’ machine, at the Rookerynook Hotel, in Wye River, on the Great Ocean Road.)

This hidden bar has everything from clunky, clang-clang-clang Sixties machines to dated but sleeker Seventies pinballs, like Playboy (1978) and Supersonic (1979), and all the way to a younger, awesome Star Wars machine (1992), and a brand new (well, 2013) wildly high-tech, video enabled Wizard of Oz 75th anniversary edition pinball. The whisky prices are taking the piss, but maybe next time I’ll stick to beer.

Hello, ladies (and creepy Hef). It’s been too long … I reckon I last played this machine at the Lorne Games Room, circa 1982, but I really can’t be sure. This version is mint.

Most of the games themselves are one dollar per play, with only the occasional two dollars per game. The ‘match’ is generously set so we picked up quite a few freebies with that sharp ‘CLACK’ that again thrills the teenager deep in my soul.

This is a fun bar. Even my friend, Chris, who’s going through some life stuff (heroically), got happily lost in the silver ball action. Thanks to Pete Savvides for finding this place.

See if you can. The only clue you need is buried in this post. Have fun.