Inside a Korean family restaurant I found an alcove with small arcade machines designed as a playroom for kids. The screens are notably smaller, but these machines aren’t for professional play. The tiny arcade cabinets are around for kids to entertain themselves while their parents finish a meal. Four games were available on free play: Strikers 1945, Garou: Mark of the Wolves, a 2D Korean beat ‘em up and a button only version of Pump It Up. I really wanted to try out the beat ‘em up, but I wasn’t about to take a machine away from one of the kids.
I also noticed a handful of convenience stores had tiny arcade machines outside of their stores too with small stools for patrons to sit on. However, it was way too cold to sit outside and test any of them out. I imagine these are popular during the warmer months as a diversion to keep kids busy during grocery shopping sessions.
After seeing these machines I wondered if a similar strategy work in North America to revive the waning arcade market. I remember Pizza Hut had arcade machines when I was a kid, but that's not the case anymore.