For classic video games, step aboard the Retro-Cade

Free arcade bus will be parked in Littleton every Friday this summer


Good news for Millennials wondering if their Mortal Kombat skills are still sharp: You can test them on Friday nights in Littleton this summer aboard the Retro-Cade, a former DIA shuttle bus turned free video arcade.

The Retro-Cade will be parked on Main Street every Friday night this summer as part of Weekends on Main, Littleton’s outdoor dining program.

The bus features 13 cabinet-style arcade games, from Pac-Man to Mortal Kombat to NBA Jam and Cruisin’ USA — all free of charge. Oh, and hundreds of classic Nintendo games on a giant screen.

The bus is the brainchild of Andy O’Connell, who fell in love with the mobile life while working on a pizza truck. Just before COVID hit, he bought the old bus from Craigslist and outfitted it with his favorite games from childhood, cutting the arcade cabinets down to size to fit aboard the bus.

Though the Retro-Cade had to be mothballed during COVID shutdowns, O’Connell said the summer of 2021 is the perfect time to roll it out as people emerge from the pandemic eager for fun experiences.

Though the bus can be hired for parties of all kinds, the Historic Downtown Littleton Merchants Association paid for O’Connell to park it on Main Street once a week all summer long.

O’Connell will be on hand to answer questions from impressed pedestrians as they discover the bus — and to sell some nostalgic items to go with the ‘90s vibe, like authentic vintage baseball cards still in the original packaging.

“I hope the bus brings people back to when they were kids, or lets people introduce their own kids to all these awesome games,” McConnell said. “I love watching people walk into the bus and just go starry-eyed.”

For Rachel Jones and Tom Lester, who went head-to-head at Mortal Kombat during a date night on June 11, the bus was a blast.

“I haven’t played these games in 20 years,” Lester said. “The guy who came up with this is a genius.”


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