Fruit machines get a lot of flack in England because they encourage gambling in lower income households and also provide a way for young children to get hooked as they work like soft drugs that require little barrier to entry.
I’ll admit my love of Fruit Machines goes back to when I used to visit the arcades with my family as a child and I was enthralled by the sites, sounds, smells of the coast – total sensory overload.
Since travelling around the world quite a lot I have realised that the UK Fruit Machine industry is quite unique and has developed and evolved on it’s own in a unique way that is vastly different to Vegas and your standard Casino machines.
My nostalgia is linked to the AWP machines of the 80’s and 90’s and these types of machines are very much drying up and being re-engineered / replaced with virtual screen casino style machines.
I’m also a huge fan of Pinball Machines for the design aesthetic but you can get those in most western countries.
Now I am older I realise that what I like about them isn’t so much the winning, losing or gambling side – it’s the whole aesthetic package. The lights, the sound effects, the plastic buttons and colours used on the feature boards.
Fruit Machines have their homes in the coastal areas that have roots in the Victorian beach holiday revolution and you get clusters of arcades and amusements in places like Blackpool, Skegness, Brighton and Great Yarmouth. I went to Great Yarmouth the other day for the first time in 3 years and found that there were very few of my old favourites left. So I decided I would document them before they all disappeared and I forgot the nostalgic feelings that come with being in an arcade.
Anyway here are some of my favourites:
The log flume at Great Yarmouth has been about since I was a wee nipped and it was unfortunately down for maintenance on this last visit.
And last but not least the very last example of the original Simpsons Arcade game that is still available to play on in Great Yarmouth. I completed this machine when I was 8 years old with my brother. It’s a really great button bash game!