Data East Simpsons – Four Quarters – Stratford

Four Quarters, Unit 8 Canalside, East Bay Lane, Here East, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, E20 3BS

Four Quarters Stratford Front

We were promised Pinball, that was one of the reasons to visit Four Quarter in Stratford. This isn’t the fault of Four Quarters to be honest. If you take a look at the Four Quarters Website – it clearly states the only pinball machine on play currently is The Simpsons Pinball. Would it be a Stern, which is a solid game. Or the lesser spotted, certainly now, Data East Pinball.

The Arcade

The Arcade itself has a great selection of games to choose from, with classics such as R-Type, House of the Dead, Outrun, Virtua Tennis, Donkey Kong and more. These got the most out of my time on the paid for slots. The bar has a unique system for payment, choosing to allow you to get four quarters for a pound, get it? Most games are set to one quarter a game, apart from the sit down Outrun and of course, the pinball. It was, unfortunately, a Data East, I was horrified to find out.

Of the games, Street Fighter Two – Turbo Edition wouldn’t accept any of my quarters, although was resolved later and Point Blank 2’s gun wasn’t working on player one, player two was fine though.

Four Quarters Stratford Games Lineup 1
Four Quarters Stratford Games Lineup 2

The Pinball – Data East Simpsons

The game was, unfortunately, poorly maintained. The game was level which was good. There were clear issues with it however. I visited yesterday and off the top of my head the list of faults were.

  • Rubbers in poor or broken condition.
  • Kickback barely operational, occasional rainbow to right outlane.
  • Left pop bumper missing top, middle pop needs adjustment.
  • Dirtier than a Christina Aguilera video c2002

The biggest killer for the whole experience was how the game was packed into an incredibly tight space making nudging really difficult and when people were on the ever popular metal slug 2 to the right, impossible. The game was 50p per go, had an incomprehensible Replay value and a match percentage of 0.

Perhaps I am being slightly unfair to the game, I must have put around £7 in which was 14 games, so it kept me coming back for more. Not that there was any other pins to play. The switches worked which was good and generally the game played. It is just annoying to see it be so close then so far.

Booths for Retro

The site also has retro booths which you can book and have a selection of consoles and games. Rightly so, the games are locked behind a windowed door, which you can ask for them to change when they aren’t busy at the bar. Again, a fair enough situation. For us, the key for the lock had got caught and stuck in another booth, so they couldn’t actually open the door, and the Dreamcast cable was causing an issue on the TV with jumping and lines, making it impossible to play.

There are also other free consoles, such as the NES mini, scattered around which are on Freeplay and a sofa area with Mario Kart on 4 player. A huge hit I am sure.

Overall Site Review

Donkey Kong at Four Quarters - Stratford

Overall the place was fun, beer was good and the atmosphere was amazing. I couldn’t help but come away and think that it was all just a little tired now though. I haven’t ever operated machines, so I may be doing a disservice. As a community we have high standards for our machines generally. Perhaps these just aren’t achievable on a site. There were lots of things that if just a little better, would have made this gem, and it is a gem, an absolute must.

Bonus Content – Video

As a bit of bonus content, we are looking to add some video on the sites we visit. This is just a start, we have a lot to improve on, but here it is.

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