Galaga started swallowing quarters at shopping-mall arcades almost 30 years ago. That's an eternity in video-game years - hell, it's a long time in human years - but it's never needed an upgrade. The game's vintage simplicity is precisely why it remains great: It's a pure, low-resolution test of reflexes, eye-hand coordination and rapid-finger-flicking firepower.

Galaga started swallowing quarters at shopping-mall arcades almost 30 years ago. That's an eternity in video-game years - hell, it's a long time in human years - but it's never needed an upgrade. The game's vintage simplicity is precisely why it remains great: It's a pure, low-resolution test of reflexes, eye-hand coordination and rapid-finger-flicking firepower.

That's also what makes Galaga a perfect bar game. You don't need to be sober enough to follow a story or execute any complicated multi-button combo moves. In fact, I think having a few drinks improves gameplay. With a little pizza grease on the hands to lubricate the joystick, a couple of beers can help you tune out distractions and focus on shooting the swarming aliens.

I'm always looking for bars where I can practice my Galaga skills. Here are just a few places that are keeping the arcade classic alive.

Hal and Al' s

1297 Parsons Ave., South Side

614-375-4812

halandals.com

India-Oak Grill

590 Oakland Park Ave., Clintonville

614-261-9355

O'Reilly's Pub

2822 N. High St., Clintonville

614-262-6343

St. James Tavern

1057 N. Fourth St., Italian Village

614-294-0064

stjamestavern.com

Thurman Cafe

183 Thurman Ave., German Village

614-443-1570

thethurmancafe.com