Chicago arcades seemed to have disappeared long ago. However, if you look close enough there are still a handful in existence. They range from the traditional arcade game focus, to more expansive ones that focus on mini golf, laser tag, and bumper cars. Sometimes we all need to let our inner child escape.
Ignite is the definition of a modern day arcade. Gone are the days of massive arcade boxes with tube-screen display; today’s gaming consoles are slim [as are the TVs], packed with technology far greater than 8-bit, and the number of game titles is enormous. Ignite Gaming Lounge is equipped with all the latest consoles and games to make sure the entertainment never ceases.
Located on Navy Pier, Amazing Chicago’s Funhouse Maze is a classic take on a family-fun-center. The 4000 square-foot building is loaded with sensory overloads. As you make your way through all of the tunnels, hallways, and mazes you will always be wondering what is around the next corner. This interactive experience is something that the entire family can enjoy.
Headquarters Beercade is what I envision to be the ultimate arcade setup. It seems that many bars only provide a pool table to satisfy the game craving of many patrons, but Headquarters understands that deeper need that our inner-child has. Their establishment is a combination of bar with classic arcade. Pinball tables and classic arcades games fill the floor to give you something to ‘cheers’ about after you crush that high-score.
Emporium is based on the same premise as Headquarters is: good beer, classic games, unlimited fun [until your run out of quarters].
They have taken it even a step further by providing two locations: N Milwaukee Ave. and Logan Square (pictured above). The Milwaukee Ave location is their main arcade station, while the Logan Square location is going to focus on table games. The floor will be dominated by pool tables, foosball tables, air hockey tables, pinball machines, bubble hockey, shuffle puck bowlers and games of that nature.
Whirly Ball is a unique game all in its own. It combines aspects from lacrosse, hockey and basketball with none other than bumper cars. Yes, bumper cars. The entire gaming area is the size of a basketball court, with nine cars ripping around [four for each team, one for the referee].
Dave & Busters is well known across the nation as an adult fun-land that is accompanied by tasty food and drinks. The majority of their arcade games are top of the line new systems [some even require 3D glasses]. They still have a selection non-video games that will push you to try your hardest to snag as many tickets as possible.
Don’t let the name throw you off; this old hardware store has been converted in a music store that has a unique twist. As soon as you make your way through the front door, you’ll notice that extensive collection of vinyls that fill the store. After you sift through every genre of music available and find something that you’d like to purchase, you make your way up to the counter and your receipt will contain a code that will open a door at the back of the vinyl store. Its like obtaining a magic key-code to a time machine. Once you step through the door you will be in a room that is engulfed with classic arcade game. The best part about all of this, is that your vinyl store purchase allows you to play any and all of the arcade machines for free!
The Galloping Ghost has claimed the title of largest arcade in the United States. With 400+ games and plans to expand, I can see that title to hold true. With a $15.00 fee at the door, all the games inside are free to play from open to close. With frequent tournaments and high-scores being broken regularly, this is a must stop for any arcade game enthusiast.
The Putting Edge turns traditional into a very unique experience by changing up some of the variables. They created an indoor course, knocked down the wattage of the lights and created everything in the sense of a glow in the dark course. With music bumping overhead, you will make your way along this neon-glowing course in a way that mini golf has never done before.
Laser Quest is the ultimate venue for extreme laser tag with friends or family. Their extensive course makes for an intense game of tactics, luck and laughter. Laser Quest provides a unique atmosphere to bring your first-person-shooter skills to real life.
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