Vegas hot spots for the other kind of gaming

A thrilling driving game at Gameworks

A thrilling driving game at Gameworks

When you think of the arcades of yesteryear, what comes to mind?

Is it “Pinball Wizard?” How about “Pac-Mania?” Or maybe “Finish Him?”

Whether you grew up in the era of “Asteroids,” “Street Fighter,”  or none of the above, this town has some fun diversions for gamers of all eras and preferences.

With the Evo Championship Series, a world-famous video game tournament, coming to Caesars Palace on July 9, we thought we’d celebrate their fun and competitive spirit by assembling Las Vegas’ top video-gaming destinations.

If you’re looking for under-21 entertainment or you’re just a gamer at heart, these are the spots you’ll want to give a look:

Circus Circus: This casino urges you to “act your age somewhere else,” a proposition that their midway arcade makes incredibly easy to live up to. The midway has a surprisingly good selection of games – about 200 of the most popular arcade games of all time. While no arcade has a perfect collection, this one is still likely to have at least one version of the game you’re looking for, or at least something similar.

Along with the games, one main attraction of Circus Circus’ midway here is the old-time carnival attractions and midway entertainment while you play: there are many redemption games and games of skill along with the video games, and guests are treated to free daily performances throughout the day, ensuring that you’ll have something to look forward to long after you run out of quarters.

And of course, you’ll be right next to the Adventuredome amusement park, so the possibilities for fun are endless here.

Gameworks: This two-story arcade/restaurant/bar is Las Vegas’ video game mecca. If you’re going for sheer variety, this place will not disappoint: here, you can play the latest arcade games along with some pinball and retro classics of every genre from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s

You’ll also find an abundance of sit-down cabinet games: you can climb into everything from supercharged race cars to jet fighters, or try to fight your way out of dinosaur safaris, zombie invasions and more. Some of Gameworks’ shooting games come with experience-enhancing extra-large cabinets and screens that you won’t see anywhere else.

Gameworks also has a decent selection of ticket-redemption games, the ones where you test your skills and earn tickets, which you can exchange for prizes. Of course, these prizes may or may not be worth as much as you spent in the first place, but it’s nice to be able to take home a plush bear and a few bags of Pop Rocks as a reminder of your stay in Vegas.

New York-New York: Just across the Strip from Gameworks, the New York-New York serves up around 200 games in a boardwalk-inspired, Coney Island-themed arcade. There’s a great variety of genres, but you won’t find the same amount of awe-inspiring sit-in cabinets that you find at a place like Gameworks.

To compensate, this venue is a little more focused on the extra activities they have going throughout the day; you can start up a round of laser tag, hop into a bumper car or, if you’re daring, try out the rollercoaster.

The Pinball Hall of Fame: This off-Strip attraction is like something like the Smithsonian of interactive entertainment. You can find the world’s largest pinball collection on display, but that’s not all – you can play every single machine they have and relive a bygone era. This one is a must-visit for nostalgics.

You may even be surprised to find that they do still make new pinball games: you’ll find machines based on “CSI,” “The Dark Knight” and many more recent movies and TV shows.

Of course, you’ll also find many classics: standouts include “Addams Family,” “Superman,”  “Terminator 2,” and the various “Star Trek” tables that have come out over the years, which are joined by novelty machines with gimmicks like “enhanced” gravity and a vertically-standing play field that resembles a circus – the latter is one of three machines of its kind in the world. In addition to its pinball offerings, PHoF has a meager selection of arcade games.

Now, go out there and get your game on. Remember, in this town: it’s on like Donkey Kong.


There are 2 comments for this article
  1. Kris at 8:14 pm

    Please, even if there’s 1000s of things to do in Vegas, it still the city of Sin for adults!! So please, don’t bring your kids over there! We are very,very tired walkin down the strip, casinos, shows and restaurants with childrens and teenagers in our way!!! There’s nothing to do for them! Money, sex, casinos,strippers,gambling, drinking…Not a place for youth! Let vegas to adults. That is what Vegas is all about!
    VEGAS=+21…REMEMBER THAT!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Daniel at 9:46 am

    I agree, the strip is not for kids… but whoever thinks that video games are only for kids must be REALLY OLD….