Ten Favorite Arcades in Metro Phoenix
A longtime favorite for generations of local families and joystick Jedi, the iconic King Ben's Castle that dominates Golfland-Sunspash has housed arcade games since the early 1980s. And while you can still strive for a high score on such Reagan-era classics as Q-Bert, Ms. Pac-Man, and Donkey Kong for only 25-cents a play, the Mesa waterpark and miniature golf haven is known for the wealth of ultra-modern fighting, driving, and beat-matching variety that attract a slew of teenagers and take up most of its floor space, along with numerous redemption games. You can also find a few rare Japanese imports scattered around the joint, including Arcana Heart 2 and Guilty Gears XX. And if the kiddos ever want to have their birthday party up on the second floor of the castle, be sure to fulfill their wishes, since it will give you access to the collection of old-school games that are only available during private functions.
2. Dave & Busters
Everything seems bigger at either of the two Dave & Busters locations in the Valley: Its ginormous floor space, its selection of high-end and high-tech games (including a towering, interactive edition of Connect Four and a ginormous version of that vexing merchandiser Stacker), and its drinks mixed up at multiple bars (top-shelf cocktails with heavy pour are in abundance). And then are the pimp prizes available for those patrons who can score a sufficient amount tickets, including gaming systems, cocktail ware, and even home appliances. Helpfully, there are paper buckets available to tote your winnings, which, along with all its swanky and flashy games, give D&B a casino-like feel. Besides, where else can go on an undersea roller coaster simulator like Typhoon or fight a knight with a virtual sword before getting in 12 frames of gutterball action via the upstairs bowling alley?