In A Time Where Arcades Struggle to Thrive, Round 1 Stands Out


Jenna Miller, Associate Editor

For many young adults who were kids in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, one of their main places to go and have fun was an arcade to go and play video games. You’ve all probably been to an arcade before, though the experience is completely different than the one your parents might have had; the concept of an arcade has significantly changed as time went on. In the past, arcades were mostly about playing video games just for the sake of enjoying the games, as video game consoles for the house were less common and much less advanced than they are nowadays; so, the modern-day concept of an arcade has been mostly a place where arcade-goers play skill or luck-based games to win tickets that can be exchanged for prizes. The more tickets won, the larger and higher-quality the prizes you can receive.

With the ubiquity of home video gaming consoles, with games that have high-quality graphics and long-lasting, entertaining gameplay, arcades that aren’t mainly focused on “redemption games” are rare sights nowadays; granted, they still exist, but they’re mainly targeted at those who are interested in retro or niche game series. However, one arcade chain manages to combine the best of both worlds.
At every Round 1 arcade, the niche and redemption arcade game worlds unite in perfect harmony. Kids adore the redemption games popular at surviving arcade chains of today such as Dave & Busters and Chuck E. Cheese’s, whereas teens and young adults flock to the niche games which can’t be found anywhere else; these include intense racing games, fighting and shooting games, and rhythm games centered around pressing buttons in time to the beat of songs. I, for one, am a large fan of the rhythm games put out by the company BEMANI, such as the famous Dance Dance Revolution and the rarer Beatmania IIDX and Sound Voltex; all three of which, the newest games in their respective series, can be found at Round 1. When I go to Round 1, it’s mostly in order to play those games. Each location contains around 250 different games.

Round 1’s arcades also contain a bowling alley, karaoke rooms with state-of-the-art equipment featuring songs in four different languages, ping-pong, billiards, darts, as well as food and drinks – including 99-cent ice cream!

Long Island has a Round 1 arcade of its own located at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. The first time I visited it I was amazed by its size and the selection of games, even though it does not have as immense of a selection as the other Round 1 arcades in other states that I’ve seen. The Round 1 chain, in addition to having the aforementioned location, has six locations in California, two in Texas, and one in upstate New York, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and the state of Washington.

If you are a fan of arcades and arcade games, then Round 1 is worth going to!