Local Editor Revisits Childhood at Dave & Buster’s

Dan Koller gets his motor running at the new Dave and Buster's. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

As we have told you before, the new flagship location for Dave & Buster’s will officially open for business Sunday at the former site of the AMC Glen Lakes, a movie theater I worked at in my younger years. If this restaurant/sports bar/arcade were opening at any other location, I would have declined an invitation to Thursday’s media preview. But, given my history with this piece of land, I was too curious to stay away.

One of the first video games I tried was Grid Deluxe Race Leader. I’m no gearhead, but even I was enthused by this car game. As soon as I swiped my power card, the entire machine started humming and vibrating as if I were actually behind the wheel of a 400-horsepower muscle car.

Dan is either bored or confused by Nirin. Maybe both. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

While I enthusiastically endorse Grid Deluxe Race Leader, I give two big thumbs down to Nirin. This motorcycle racer presents you with about 700 words to read and 17 decisions to make before the game begins. No thanks. It was time for something a little more low-tech.

Insert your own ball-handling joke here. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

To be honest, I’ve never been much of a video-games guru. The next time I play a “first person shooter” will be the first time. But I do love an old-school game of skeeball. If you’re a dinosaur like me, you’ll be glad to know the new Dave & Buster’s also has games involving the throwing of actual basketballs and footballs. There’s even a crane machine in one corner. I wanted to win photographer Allison Slomowitz a stuffed animal as a reward for taking all these pictures, but a repair guy was sitting in the middle of all the prizes.

Rick Lopez, Elizabeth Ygartua, and Ariel Min are all having more fun than Dan. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

Everything about this Dave & Buster’s screams “let’s kick it up a notch.” Case in point: Pac-Man Battle Royale, a four-player game in which you try to eat not only ghosts but also your fellow Pac-Men. As if that wasn’t enough, the game board’s layout will often change right in the middle of a round. You think you’re closing in on one of those glowing power-up orbs, and then you’re suddenly trapped between Inky and Clyde. I needed something a little more subdued.

Dan finally finds his comfort zone, otherwise known as 1985. (Staff photo: Allison Slomowitz)

As a reward for reading this far, allow me to extend invitations to Saturday’s exclusive VIP event at Dave & Buster’s to the first three people who call me at 214-523-5272.

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