10 Best Arcades in L.A.
Japan Arcade lives up to it's name. There are a lot of great, sometimes hard-to-find Japanese games here. Most of the Yelp reviews I read mentioned one called Typing of the Dead, which I tried immediately. This is an odd offshoot of the arcade staple House of the Dead, where you obliterate zombies by typing out Japanese words in English characters very quickly. I haven't had that much fun playing a video game in years, maybe even decades.
This Little Tokyo arcade is also home to lots of cool rhythm games. While I was pouring quarters into Typing of the Dead, my boyfriend was getting serious about Mambo a Go Go, a Konami game that revolves around congo drums. I tried Mambo a Go Go too, but it turns out that I'm more of a typist than a drummer. Japan Arcade is owned by the same man who owns Family Fun Arcade and Super Arcade.
According to the website Arcade Relief, this amazing little spot is set to close along with FFA at the end of the year. I need to go back and get in a few more games of Typing of the Dead before it does. 333 S. Alameda St., Little Tokyo.
1. Round 1
Round 1 is a large entertainment complex at the Puente Hills Mall, complete with a bowling alley, karaoke rooms, ping-pong tables and the glitziest arcade I've seen in recent years. When you walk into the arcade, the first thing you'll see are the claw machines, which are filled with large Sanrio and San-X plushies and other cool toys. There are racing games, fighting games, rhythm games and shooting games, all of which sparkle with state of the art graphics. They also have purikura machines, the Japanese photo booths where you can embellish your pictures with all sorts of cute doodads. Paying for games at Round 1 is where it gets complicated. You have to purchase a membership card, which you can refill through the day at one of the machines in the arcade. If you want to play a game that operates on tokens, you still have to get a card and swipe it at one of the token machines.
Round 1 stands out because there's so much here. It's a good spot for a party, as there is something for everyone at this venue. This is a kid-friendly spot during the day, but the venue goes 18+ after 10 p.m. and 21+ after midnight. Plan accordingly. (Note: For those in the Inland Empire, Round 1 recently opened a second outlet in Moreno Valley.) 1600 S. Azusa Ave., #285, Industry.
369 N. Western Ave., Los Angeles, CA