Location: 2 Woodfield Mall, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA
Report by Dan Marquardt
An all-new barcade just opened in the Chicago area. It is called Level 257.
The Pac-Man themed barcade is the first of ten planned nationwide by the owner Namco. It is located in the Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, Illinois. It is next to the Sears store and is about an eighth of a mile north of GameWorks.
The name comes from the 256th level of Pac-Man being the top level. Level 257 is meant to mean one level above the highest possible.
Pac-Man has done well for himself. The barcade is very upscale, loaded with a variety of games.
The restaurant in the middle of the location has a much better menu selection than I would have expected.
I was also very impressed at how good all the vintage games looked and played. It was obvious that Namco cares about providing customers with a top-quality game experience.
There are six pins there to play. Five are side-by-side against one wall, and there is a half pin, half video Baby Pac-Man game in the video game section.
The wall of pins features some of the all-time top arcade pins, including the Black Knight and Gorgar, who were once rivals of Pac-Man during their peak.
All the pins were extremely clean and worked fine, and the volume was decent on all the pins too.
A swipe card is used to play the games. A card is issued when you buy time on the games. This card can then be recharged with between fifteen minutes and two hours of play time.
Tapping the card on the reader box on the front of the cabinet puts a single credit on the game. A second card with time purchased on it is needed to use the multi-player feature on all of the games. The time bought on the card does not begin counting down until you put your first credit on a game, while the card reader box on each game shows the amount of time left on the card after it issues a credit.
There is about a two minute hold between the ability to put a credit on a game. I assume this is to prevent using a single card to add credits on multiple games for friends. Once a credit is put on a game, you can play it to the end even if the time on the card expires.
It is nice to see that the nostalgic interest for video and pinball games continues to grow and has led to the opening of this fun barcade.
© Pinball News 2015