Date: August 2017
Location: Streets of Woodfield Shopping Plaza 601 North Martingale Road, Suite 115, Schaumburg, IL 60173, USA

GameWorks can be found in the SE corner of the Streets of Woodfield Shopping Centre complex located in the Chicago suburb of Schaumburg. It is is one of 7 currently operating GameWorks locations in the USA.

The bar area at GameWorks in Schaumburg
The bar area at GameWorks in Schaumburg

GameWorks had originally been a joint venture between Sega and DreamWorks with creative input from Steven Spielberg. GameWorks was later owned and operated by Sega Sammy Holdings of Tokyo, Japan. Sammy Corporation is one of the major manufacturers of Pachinko and Pachislot games. GameWorks was sold to a private investment group in 2011.

I found myself in the Schaumburg area recently to visit with a friend visiting from Brazil, and it was ‘Half Price Monday’ so I paid GameWorks a visit.

Hal-price Monday promotion
Hal-price Monday promotion

All of the games (including pinball) at GameWorks are operated by their plastic card credit system. If you do not have a GameWorks card to load your credits onto, you may purchase one for $2 at the same time that you purchase credits. GameWorks somewhat pay back the purchase of the card by giving you 14 additional credits worth $3.50.

The card payment system
The card payment system
Credits pricing
Credits pricing

GameWorks also offers a ‘Day Pass’ that gives you unlimited play on ‘black box’ games and a $10 card for the ticket games which are called ‘red box’. The day passes are available for a discount quite frequently and can be had for as little as $55.00. If you check in with Yelp on a weekday, GameWorks will give you 30 mins of free play: Mention Coupon GE138. There are other special promotions which are detailed on the photo below.

Special deals are available each day
Special deals are available each day

The pinballs:

  • Family Guy – Stern, 2007
  • 24 – Stern, 2009
  • Iron Man – Stern, 2010
  • Ghostbusters – Stern, 2016

In the past, GameWorks has had six to nine pinball games available to play; some pinballs were also ticket dispensers. Since then GameWorks has gone to an electronic ticket dispensing system that I didn’t take the time to fully check out. Currently there are the four pinball games listed above located on the upper level not far from the rather distracting Dance Dance Revolution games.

The pinballs were busy
The pinballs were busy

The pinballs available to play at GameWorks when I visited were in what I would call average condition – from what I could tell all of the playfield features seemed to be in operating condition but a good cleaning would certainly help.

Family Guy
Family Guy
Iron Man
Iron Man
Ghostbusters
Ghostbusters
25
24

GameWorks has a bar on each level, sports on TV as well as a menu of popular ‘pub food’ (read: high calorie) favorites.

The majority of the games at GameWorks are skill games such as Air Hockey, Pac-Man Smash, Skeeball, NBA Hoops, Operation, Billiards, Football Toss, Claw Machines, Virtual Bowling, etc. or video games of various types and vintages. One of the more popular shooting games is Terminator Salvation. There are 7D interactive rides as well as virtual reality roller coasters and Darkride XD but these are on the pricey side costing $7.00 and up per ride.

The Operation arcade game
The Operation arcade game

There are three party rooms available including the upscale Skybox which has very nice decoration and would probably be great for adult parties and corporate events.

The Skybox lounge
The Skybox lounge

GameWorks is 21+ after 9pm every day. This is clearly noted in a large banner above the entrance that people with children clearly do not read. After 9pm there are usually shorter waits for the most popular games.

The entrance lobby at GameWorks
The entrance lobby at GameWorks

It saddens me to say this, but it’s my opinion that GameWorks does not currently have a lot to offer pinball players; if you are interested in the other games also, it might be worth your time. I got the distinct feeling that like many similar places such as Dave and Busters, pinball is being phased out, or at least not featured at GameWorks.

I feel that it is a probable lost opportunity given that pinball is making a strong comeback; I hope that eventually GameWorks will put in more and newer pinball games at this location.

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