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October 24, 2009, 12:57:32 AM - ORIGINAL POST -

Venue: Power Play
Location: 700 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA, 98004

Review Summary: Friendly staff, new arcade machines (but limited selection), lots of open space, and no screaming kids. Hopefully it will remain friendly to those who aren't over-21 or interested in drinking.

FORUM LINK: Latest Discussion about Power Play

Review: It's not that often that a new arcade opens in Washington.
Enter Power Play, the new kid on the block that is trying to attract higher-class clientele that might feel disappointed with other arcade options in the state. But is it an arcade, or an attachment to Lucky Strike that allows them to now have more over-21 patrons and in turn, more $?

I just came back from their opening night to the public. After a quick walk through the location, it was clear that they went for quality over quantity. Every machine looked brand-spanking new, from the redemption games to the 62" plasma screen racing game. The goal with game selection was to choose games that you wouldn't be embarrassed to play in front of your social crowd. Machines are very spaced out, and there is a lot of open space in the arcade for socializing and hanging out with your friends.

Cost: Instead of using quarters, it uses a point card system similar to Gameworks, the competition. Points are simple: 100 points = $1.  Game costs mostly seemed to range from 50 to 250 points, with most 2 player games (like air hockey) costing 200 points. Just like Gameworks, the value comes from buying a large amount of points at once. My friends and I bought a card with 2800 points for $20. Not a bad deal! That discount, along with the reasonable price for games definitely makes the games affordable to play on a regular basis.

Atmosphere: This location is in Bellevue. Specifically, it's located right next to a high-class bowling alley (that almost seems more of a nightclub), and an actual bar/night club. You aren't going to find many families; therefore, no screaming kids that want to play the game next to you. There is a dress code, and I have no doubt that they will enforce it. My group had absolutely no problems getting in tonight, so just make sure you check out Lucky Strike's dress code, because the same rules apply here.
The staff were very friendly, and were on top of fixing machines that are still settling in. There was a large amount of staff to make sure the opening went off without a hitch, and they definitely made the place enjoyable.

GAMES: The important part - what's there to play?
Compared to Gameworks, the selection of games is MUCH smaller. You will not find any old games like Pacman here. Only the newest American released games. That means no imported games, leaving out a lot of popular titles across genres with extremely dedicated cult followings.

Game selection included:
1) Multiplayer Racing games. They line the entire right wall, and first part of the left wall.
2) Redemption / Competition games - tickets, skee-ball, air hockey (3 tables!), and pop-a-shot basketball games are all included.
3) Other specialties:
-Dancing Games - There was no sign of the popular game Dance Dance Revolution!
They did have the US version of the 5 arrow dancing game alternative, Pump It Up: Pro (Dedicab). It cost 100 points, and the machine is new, so the pads are in amazing condition.
-Multiplayer Trivia - looked interesting, although I did not try it tonight (I'm not a huge trivia guy)
-Laser Course - Pretend you're a thief going after a treasure and having to maneuver through the room of lasers. 300 points with Easy/Medium/Hard difficulties. It will definitely be one of those "I can do better than you" attractions. It didn't seem very advertised or presented though, as it was in the VERY BACK of the arcade, and looked like it could have been a storage closet behind the bar if not for the staff standing outside the entrance.

Conclusion: So how good is an arcade if it has a limited selection of games compared to its competition? Still good, however it's not clear whether they are really trying to be an arcade or a nice add-on to Lucky Strike.

With the large amount of space and cutoff for those under 21 (9PM on a Friday night, and it sounded like they were going to up it to 8PM), the place is CLEARLY intended to have large groups of friends who want to get a drink, then play games. A seating area is directly in front of the entrance, a complete departure from traditional arcades that are interested in showing fans the newest games they get to spend their money on.

There are two different crowds that Power Play can attract, and from their connection to Lucky Strike, it seems that they have clearly chosen their path.

- If you are over-21 and interested in playing a few arcade games casually with your friends after having a drink; this place is perfect for you.

- If you play an arcade game that has a strong following (especially anything imported), you'll still probably have to go elsewhere to play your favorite games.

I personally am a fan of both of the types of arcades, and I had a very enjoyable time tonight. I will definitely be back again to see how the place matures. If machines stay in good condition, it will be a pleasure to return in the future.

Bellevue is always looking for more ways to attract their mostly single, over-21 crowd to mingle and spend money, and that's clearly who this arcade is targeted to. Those from outside the area, you have been warned on what to expect. The games are fun and new, however it is not the largest selection/variety. The atmosphere can either be very good, or very annoying depending on your preference, but the staff seemed friendly to everyone there tonight. Power Play makes a nice addition to the Bellevue area, and a new alternative for their nightlife scene. I will be going back again, not for the drinks, but for the games - the true heart of what makes an arcade.

More Information:
FORUM LINK: Discussion Thread

External Venue Links:

Current Hours: (as communicated from the staff - these differ from what's posted online)
(ALL NIGHTS - Under-21 cutoff is currently 9pm, most likely changing to 8pm to match Lucky Strike's time)
    12:00 pm - 12:00 am
Tues - Thurs:
    12:00 pm - 12:00 am
    12:00 pm - 2:00 am
    11:00 am - 2:00 am
    11:00 am - Midnight, Possibly 11pm depending on the number of visitors

« Last Edit: October 24, 2009, 02:10:15 AM by BLueSS »
Read October 24, 2009, 09:10:58 AM #1

Wow a brand spankin new PIU:Pro Dedicab eh?
that's pretty awesome. Though I probably won't be going here a lot on my free time due to the dress code. obviously I don't want to be sweating in a nice buttoned shirt with jeans haha, but I can definitely see this place as a fun hangout every once in awhile.
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