Round One: All Fun and Games

Abigail D and Jesus
December 2, 2022

Who doesn’t enjoy a night out? There are so many options for entertainment and excitement. We thought to ourselves we loved playing arcade games as kids when our parents would take us. We found the more grown up version of those places. Round One. Round One is located at Park Place Mall, 5950 E Broadway Blvd 85711. As we were driving up, we saw a big bowling pin illuminated by light standing at 18 feet tall. In colors red and white, labeled “Bowling and Amusement Round 1, Open 10am- 2am”.

It was close to dark when we arrived, and the parking lot was filled with cars. Especially considering it was a Sunday evening. When we reached the entrance, the concrete was sparkling as we were greeted by an automatic sliding glass door; be careful after 10 pm there will be security waiting to greet you to verify you are 18 +. 

When it opened, it revealed all the bright colors and noises of laughter and fun emitted throughout and reached us at the entrance.  

Past the initial machines there’s a sign that says restroom and arcade floor in a white background with blue letters. There are escalators and stairs below it. Finally, being down there, we were in awe as we were able to turn 360 degrees and see color and neon bright lights. The range of games went from air hockey, Skee-Ball, to games based on popular pop culture movies, all-time classics, bowling, billiards, karaoke, ping pong, darts, spo-cha, food and drinks, and a kids play zone.

It didn’t stop, there were endless rows of arcade games. There were also claw machines next to each other, back-to-back and several rows all packed in as if they could have been boxes in a warehouse. The owner Masahiko Sugino established a company named Sugino Kosan and created a roller skate facility with arcade games in Japan which led to expansion all the way to the USA. 

To play we had to go and purchase a game card. It’s a white kiosk that’s very well lit, so anyone can find it on the bottom floor. As it was our first time there we took time to look at all the options of the game cards. There are a substantial number of options for prices and several credits are associated with the prices. We were able to choose between getting a set number of credits or a set amount of time, but that limited the games we could play. 

Games, Games, Games

We chose the 50 credits for 11 dollars option which allowed us to play about 4 different games including air hockey, skee-ball, basketball, and guitar hero. Our favorite was probably guitar hero as we played the drums and both of us being new to it. The drum set was elevated on a 4-foot platform, but it had high quality sticks with a wide variety of songs and difficulties, except that we both had a hard time on the easiest setting. We chose from multiple song options, and were full of laughter trying to concentrate with the screen, drum sticks, and foot pedal. 

We then played basketball against each other. We were both very confident in our skills and took it very seriously and it got competitive quickly. We started out at the same pace but after a little warm up Abby started making shot after shot. She had neglected to tell Jesus that she likes to play basketball in her free time which was why she was so good. There are four different colored arcade machines of all different colors for the multiplayer setting. 

Everyone else was very into all the games and had a lot of excitement on their faces, as the machine kept encouraging us to make shots and rewarding us with loud noises and colorful lights for consecutive makes. Skee-Ball is an all-time classic, there are four of them in a row, with lights flashing at us and making noises bringing back memories of being at a fair with your family when you were a kid.  After playing all these games and gaining points you head to the victory zone and get to pick from multiple prizes with points earned. 

Bowling

Back upstairs there is a small bowling alley. They charge differently depending on the time of day, the earlier in the day the cheaper. The bowling alley has a slick modern design, we sat on sofas that you would find in a modern and rich house, it makes it feel like a home bowling alley or one out of aunt Ednas’ house from the Incredibles. 

There are only about ten lanes, and we went to the very last one, the bowling balls are separated by colors that correspond to their weight. They also give you different options for hand sizes small, medium and large. Once you sit down and put on your bowling shoes, you can put your names on the screen and even pick from a variety of games. We went with the classic ten frame and began to bowl. 

Bowling was amazing. The oil was sleek and was shiny enough to even be able to almost see your own reflection. We bowled for 10 ten which went great for Jesus, using a 12 pound ball, blowing straight down the middle every time. Abby however was very new to bowling or so the score made it seem like it. While we had fun there was a big difference in score. The screen even prompted encouraging messages after each bowl and if only it knew how bad she needed it. Toward the end of the game we lost the competitive spirit and started to try new things, like bowling with our opposite hand, which surprisingly is a lot harder than it looks. Abby tried the 2 hands squatting method in public. It did not help her and was surprisingly hard to bowl that way.

About Round One

There are currently 100 locations as of 2021 in Japan, in 2008 started up in the US and first opened in Los Angeles California and now has over 50 locations in the us. Round One had three important core values which include Entertainment, Sincerity and Passion. You can see a lot more on their website about how they want to include all the fun you need under one roof, giving the customer the best possible experience.

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Abigail Triebel and Jesus Lopez are both first-year students at the University of Arizona.