GameWorks Brings a Different Kind of 'Gaming' to the Strip

Reed Travel Features

LAS VEGAS -- Visitors in search of a nongambling activity -- either for themselves or their children -- can check out GameWorks. Located in the Showcase Mall on the Strip next to the MGM Grand and across the street from the Monte Carlo and New York, New York, the 47,000-square-foot structure -- inspired by DreamWorks SKG, Sega Enterprises and Universal Studios Inc. -- offers the latest video and technology games in a club atmosphere.

Billing itself as an "arcade for the 1990s," GameWorks' three main areas are the Loading Dock, where the newest arcade games are located; the Arena, which features the company's signature games as well as multiplayer games and the Loft, which houses a variety of classic video games and Internet activities as well as food and beverage stations.

The site boasts more than 280 games, including Vertical Reality and GameArc, two of the company's signature games found only at GameWorks locations. In Vertical Reality, 12 players at a time are strapped into seats and divided into three groups of four players. Fighting the clock and an army of "cyborgs" led by Mr. Bigg, players climb as high as one-and-a-half stories while attempting to "rid each level of evil." However, they also rapidly drop if they get hit.

Other games that patrons can find here include Indy 500 Formula, Daytona USA, PropCycle, Wave Runner, Alpine Surfer and Super GT. Classic video games, found in the Loft area, include PacMan and Ms. PacMan, Centipede, Missile Command and video sports games. Also in the Loft are pool tables, foosball tables and air hockey tables.

For the adventurous, there is Surge Rock, a rock-climbing structure that stands 75 feet high, or nearly five stories form top to bottom. There are 13 routes up the rock, with varying degrees of difficulty. Multicolored lights randomly illuminate eight of the 13 possible routes.

Also incorporated into the wall are sounds such as a passing freight train, jungle noises, applause and coyote howls, which are triggered by the climber's motion. Climbers, who are outfitted with helmets, harnesses and climbing shoes, can scale the rock to two different levels. A climb up to 40 feet costs $6 per person, and trips to the 75-foot level are priced at $10 per person.

When not playing the games, guests can use the 15-seat Internet Lounge or the six-seat Chill Zone in the Loading Dock, which contains a pool table and Internet access. In addition, 130 television monitors are located throughout the facility to display live action from some of the games or show music videos.

Once participants have worked up an appetite, they can choose from the 100-seat full-service restaurant; a Starbucks Coffee bar; the Fry Station, which serves fries and sodas; a 5,000-square-foot, full-service bar, or the Drinks Station, which features nonalcoholic drinks, juices and snacks.

The GameWorks Gear retail shop offers 1,800 square feet of space filled with more than 50 items such as jackets, shirts and hats. To play the games, patrons can use smart cards so they will not have to handle coins or wait in lines for tickets.

For additional information about GameWorks, which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m., agents can call (702) 432-GAME.

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