Round 1: Arcades Back In Action

Are you looking for fun? Excitement? And adventure for the family? For friends? For yourself? Or a place to hang out with your friends? There’s a new fun place at Southland Mall called Round 1. Round 1 located in the Southland Mall on the second floor above Dick’s Sporting Good on the north side of the mall. This Japan-based amusement chain offers karaoke, bowling, arcade games, and billiards. Round 1 opened July of this year and offers a variety of food and beverages, including alcohol. To play games at Round 1 players use cards instead of tokens.

Round 1 has a mixture of arcade games with fresh and new games. Some of the games are from Japan, and so is a crane machine that features stuffed animals. “I love crane machines that have cute stuffed animals; my daughter loves them too. The Cranes, unfortunately, cost a lot,” said customer Elizabeth Vonne. “I came here for a friend to meet up. I like this place because of Dance Dance Revolution, and I would come back,” said customer David Lawrence.

This place has only eight lanes for bowling. There hasn’t been a bowling alley in Hayward since the closing of the Holiday Bowl in 2005. “I wish they had more lanes here. My family and I had to wait an hour just for a party to finish their game. This place is convenient to us before this I had to go to Castro Village Bowl, and I live in South Hayward. This place is fun for my kids,” said Hayward resident, Philippé Morris.

Round 1 features six different game cards. The regular game card has a $2 activation fee, which is only for the arcade games. The Club card has bonus credits when you buy $30 or more for the arcade credits. Club card also features $1 off bowling, karaoke, and billiards. The Kids club card is only for children under the age of 13. Kids club cards give them bonus credits. With the kid’s club card children get 10% off and play a free game with adults, yet kids must be in the company of an adult. After a certain number of visits you come, you’ll get a silver card for $1.25 off bowling, karaoke, and billiards. The gold card gives you $1.50 off bowling, billiards, and karaoke. Finally, the platinum card is $1.75 off bowling, billiards, and karaoke. The more you play, the higher the rank you get.

There are two deals to play arcade games. The first deal is you can play any game in the arcade if you put however many credits you want onto your card. The second deal is the unlimited time play deal. The unlimited time play is all the games you can play in an amount of time with the green swipe games. A regular game card for unlimited play lasts up to one hour — the club, kids club, silver, gold, and platinum card last 90 minutes. The unlimited time play games include racing games (Mario Kart DX, Batman, & Dead Heat). Unlimited play games also include pinball machines, shooting, air hockey, and more.

This Round 1 is the third location in the bay area. Before the opening of this location, there were only two (Concord’s Sunvalley Mall and Eastridge Shopping Center in San Jose). For some, this location makes it convenient instead of going to further areas. “I’m so happy this place opened up. My family always goes to the one in Concord, and I enjoyed it here. I’ve noticed this place is clean and the staff are nice. So glad this is close to my home,” said Oakland resident, Jatemme Parker.

Two years before the opening of Round 1 there was an arcade in southland. The arcade was located downstairs in the food court, next to the public safety office. The arcade has changed its name over twice doing its 34-year run. The first name was Namco Time Out, and the Second and last was Tilt. Tilt closed January 2017. Round 1 is the first arcade in southland since the closing of Tilt.

One customer of Round 1 thought their arcade games are too expensive, “It’s too expensive maybe because I played a lot of games like; Initial D, Gitadora, Dance, Dance Revolution, Dark Escape and the plushie machines which is like 15 credits. As far as bowling the prices are the same as Castro Valley bowl and the bowling alley in San Leandro. The food here is decent, but today the wait was too long,” said customer Nathaniel Delacroix.

There’s one setback this place has, and that’s accepting cards from other Round 1 locations. Due to their system changes the credits or ticket balances on your card, will not be accepted. Their game cards from other areas will not function with the game swiper. “I hated how I can’t use my card from Concord. It doesn’t work here. When I showed the employees at the counter my card from Concord, they waive the $2 fee for a new card,” said customer Sean Luong.

According to the Round 1 website, the company arose from Sugino Kosan, a company founded in 1980 in Japan by Masahiko Sugino that offered roller skating and arcade games. In 1993, the business changed to Round 1 Entertainment, which provides food, alcohol, karaoke, ping pong and more.

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