Video game arcades have enjoyed a cultural revival in the past few years. Most newer arcades, include a few rows of arcade machines paired with a nightclub vibe. Level 419 is open in Northwood with over 60 different games available in traditional arcade cabinets, making the venue one of the area’s biggest gaming selection.
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Level 419 is in a nondescript shopping center on Woodville Road, next to Island Sand, which sports three full-sized indoor sand volleyball courts, run by Chuck Bell. With some open space next to the courts, Bell let his cousin, Chris Zsada, install the arcade cabinets. “Chuck had a few machines up and running,” Zasada explained, “but they weren’t bringing in much revenue.” Zasada has since turned the venture into a gaming utopia.
Zasada got the idea for Level 419 after visiting, The Galloping Ghost outside Chicago, which has nearly 700 games available for patrons. Struck by how that business charged for gaming, rather than per game they charged a flat admission fee which provides access to all of the games, Zasada decided “(I)t’s more inviting that way.”
Zasada has instituted several pricing tiers. For $10, you can play anything on the arcade floor. The fee is reduced if you come in within two hours of closing time. There are also private event days, and various membership options which provide gaming for up to a year. The arcade also hosts various events, including an October Halloween event, and a “Geek Flea Market” in November.
Zasada acquired most of the games from private collectors in the area or arcades which were replacing older games with new ones. Level 419 is a video experience you don’t want to miss.
Level 419. 2538 Woodville Rd. Open Thursday through Sunday, with private events available Monday through Wednesday. For more information, find Level 419 on Facebook, or go to Level419.com