Like dress shirts and elevators, video games are easy to use and provide hours of carefree fun with buttons. Press start with today's Groupon to Game Pazzo in Downers Grove. Choose between two options:
• For $35, you get a 10-hour gaming punch card plus 10 free games (an $80 value).
• For $6, you get $12 worth of sandwiches, drinks, and more at the Game Pazzo café.
A 13,000-square-foot retail and gaming center, Game Pazzo invites guests to relax in leather lounge chairs in front of more than 50 HDTVs and take on systems such as Xbox 360, Playstation, Wii, Kinect, and more. All games and gamers are hooked up to the Internet, creating a more social gaming experience than playing yourself in a game of chess or playing your dog in a game of Scattergories. Players participating in Rock Band are able to unfurl their melodies atop an elevated stage illuminated by colored lights and over-sized speakers, with the performance captured on camera to show to friends and prospective employers.
An active and able staff facilitates the gaming experience, and punch cards can be used over multiple visits, so players can feel free to ditch their virtual friend Mario at any time to go visit their real-life friend, the Princess.
Because virtual activity can lead to real hunger, which can in turn lead to chewing on controllers, button pushers can pause to peruse a mouth-friendly menu sporting jalapeño poppers ($5.75), nachos ($2.75), pizza ($3–$3.75 per slice), and other snacks at the Game Pazzo café. Combo meals ($4.75–$6.25) allow the amply appetited to choose between pizza, burgers, hot dogs, and an array of boli-style sandwiches, all accompanied by either fries or chips and a drink.
Walls of terra cotta and sage burn with the glow from a pantheon of computer screens displaying intensely pixilated battles. Adjacent to pool tables and bags setups, slate tiles and dim sconce lighting frame gaming stations, which comfortably cradle players in leather seating with built-in speakers. The terminals eschew traditional arcade games such as Galaga and Pac-Man for the 3D stylings of modern consoles that include Wii, Xbox, and PS3, supplemented by a fully stocked shop where gamers can buy, trade, or rent new and used titles. Game Pazzo's vast number of screens ensures that no more than two players ever need to share one, and the venue's LAN provides an arena for friends to bond before trying on bridesmaid dresses. In the corner stands a stage for karaoke and Rock Band battles, with genuine converted guitars to make musical games as authentic as playing Donkey Kong with real barrels and an actual gorilla.
The in-house bar and café offers libations and grub for kids as well as grown gamers. Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday nights feature Rock Band and karaoke, Wednesday nights offer trivia matchups, and scheduled tournaments give gamers a chance to earn bragging rights and prizes after showing off prowess at games such as Call of Duty and StarCraft. Thursday nights also offer patrons a chance to qualify for the Karaoke World Championships, which can lead to a trip to Finland. Birthday parties and corporate-event packages are also available.