Playing at Dave & Buster’s

This past weekend, I finally experienced something I had only heard about. After all the legendary stories from friends, after all the commercials, and after all the complaints from the people in whatever city I lived in about the lack of a location, the wait recently ended.

On Saturday night, the place that once seemed only mythical to me was revealed. I finally went to a Dave & Buster’s.

Well, to be honest, I actually got my first taste on Friday evening. My mom, brother, and I went to one of Myrtle Beach’s hottest spots, Broadway at the Beach. It is at this major destination for tourists and locals alike that the new Dave & Buster’s recently opened. At around 10:30 p.m., we walked through the place. Talk about a sensory overload! We needed time to prepare for this one.

The next day, my brother and I made plans to return to Dave & Buster’s with the intention to actually “play” this time. We swapped my mom out with my wife. Exactly 24 hours from our initial brief visit, we walked through the doors again.

Although I didn’t really play too many games while we were at Dave & Buster’s, I made sure to race against my wife.

It was the exact same circus it was an evening earlier.

The facility, which contains a large bar, game floor, restaurant, prize center, and TV area, was filled to the brim with people. On both visits the demographic was primarily in the 18-30 range, with many of the people dressed fashinonably. A sense of excitement that you could feel buzzed around the entire place. Folks were running in every direction and you had to speak up to be audible. It was pretty insane.

What first jumped out to me was how pristine the place was. It was spotless and, for good reason, everything was visibly brand new. The bar area was extrememly inviting and trendy. The televisions were all top of the line big screens. The game floor was covered with the latest and greatest gaming technology on the planet. Well-trained employees did their jobs with purpose. There was absolutely no debating that the Myrtle Beach Dave & Buster’s is impressive.

Although it would have been nice to sit down, order off the menu, and sip the signature cocktails, we came to play the games and drink beer.

Well, that’s what my brother and wife did at least. I primarily just did the latter as I was a little intimidated by the high volume of people seemingly taking up every game in the place. Sidney and Glen both loaded cards with “chips” and got right to it. Throughout the hour or so we were there, they played classics like basketball hot shot and football toss. However, they also played many of the “high risk, high reward” type games where you try to earn tickets by utilizing “skill” to drop an object into a cup, knock coins off a ledge, stop a light strobe on the jackpot, etc. Sidney also played Guitar Hero and Kung Fu Panda.

Sidney playing Kung Fu Panda at the Myrtle Beach Dave & Buster’s.

The value of it all? Heck if I know. Consider this: You pay for all games with a Dave & Buster’s card. Loaded onto that card are chips, the “currency” system of D&B. Topping the confusion off, each game seems to require a random amount of chips to play. Thus, deciphering the amount you are paying per each game gets lost in translation. I had absolutely no idea if the game my brother or wife started playing happened to be $1, $2, or $5 per single play. I do know this: Glen and Sidney each loaded their cards with $25 each and while it didn’t last forever, it also wasn’t gone in the blink of an eye.

The atmosphere of Dave & Buster’s is what appeals to me. In a way, it is much like a casino. I enjoy going to a Vegas style casino every now and then to just soak in the excitement, have a drink, and people watch. I don’t really gamble that much. With Dave & Buster’s, I don’t really “game” that much but I do appreciate the vibe.

Even though we have Dave & Buster’s within 10 minuites of our house, I definitely won’t be going every weekend. However, it is a place I can see myself going to every now and then. Saturday night provided us with a fun evening and a great orientation to one of our country’s most talked about adult entertainment centers. Don’t Blink.