Best Video Arcade - 2000
The digital age has brought the hottest gaming technology right into our homes, so who needs an arcade these days? The truth is, some technology is still just too expensive for Joe Consumer. That's what gives the Escape an edge. The 132,000-square-foot fun zone boasts a megaplex cinema, four theme bars, a restaurant, billiards, and shuffleboard. Old standbys such as air hockey and pinball are in the lineup alongside racing and fighting video games. But virtual-reality rides set the place apart. Beneath the escalators sit the two Max Flight simulators, which for $5 a pop let riders buckle in and create their own virtual roller coaster ride, complete with 360-degree turns delivered with stomach-churning reality through the magic of hydraulics and computer simulation. Across the way in the Star Theater, roller coasters are also popular. Viewers strap into seats in a darkened room in front of a full-size movie screen and enjoy a haunted roller coaster ride in Superstition, with Elvira hosting while computer graphics whip your mind through hairpin turns and over precarious ledges and motorized seats make your body believe it. Similar scenarios play out in Kid Coaster and Smash Factory, and in Speedway viewers find themselves at the wheel of a racecar. The movies, $5 each, run throughout the day. Watching all of them can get expensive, so opt for the wristband -- $6 to $12, depending upon day and time -- which allows you unlimited rides and shows.