by Matt Knox
Dave And Buster’s, where food, drinks and games come together, has finally arrived in Connecticut, setting up shop in Manchester.
When first arriving, most people will notice how big the building is. There is a large parking lot circling the building. It fills quickly on busy nights, but there are plenty of parking spots directly across from the building in the lot for Dick’s sporting goods and a few other businesses.
Walking through the door, you’re immediately faced with a few options. To the right is the counter for buying game credits. On your first visit you will be given a Dave and Buster’s Power Card. This card is where both your game credit and tickets will be loaded. It is swiped at each game, which deducts the credits and tells the remaining balance. When purchasing credits, buying in bulk saves money. There are multiple deals available, with prices ranging from $23 for 125 credits, to packages worth hundreds of dollars.
If you want to eat first, the hostess is to your left. The dining area is adjacent to the bar, which sits in the middle of the building. On the Friday night that I went, the dining area and bar were very crowded. It was loud and, in general, not conducive to conversation. The atmosphere can become overwhelming at times. After grabbing a drink, you’re allowed to carry it around with you wherever you want, just try not to spill while you’re jamming on Guitar Hero.
The gaming area makes up a large portion of the building. Games are placed along the walls and in rows in the middle of the room, leaving room to walk between them even on busy nights. Basketball, skee-ball, wheel of fortune, deal or no deal were some of the options. Not every game gives tickets, as some are just for fun. A majority of the games were priced around six credits, with some being more, or less. If that seems overpriced to you, go on a Wednesday when games are half-price all day. Another option would be to play during a Power Hour, which means that everyone plays games for an hour for $10.
After winning mountains of tickets, walk over to the counter in front of the reward store. They’ll weigh the tickets in a bucket, and then load the amount on your card. Overall, many of the reward options require a large amount of tickets. Most items were at least 1000 tickets, besides candy, of which there was a small selection.
Dave and Buster’s is a fun way to spend a night with friends, but the costs add up quickly. It’s possible to enjoy yourself here for under $20, but most people will be inclined to spend more.