Bored this weekend? Get a load of Beijing’s arcades. From two-person racing games to air hockey and beyond, they’re a one-stop entertainment station for older kids, teens, and even adults. Here, we profile two arcades: Game Zone in Wangjing’s CapitaMall and Hero League in Sihui’s Joy City Chaoyang.
Game Zone (CapitaMall, Wangjing)
There is quite a broad range of games at Game Zone, from dancing and music games to sports, shooters, racing, air hockey, and claw grab games.
This arcade is for anyone and everyone looking for a good time: families, guys with time to kill, mothers with kids, and – of course – teenagers. There are plenty of family-friendly games, such as “Go Go Ball.” The object of the game is to throw plastic balls at the screen and hit targets.
The arcade could use a little more space because it feels a bit packed, especially during peak hours and on weekends. Service wasn’t the best; the employees weren’t particularly friendly (but then again, maybe we went too early in the morning).
Other places of interest include a play area for young kids just outside the arcade, with toy car tracks, merry-go-rounds, play mats, and a softball area. There is also a hair salon for young kids. If you’re feeling peckish, head to the basement for chain restaurants like Ajisen, Subway, and KFC.
RMB 2 for one token, RMB 50 for 50 tokens, RMB 100 for 120 tokens. Daily 10am-10pm. 4/F, CapitaMall, 33 Guangshunbei Dajie, Chaoyang District (6474 3277) www.gamezoneclub.cn 朝阳区广顺北大街33号嘉茂购物中心4层
Directions: Take subway Line 15 to Wangjing (望京东) station, get out at exit C, then head south on Guangshunbei Dajie to reach CapitaMall.
Hero League (Joy City Chaoyang)
Hero League has a wider range of games than Game Zone (dancing, sports, car-racing, music, claw grabs, fighting, and more). On the day of our visit, the customers were mainly made up of young couples, teenagers, and adults.
Most of the more family-oriented games are on the left side of the arcade area. Note that kids must be supervised and – weirdly enough – teenagers are apparently only allowed on official holidays, although we’re not sure whether this rule is actually enforced.
The arcade has lots of space, and none of it is wasted. Hero League even has its own washrooms, which were decently clean. There are more than enough arcade machines for everyone, and all them seem to be in very good shape – much better than the ones at Game Zone.
Other attractions include a cinema on the same floor, so you can head right over to watch a movie after you’re done playing. The lower floors of Joy City Chaoyang are packed with clothing shops, restaurants, and what feels like the world’s longest escalator.
Prices are similar to the Game Zone’s. Daily 10am-midnight. 8/F, Joy City Chaoyang, 101 Chaoyang Beilu, Chaoyang District (5971 6061)
Directions: Take Subway Line 1 to Sihui Dong (四惠东) station, then take Bus 468, 553, or 628 to the mall.
Photos by Marcel Tan