Cyber Quest Arcade voyages into AZ Boardwalk

Nina Ferraro and Stasia Ferraro, 8, try to get some bonus prize tickets from the Ticket Dome game at Cyber Quest family arcade. (David Minton/Progress Staff Photographer)

For nearly a decade, AZ Boardwalk has made a name for itself as a family-friendly fun destination with attractions like Butterfly Wonderland, OdySea Aquarium and Pangea Land of Dinosaurs. 

However, there was always one thing seemingly missing: an arcade. 

That changed earlier this month when Cyber Quest Arcade softly opened its doors and has since attracted a slew of visitors.

The arcade features over 50 games including big titles like Hot Wheels Arcade, Space Invaders and a selection of claw and ticket machines. 

“An arcade is going to fit anywhere. But as far as kids are concerned, everybody loves arcades and they’re kind of starting to come back into the mainstream,” said Cyber Quest Arcade general manager AJ Marr. 

Although arcades have become staples in malls, casinos and pizza parlors across the nation, Marr said AZ Boardwalk was a location that Cyber Quest had on its radar for years. 

“As far as AZ Boardwalk is concerned, it's really cool and there's a lot of fun stuff here like Butterfly Wonderland, OdySea and UFO Experience,” Marr said. “From what I understand, … this was kind of a new idea for them.” 

Cyber Quest has made a name for itself since 1996 by building arcades in casinos across the nation but AZ Boardwalk posed a unique opportunity for the brand. 

“Generally, the way they run things is they do it through a casino program. So, it's kind of a daycare center for when you go to the casino you drop your kids off and then you could go have your fun,” Marr said. 

However, the AZ Boardwalk location provides Cyber Quest a place to home in on its main mission: “It's about providing family-friendly fun for all the kids and making sure everybody's having fun,” Marr said. 

Cyber Quest utilized its 3,000 square feet of space inside the northeast corner of AZ Boardwalk to pack in some of the latest and greatest games and create an eye-catching prize store featuring items as cheap as tootsie rolls to as expensive as a Nintendo Switch gaming console. 

Though it has only been operational for less than a month, Marr has already noticed kids flocking to games where they stand the potential of winning massive amounts of digital tickets stored on a game card to trade for big prizes. 

“Our big games are the ticket rings because it’s bright and flashy and you can win a lot of tickets,” Marr said. 

Although a Nintendo Switch is the big prize many kids have begun saving their tickets for, Marr says that the arcade shop also offers some neat toys to choose from - some of which pertain to the other attractions at AZ Boardwalk. 

“One of my favorite prizes are these little LED lights that are shaped like hamburgers that are relatively cheap on the tickets,” Marr said.

“I do have some little aliens down there and there are some little animals, which are some things that are somewhat kind of aimed to be part of the theme, but a lot of the stuff that we put in there is just the things that we think are fun for the kids.” 

Although the kids have flocked toward games with the biggest earnings, Marr has also witnessed kids gravitate toward bright and colorful games like Space Invaders – which also happens to be his personal favorite – and Rabbids VR. 

“Space Invaders is always a big hit with everybody because it's bright and flashy and it's a classic,” Marr said. “The Rabbids VR one seems to be drawing in a lot of kids looking at it because it's another one of those bright and shiny ones.” 

With the arcade laid out and showing early signs of success, Marr believes Cyber Quest is soon in for lots of traffic. 

“We're right around the corner from a spring training facility and with spring coming soon and we also have spring break coming soon,” he said. “For the next month or so it's going to be kind of steadily ramping up and then as soon as we hit that spring break and going into the summertime, I think we're going to be pretty popular.”

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