EDITOR'S NOTE: Akiba Arcade has moved on to bigger and better things.
The Eastland Mall arcade closed suddenly May 31, but co-owner Anthony Locke told ThisWeek it soon will reopen in a new, larger -- but undisclosed -- location with a restaurant and bar.
Want to play some arcade games that are outside the traditional "Tapper" or "Pac-Man"?
Akiba Arcade, inside Eastland Mall on the southeast side of Columbus, might be for you.
ThisWeek Community News traveled to Akiba Arcade for the first stop in our new "Hidden Gems around central Ohio" video series. Each month, we'll go to a different, lesser-known spot in central Ohio.
Dozens of arcade games typically only found in Asian countries are available to play for a small price. Admission for one hour of play is $6, but an all-day pass is available for $12. Customers may bring in their own food or drink, and co-owner Anthony Locke said most pizzerias know where Akiba is for those who prefer delivery.
The arcade is open from noon to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, from 10 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and from noon to 6 p.m. Sundays.
Locke and co-owner Shane Mack moved Akiba to Eastland Mall less than two years ago but operated a previous location in Italian Village. The move allowed the arcade to expand into a much bigger space, and the rent is cheaper, Mack said.
The arcade has five rooms that are separated into categories. For example, rhythm-based games (similar to Guitar Hero or Rock Band) are in the same area.
Video-game consoles also have their own area in the arcade space, so gamers can compete with friends on anything from a Sega Genesis to Nintendo Switch. And yes, they have the new Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.
New games are added to the store's floor plan, so don't be surprise if the layout is slightly different from the last time you visited, Locke said.
Where should we go for our "Hidden Gems around central Ohio" video series?
Email your suggestion to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line "Hidden Gems."