Let’s go to the DeKalb Star Worlds Arcade!

Any self respecting retroist will tell you that when looking for real estate you have only three things you need to consider: Arcade, Arcade, Arcade. When I was living on the West Coast I had access to some wonderful video games at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and I spent many a weekend reliving the glorious days of my youth in their classic game corner. When I moved to the great center of our nation I was worried that I would have difficulty finding a similar experience, but I found out quickly I could not be more wrong.

After settling into my new home and getting MAME fatigue I decided to do a little research. After a short amount searching I found the answer to my video game dreams the Star Worlds Arcade. Located in the beautiful city of DeKalb, this Arcade is just under an hour away. To the car!

DeKalb is a bit of a hike through some nice farm country, but the further I got away from Suburbandom the more I was worried. Can farm country have a decent arcade? I was worried for nothing. As you approach the city, the strip malls and fast food joints start popping like gangbusters. I was in my element.

Now where is this place? I had the address, but I was unfamiliar with where I was. I was just about to stop and ask directions. No need, as I crossed the train tracks I spotted the sign on a non-nondescript brick building.

Star Worlds Arcade


The arcade is smaller then I thought it would be and a lot less flashy then what I expected, but who cares. Did you see that website? Classic games be ahead. Upon entering the arcade you are struck by two things, the smell of fresh popped popcorn and the fact that every square foot of this building is crammed with classic games. I pulled out a $10 and was given 60 tokens by Pac Man Pat. Tokens? Pac Man Pat? I have died and gone to retroist heaven.


The games are in great conditions and their are a few rare ones here, including Domino Man and a perfectly functioning pinball hybrid Baby Pac-Man. I was 12 years old again jumping from game to game like a demon. Is that Pinbot? Burger Time? You name it and they have it and almost all of the games are just one token.

I mentioned that the place is crammed with games. It is also decorated with great classic video game memorabilia on every surface (even the bathroom). I could describe it all in great details, but I will let the pictures speak for themselves.

I am not sure where the afternoon went, but before I knew it I was out of tokens and my stomach was grumbling. I got 5 more tokens and made a last pass through the arcade and played some Pinbot. It was with a heavy heart that I left the arcade that day. I promised I would be back (I have) and introduced myself to Pat. He was nice enough to slide me this bad boy for my next trip.


Star Worlds is doing bang up job of keeping a piece of history alive. But like all small businesses they need your help. So if you need a great retro experience drop in and play for a while. Just don’t touch the high score on Burger Time. That belongs to me!

Visit the Star Worlds Arcade:
1234 East Lincoln Highway, DeKalb, IL 60115 (815)787-4599
url: http://www.starworldsarcade.com

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Pat

    Thanks for the great right up! Hope to see you again soon as our game stock changes often. We just added Mortal Kombat II, Vanguard and Gyruss.

  2. The Retroist

    Hoping to swing that way in the next week or two so I will be coming back very soon.

    I will be the one pumping token after token into Gyruss.

    Thanks again for having one of the only REAL arcades around.

  3. Pac-man-Pat

    Hi everyone,

    Star worlds arcade needs every ones help to win the save the arecades promotion that’s going on right now. Just go to Starworldsarcade.com and click on the link for save the arcades and it will tell you what to do. The basic’s are that the good people over at Stride gum have chosen us as one of four arcades in the nation to compete in a on line game called Zapataur. The game is free to play. When your done playing it will ask you to donate your points to your favorite arcade….witch we hope will be Star worlds. If we win we will receive $25.000 in funding for new games. Go out their and play your fingers and help us support classic gaming.


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