Level 257 is a stylish and unique place to eat, drink and socialize. While the massive 42,000 square foot playground was inspired by PAC-MAN, the experience is playfully sophisticated. Think Date Night. BNO. GNO. Work Parties (the fun kind).
257 conjures a level beyond the infamous PAC-MAN ‘kill screen’. It’s unexplored territory. And it’s the brainchild of the great, playful and audacious minds at Namco USA Inc. While the company is known for arcade games, Level 257 is the anti-arcade. It is all about the next level of socialization. And yes, there are video games – both classic and new – that add to the ambiance.
When PAC-MAN was originally created, no one thought anyone would continually play the game and go up the increasingly hard and fast levels to reach the now infamous ‘kill screen’ at Level 256.
Due to a glitch in the 8-bit process known as an integer overflow, level 256 is visible, but unplayable as half the screen becomes a random compilation of letters, numbers and symbols, obliterating the maze and sending the game’s characters into strange patterns.
Level 257 symbolizes that next level of play – level up with us.
Developed by Namco’s Toru Iwatani and his team in Tokyo, with universal appeal after it’s 1980 debut, PAC-MAN quickly became a cultural juggernaut, selling over 100,000 units in the first year.
During the 1980’s America coined the term “PAC-MAN FEVER” to describe the phenomenon surrounding the game and the character. During that time such success for a video game was rare and they started to release character goods to make the most of the global hunger for the power pellet eating yellow guy. Over 450 tie-in items were made, the PAC-MAN strategy guide became a best seller, an animated TV show was a huge success and PAC-MAN was so popular there was even a hit song released by Buckner and Garcia called ‘PAC-MAN Fever’ that reached number 9 in the Hot 100 Billboard music charts, followed by a whole album dedicated to PAC-MAN that sold over 1,000,000 copies.
In 2005 PAC-MAN entered the Guiness Book of World Records as the highest selling coin-operated game around the world. He has also been awarded Most Recognizable Game Character and several other mentions in the 2008 Gamers Edition.
Over the decades since the game’s original release, many remakes and sequels have been created and sold for each computer game system, the character has featured in other franchises and now PAC-MAN continues to grow with the increase in mobile gaming and a modern animation series, shown around the world.
2015 marks the 35th Anniversary of the game’s release and Level 257 has been named as the Global Headquarters for the Anniversary Celebration. Join us this year to mark the occasion and waka waka waka…!
Fans spent more than $1 billion in quarters to spark the pop-culture phenomenon that originated in Japan.