GameTruck, a national video-game party franchise, rolls into Omaha today.
Inside the brightly decorated trailer are four 50-inch flat-screen TVs, each hooked up to Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 3 and Nintendo Wii gaming systems.
Or, in other words, heaven for kids. And for parents throwing a birthday party, there’s no mess to clean up or children to herd.
“We pull right up, get the kids on board and handle all of it,” said GameTruck Omaha manager Brian Kaiser. “We try to make it as easy as possible.”
Founded in 2006 by former video game developer Scott Novis of Tempe, Ariz., GameTruck has franchises in 64 markets across the country — and one in Nigeria — and was awarded a patent for its mobile gaming system in 2011. The company is available not only for children’s parties but also for corporate, school and community events.
GameTruck is essentially a self-contained party on wheels. The climate-controlled game trailer contains seating for 16, along with pretty much every multiplayer video game on the market.
“You kind of feel like a rock star when you pull up to the party,” Kaiser said.
The Omaha GameTruck franchise is owned by Brad Taylor of Des Moines. He’s been operating a GameTruck in Des Moines since 2009. The new truck and trailer, which will be available in the Omaha area and Lincoln, cost “well into six figures.”
The GameTruck franchise fees cost from $19,500 to $89,500, depending on the territory’s population. In addition, GameTruck charges a monthly royalty fee plus other marketing and support fees.
“You get a base set of games and components when you buy the franchise, but we want to have each TV loaded,” Taylor said.
He said GameTruck party prices for parents are comparable to other options, like movies, pizza places, bounce houses and gyms. More information is at www.gametruckparty.com.
Each two-hour party is operated by a “game coach,” who sets up equipment, officiates games and makes sure everyone has a good time.
“Sometimes we hook up all four systems so 16 people can play the same game at once,” Taylor said. “Sometimes the kids want to play 15-on-1 against the game coach.”
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The GameTruck rolled slowly up to our house as the children stood waiting for a surprise. They had no idea what was in store for them and were thrilled to discover the ultimate video game party truck stopped in front of our house.
As a gamer mom, this ranks as one of the best parties ever. A GameTruck experience is one unlike any other. Everything is completely taken care of for you. The children play inside the truck the entire time, under supervision and adults are free to join in and play or hang out outside. Snacks and drinks were provided outside the truck and children were free to come and go as they pleased. They only went inside to use the restroom and they were back at the games.
Before the children step into the truck I was invited inside to preview the game selection. At my request, all games above the ESRB rating of E for Everyone were removed. A few exceptions were allowed and then I invited the other moms into the truck to confirm that any game still remaining was acceptable for their child to play. GameTruck abides by the parents’ standards and will only allow approved games to be played by the children. This standard helps set parents at ease.
Since the games showing were approved by all the parents in attendance, the children were then invited onto the truck to start the fun. Four giant screens awaited the children with a long couch to play on. Sixteen comfortably fits inside and plays four at a time.
The GameTruck that arrived for our party was equipped with Xbox 360, Wii, and one PlayStation gaming system. If you are an Xbox 360 avid gamer like our family, gamertags are allowed to be used on the truck to continue on with your favorite game or to simply increase your gamer score. Just remember to take your gamertag with you when the fun is done.
Skylanders Giants was the popular game of choice and many children had never played before, including my own children. The biggest wow factor after seeing four screens in a row was the drawer full of Skylander characters.
Children are taken care of with the party manager who sets up every game and controllers. Surprisingly the children were very patient waiting for their game to begin. If you have ever experienced a ruined disk at the tune of $50-$60, it is nice to know party manager handles everything for you while your games are safely tucked away inside.
The truck is completely air conditioned, which is important in the Arizona summers. Additionally, they have two windows we opened because the weather was incredibly beautiful this time of year. As the sun set, the soft glow of the rope lights made for quite a sight in front of our house.
The back of the vehicle had a ramp, allowing wheelchairs to also access the fun. They seriously thought of everything when the truck was designed.
The party lasted for two hours and every time someone needed help or wanted to switch a game, the Party Manager handled it all beautifully. At our party the majority of the parents also played with the children. The only thing that would make it even sweeter is two trucks: one just for the children and one just for the adults. Now that would make an even sweeter party.
As each child left, they were handed a game to take home and enjoy that would work on an iPad, iPhone, or an Android device.
The Party Manager put away all the gaming systems, locked the doors and the truck rolled quietly away in the night as my boys waved. We gathered the leftover snacks and drinks and headed inside. No clean up and everyone had fun. It was only in those moments that the silence began again and I realized the last two hours were filled with four consoles, noise, laughter, but most of all smiles. Definitely the best party ever.
After the party was over and everyone went home my boys tackled me with the tightest hugs I have ever felt. As a mom of boys this totally spoke their love language and they were beyond thrilled. They are already planning to have the party truck return for their birthday.
GameTruck is definitely a way to be known as the coolest mom on the block or perhaps just the title of “Best Mom Ever” from your kiddos might suffice.
GameTruck Can Come to Your Area!
To find out if the Game Truck can come to your town, visit their website and then call for pricing.
Enter to win
One winner is going to get their chance to win a Game Truck experience. You must reside in one of the areas or close to one of the areas listed on the locations page and the party must be on a weekday. Use the Rafflecopter form to enter this giveaway. New to Rafflecopter? Watch this 45-second video on how to enter!
Our family received a Game Truck party for two hours. All opinions and photographs are my own.
Tired of holding another birthday party at a bowling alley or Chuck E. Cheese? Parents now have another option with the GameTruck which has expanded to Long Island, New York.
GameTruck offers a unique party experience for both children and adults in an interactive, multi-player environment that accommodates 16 or more players.
GameTruck trailers are outfitted with everything kids will need for the ultimate birthday party.
- Comfortable seating
- Four to as many as eight flat-screen HDTVs
- Enhanced sound systems
- More than three dozen of the latest multiplayer video games
- All the major video game consoles (XBOX360®, Nintendo Wii™ and Playstation®).
A GameCoach manages each event, promoting fair, interactive play.
Weekend Birthday Party Pricing: $425 for the first 2 hours, $175/hr for each additional hour
Weekday Birthday Party Pricing: $375 for the first 2 hours, $150/hr for each additional hour
As a bonus, each birthday child will receive a free Skylanders Giants figure while supplies last. GameTruck also offers gift bags and t-shirts for an additional fee.
For more information, please visit gametruckparty.com or call 888-602-4263.