Monsterama Arcade
Pizza News

Monsters Lurk in All Corners of this Des Moines Pizzeria

Launched last spring, Monsterama Arcade is a horror-themed haunt for anyone who loves video games and "creature pizzas."

  • Monsterama Arcade features 50 vintage arcade games, many with a horror-show theme, and pizzas with names like The Slaughter House and Firestarter.
  • Co-owner Chris Pruisner originally intended the venue to serve as additional space for his tattoo parlor.

Monsters are on the prowl at a pizzeria/arcade in Des Moines, Iowa, but don’t alert the authorities: It’s all in good fun for fans of the macabre.

Monsterama Arcade opened in Spring 2022 with 50 vintage arcade games and pizzas made by Ron Macken, formerly the proprietor of Nacho Mama’s, featuring local meats from Graziano Brothers and pasta sauce from Mama Rosa’s. The menu also boasts “scary shareables” (such as the Count Cheezula, consisting of thick slices of cheesy garlic bread), “creepy calzones” and “gruesome grinders.”

The venue’s décor pays homage to famous horror movies—watch out for Freddy Krueger, the Puppet Master and various skeletons that have risen from the dead—while pinball machines are themed after “Ghostbusters,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon,” among other cinematic classics. Video games range from classics like Galaga, Missile Command and “Ghostbusters” to “The Simpsons,” Mortal Kombat and WWF Superstars.

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a gigantic King Kong paw reaches down from the ceiling
Monsterama Arcade

Glance upward, and you’ll even see King Kong’s furry paw reaching down from the ceiling to grasp a human-sized snack.

“I’ve always had a thing for monsters,” co-founder Chris Pruisner told the Des Moines Register, adding that Monsterama is a family-friendly business.

Pruisner bought the building to create additional space for his tattoo and piercing studio. After changing their business plan, he and partner Jason Shreve renovated the building, adding new electricity and plumbing systems and establishing Monsterama as its own one-of-a-kind business. “We kind of wanted to do something different, somewhere you can take your kids,” he said in the Des Moines Register article.

Customers pay $15 to play any and all games in the venue for as long as they like. They can also win free food by showing up in their favorite creepy costumes.

The menu showcases horror-themed “creature pizzas” like the Slaughter House (sausage, pepperoni, banana peppers and roasted red peppers, pictured below); the Firestarter (Thai BBQ sauce, grilled chicken and mozzarella with a Sriracha drizzle); and the vegetarian Mack-Attack (black bean and picante sauce, soy chorizo, onions, mozza, cilantro and crema).

this is a picture of a pizza topped with sausage, pepperoni, banana peppers and roasted red peppers
Monsterama Arcade