I stopped by Chuck E Cheese to hang out with a group of kids from church. You buy a bunch of token, play some of the games, win tickets, then trade the tickets for prizes. It sounds like fun, but it really is just a big scam.
I'm guessing the best deal on tokens (if you buy $100 worth or something close to that) still ends up costing about $0.15 per token. At the prize counter, you can buy additional tickets to help you get your prize at the price of 1 cent per ticket. That means to get your value, you need to earn at least 15 tickets per token. This is impossible.
I played Skee Ball. Despite getting 2 shots in the 10,000 slot, I got about 7 tickets for my high score effort. The kids kept playing the Deal or No Deal game, where you can win up to 80 tickets if you play with 2 tokens. They averaged probably about 20 tickets. (I think every one that played went down to the last case and then took the deal.) I don't know how many tokens they started with, but they earned just about 1000 tickets. I think they traded it all for a few pieces of candy or some magic beans.