A Blast From the Past With Two Floors of Retro Fun
Whether you are after a fun a way to spend a rainy afternoon, want to re-visit some of your favourite arcade game, or introduce your kids to some retro classics, the Arcade Club in Bury offers something for everyone.
With a twelve-year-old son who just loves to spend his weekends chatting with his friends on his X-Box, tapping away at games on his mobile phone or competing with his sisters on his Nintendo Switch, we thought it was about time we brought him along to the Arcade Club in Bury, to let him have the chance to play some of our favourite retro games.
The visit didn't disappoint and proved that some of the oldies still stand the test of time.... although perhaps the youth of today don't have quite the same patience for loading time.
What is the Arcade Club?
The Arcade Club is quite simply a labour of love, which started with one man's private collection of 30 arcade games. Andy originally stored them in the back room of a local computer shop which he ran with his family, and as more and more visitors became interested in the collection, the original Arcade Club was born in a warehouse in Haslingden, featuring around 100 arcade games.
As the business grew, in October 2015 the Arcade Club moved to its Bury location so that even more machines could be added, including VR, Sega Saturn, Xbox and Nintendo 64.
The Arcade Club in Bury features wall to wall arcade games, lovingly restored allowing visitors to re-discover some of their favourites from the past. There are a whole host of retro games to indulge in, including Double Dragon, Gauntlet, Pac-Man and Super Mario.
Those familiar with the games will remember the frustration of feeding the machines money, only to die fighting a big boss, and running out of money.
This won't happen here, as you can continue playing away to your heart's content. Whatever your passion, you are bound to find it; there are fighting games like Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat, Dance Mats, popular driving games such as Outrun and lots more to explore.
There are also more modern games to be found, such as Guitar Hero, Drum Master and a hilarious game from Japan where you race pigs by literally moving your pig back and forth.
If you used to enjoy a good pinball machine, there's a whole host to be found on the second floor if you can take all that noise and flashing lights. We really welcomed the chance to try a couple of VR games too. These are located in a small room, and entrance is limited, so if you want to have a go, make sure you pop in early. If the room isn't free, you will be given a buzzer which will let you know when a game is free, so you don't have to wait round.
There's a full list of games available on the Arcade Club website, but here is a list of some of the most popular;
Asteroids, Paper Boy, Donkey Kong, Frogger, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Joust, Marble Madness, Mario Bros, R-Type, Tekken, Space Invaders, The Real Ghostbusters, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Terminator 2, Tetris and Star Wars
I wasn't sure what to expect from our first visit to the Arcade Club and I was worried there would be lots of waiting around for games. However, we were really impressed, as on the day we went, there was no queuing for games as there are so many to choose from. Some titles were obviously more popular than others, but if someone was playing, we simply went on something else until it was free.
Once inside, there is no time limit, which meant that the whole experience felt very relaxed. The nineties soundtrack that was playing whilst we were there was much appreciated too. We expected to spend around two hours at the Arcade Club, but in the end, we wiled away a good four hours in gaming heaven.
We had brought our son with a couple of friends, and although I had worried it might not be a sociable experience, there were plenty of arcade games offering the chance for 3 and 4 players to play together which was ideal.
You aren't allowed to bring your own food and drink to the Arcade Club but there are two reasonably priced cafes, with one on each floor. The cafe on the third floor serves burgers and hot dogs, as well as snacks such as crisps and cakes, whilst the lower one on the second floor offers pizzas, nachos and paninis.
Prices are reasonable, and you can take food between floors, so it's no problem if someone wants burgers and another person fancies pizza. Again, you're given a buzzer for when your food is ready, meaning you can keep playing until it's ready.
The club is licensed too so you can enjoy a beer (or two) whilst you play. There's no need to drag yourself away from playing either, as you will find more games located in the cafe on the third floor, with consoles hooked up in case you want to play something more modern.
Finding the Arcade Club is easy. It is located on the outskirts of Bury, near to Junction 2 on the M66. Once you arrive there, there is a free car park with lots of space. If you are travelling by public transport, Bury Metrolink Station is about one mile away from the Arcade Club.
How Much Does the Arcade Club Cost?
We found prices to be very reasonable. Prices have gone up slightly for children recently, as they now have access to the 2nd floor whereas before, this was solely for adults. At the time of visiting, it cost just £16 for adults and £8 for children which allows unlimited free play over two floors. There is also a monthly pass available for those who would like to visit more regularly.
When is the Arcade Club Open?
The Arcade Club in Bury opens at the following times, with children only being allowed in until 6pm:
We will most definitely go back to the Arcade Club, bringing our younger children next time. If you are after somewhere different to meet with friends or need to occupy the kids for a few hours, a trip to the Arcade Club is a must. One warning though... I had forgotten just how addictive some of the old games can be, so make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to explore.