Reviewed by Lucy Gwilliam
Last night, we were invited to attend the launch night of the highly anticipated new bigger venue for NQ64’s Northern Quarter premises. This was our first time visiting the adult only NQ64 arcade bar. The retro game themed bar has now moved from its original location next door to a much larger premises 4 times the size and packed full with more of your favourite retro games.
Upon entering, you can grab a drink at the large terrace seating area designed like a space station with a wide selection of drinks and cocktails that meet all your needs. Once you’re ready to head into the main section, you will be greeted by vibrant UV coloured artwork covering the walls, you will then make your decent down stairs to the underground bar where you reach a set of double doors. Once your through the doors, you will enter a world packed full of all the best retro arcade machines and consoles from the 80s and 90s. There is also another cocktail drinks bar here, with a great variety of yummy game themed cocktails and drinks to choose from.
To play the arcade machines, you’ll need 1-2 tokens, which you can conveniently purchase at the bar. The tokens are 15 for £8. The consoles, on the other hand, are free to play and included the N64, Megadrive, and SNES, bringing back some of those 90s vibes. Most of the arcade games required 2 tokens to play. Some of the older arcade games available to play included Tetris, Street Fighter, The Simpsons, Michael Jackson’s Moonwalker and Outrun to name a few. There was also a Gameboy linked to a larger screen on the wall, cleverly named Wallboy. You can also test your hoop skills with NBA hoops by throwing as many basketballs into the net within the given time limit, which was also great fun. This was our favourite thing and the game that we went back to 4 times. It seemed to be very popular with most people at the venue as there was always a bit of a wait to use it.
We really liked the cool funky UV glow in the dark artwork which was covered all over the walls and surface areas.
There are UV pens placed around the bar, which you are encouraged to use and leave your own artistic touch, which we thought was a great idea. We did leave a few doodles of our own to add to the collection of other peoples’ masterpieces.
The gaming selection is a delightful blast from the past, encompassing everything you will remember from your childhood, from classic pinball games to timeless favourites like Time Crisis, Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and even the classic dance machines for some groovy fun! There was small corner under the stairs with retro posters on the wall and a small retro TV with a super Nintendo were you could relax and remember some of those childhood memories. This looked really cosy and was hidden away from the hustle and bustle of the bar.
At the bar there is an impressive selection of drinks and cocktails which were properly made by the experienced bar staff who can whip up a cocktail in no time. Additionally, the cocktails had funky names that linked to classic games, such as “Final Fantarita” or “Mega Daisy”. They had a range of beers and bottled drinks too if you didn’t want to go down the cocktail route. Once you have your drinks there’s plenty of places sit and rest your drink down whilst playing the games. There is also lots of seating areas away from the games.
You will certainly have a great time playing the diverse selection of games that cater to everyone’s preferences, competing with others and trying to get the best scores, whilst you sip on a cocktail. There’s truly something for everyone at NQ64, making it an ideal destination for gamers of all generations to come together and enjoy the magic of retro gaming.
We had so much fun playing such a mixture of games. So many of them giving us nostalgic vibes from our childhood, we especially had fun playing multiplayer on the Mario kart 2 arcade machine.
I think we definitely would have stayed all night until they closed but unfortunately it was a school night and we also needed to get back to our children.
We will 100% be returning to NQ64 and I’ve already been telling my work colleagues how much fun it is. I think our next work night out will be taking us on a visit to play some retro arcade games!
Rating: I rate this 5/5
For more information please visit Manchester Northern Quarter – NQ64