Showing posts with label Video Game. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Video Game. Show all posts

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Grainger Games. A lost video game shop brand

This is the Stretford Mall location.


Grainger Games in Stretford Mall

The company was founded in 1996 and ceased operations on the 28th March 2018.

Grainger Games in Stretford Mall

You won't find a PS5 there, but there's still a rack of UFC3 games for the XBOX ONE and PS4 in there.

Grainger Games in Stretford Mall

As a brand with shops in the North of England and Scotland I only became a regular shopper there when I moved to Stockport in 2016.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020

WINNERS DON'T USE DRUGS

Who is your favourite Director of the FBI?

I'd have to go with William S. Sessions.

William S. Sessions arcade game attract screen message at 7 Sins in Manchester
Show me a better arcade game attract screen. I'll wait

Happy National Video Game Day!

Happy National Video Game Day

Today is National Video Game Day.


This is some of the video game graffiti art at the Ghetto Golf indoor minigolf courses in Birmingham and Liverpool.

Video game graffiti art at Ghetto Golf

Friday, June 19, 2020

A new Putting Pencil

One of the nicest things about visiting a new minigolf course is seeing what scorecards and branded pencils they have. Not all courses have them and at present some courses have stopped giving them out. Other courses use apps for players to use as scorecards while others use a mix of the old-school approach mixed with technology and offer both scoring options.

On our travels to 948 miniature golf courses we've collected quite a few putting pencils.

Earlier this week I blogged about the fact you can now play Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from The Simpsons! It's available as an online game as well as a download.

Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from The Simpsons
Do you think you can reach the Parking Lot with a Putter?

I bought the downloadable version and as a nice bonus you receive a scoring pencil.


Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge Scoring Pencil


It's something different to add to my collection of minigolf ephemera.

Minigolf pencils

Monday, June 15, 2020

Play Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from The Simpsons

You can now play Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from The Simpsons!


Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from The Simpsons
I know which club I'm choosing

I love The Simpsons and I love Putting so I was very very very happy to hear that Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge from the show has been made into a playable game!


Many thanks to my friend and minigolf rival Martyn Williams from the Welsh Minigolf Club for sending the link to me.

Play Lee Carvallo's Putting Challenge online


The playable version of the game was made by Aaron Demeter. Follow him on Twitter too.

It's certainly cheered me up on this Minigolf Monday and is a bright spot in an otherwise incredibly gloomy year.

Happy Putting.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Happy birthday Nintendo Game Boy

Happy 31st birthday to the Nintendo Game Boy.


Nintendo Game Boy

The Nintendo Game Boy was released in Japan on this day in 1989.

Nintendo Game Boy

I got mine in 1992 or 93. I've still got it too.

Lazlos' Loop for the Nintendo Game Boy
Lazlos' Loop for the Nintendo Game Boy, the last game I bought for the Game Boy. I picked this up earlier this year

Game Boy Minigolf


We've seen a few Game Boy inspired minigolf holes, obstacles and artwork on our travels.

This Game Boy inspired hole can be found at Teezers Retro Golf in Coventry.

Teezers Retro Golf in Coventry
Teezers Retro Golf in Coventry

This Game Boy inspired graffiti art can be found on the Ghetto Golf indoor minigolf course at the Custard Factory in Digbeth, Birmingham.

Ghetto Golf in Digbeth, Birmingham
Ghetto Golf in Digbeth, Birmingham

This Game Boy inspired graffiti art can be found at Ghetto Golf in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne.

Ghetto Golf in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne
Ghetto Golf in Newcastle upon Tyne

Monday, December 23, 2019

Arcade Club in Leeds

A visit to Arcade Club in Leeds.


We visited the new Arcade Club venue in Leeds yesterday. What a place!


Earlier this year we visited the original Arcade Club in Bury and were very impressed by the selection of games on offer to play.


Arcade Club in Leeds
Always nice to visit Pac-Land

Once you've paid your entry fee (we paid £16 per adult) you get to play hundreds of games all set on free play.

Arcade Club in Leeds
Three floors of fun

It's an amazing place to spend anything from a few hours to a whole day.

Arcade Club in Leeds
A very small selection of the hundreds of games available to play

As someone who grew up going to arcades in the 80's and 90's it's superb to relive those memories by playing arcade classics like Pac-Land, The New Zealand Story and Bubble Bobble. But I also really like the fact there are games available that I'd only had a glimpse of back in the day, or those that were out of my price range to play.

Arcade Club in Leeds
Pac-Land

One of those was The Last Bounty Hunter, a live-action on-rails LaserDisc light-gun game. Back in the day it would've been one of the expensive 50p or a pound a go games I could only dream of playing. Watching older players pumping the machine full of money while firing away at a selection of bad guys and then seeing the really cheesy cut scenes as the actors die is indelibly burned on my mind like screen burn on a CRT monitor.

Arcade Club in Leeds
The Last Bounty Hunter

I easily got my money's worth by playing The Last Bounty Hunter and managed to get to the third stage. I could've spent more time on it but I had to wander and play other games.

The ground level is home to pinball tables, quirky Japanese import games, old racing and driving games and new arcade machines.

As a big fan of Resident Evil games there was one game I spotted and immediately wanted to play. After waiting for some other players to finish their go Emily and I jumped on the Taito game Elevator Action Death Parade. It was brilliant.

Elevator Action Death Parade

We arrived at 11.30am and there was a steady flow of people of all ages into the venue while we were there. Even though it was busy, there was a nice buzz and we never felt cramped in playing machines and there are plenty of games on offer we didn't have to wait long to play any games.

Arcade Club in Leeds
Tempest. I'd never played the arcade game before, but I love the Atari Jaguar version

There were still plenty of games I could've had a go on there but there just wasn't time.

Arcade Club in Leeds
The Neo Geo section

We're looking forward to our next visit to Arcade Club. There will also be a new Arcade Club venue opening in Blackpool next year. Wonderful news.

Arcade Club in Leeds
Bubble Bobble, a true classic

You can find Arcade Club at the Abbey Retail Park in Kirkstall, Leeds.

Arcade Club in Leeds
Arcade Club - retail entertainment done right

Check out the Arcade Club website for more information, opening times and prices.

Arcade Club in Leeds

Monday, December 02, 2019

Retro Arcade in Warrington

A visit to the Retro Arcade in Warrington.


Retro Arcade in Warrington

We've been to quite a few arcades, retro bars and barcades over the last few years and Retro Arcade is easily one of the best.


Retro Arcade in Warrington

As I grew up playing in the amusement arcades of the 1980s and 90s I remember how brilliant it was back then.


I also remember how far I ever managed to get in games. Even though I played back in the days when a game was 10p a go I never had enough money - or patience - to play anything all the way through. I used to love having a go on as many games as I could with my pocket of change. A lot of the time my brothers and I spent in the arcades would be waiting our turn while watching older and better players on the machines. That and making out we were playing while watching the attract screens, the FBI Warning from William S. Sessions and demo modes.

Retro Arcade in Warrington
Just a small selection of the original arcade cabinets available to play

There's a marvellous range of original cabinets at Retro Arcade and when I first walked in it took a few seconds for me to take it all in. Some of the rare titles on offer include Tron and Video Pinball.

Retro Arcade in Warrington
As well as the quirky and rare Video Pinball cabinet Retro Arcade has a number of real pinball machines

For an £8 entry fee you receive unlimited play on stacks of arcade machines. There's also a SEGA Mega Drive, NES and PSone tucked away at the back near the bar area and I enjoyed playing Wardner on the Mega Drive. It's one of my all-time favourite arcade games.

Retro Arcade in Warrington
Retro Arcade has made very good use of the space in the old railway arch

When I got inside I had a quick play on RoboCop and died on level one. I then had a go on Hyper Sports and then had a wander.

Retro Arcade in Warrington
What a game

Retro Arcade in Warrington
What a cool menu

We went to the bar and then I went back to the Data East RoboCop cabinet. As the machines are all set to free play mode I knew this was my opportunity to finally complete the game. And I did. If I had been spending 10p or 20p a go on it I'm certain I would've spent all my pocket money for the month playing the game the way I went through continues.

RoboCop Arcade game at Retro Arcade in Warrington
It's taken me three decades to see this screen

RoboCop Arcade game at Retro Arcade in Warrington
It was worth the wait

After accomplishing a feat 31 years in the making I had a bit of a break before stepping up to play Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Another coin eating beast and certainly a machine to play to get your money's worth at Retro Arcade. I managed to get further than I ever had before but had to give up after quite a while as my trigger finger was getting worn out.

Retro Arcade in Warrington

What really made the experience perfect for me was that you could actually hear the games you were playing. Quite a feat considering all of the sounds coming from dozens of arcade cabinets. There's also a free play jukebox and that was kicking out some superb tunes from the 80's and 90's.

Part of the fun of playing a game is hearing the sound and music of it. So often I've been to an arcade bar only to find that the music at the venue is far too loud and so therefore drowns out the music and sound effects from the game.

The staff on our visit were great and it was fantastic to see a real mix of people enjoying the experience.

Retro Arcade is a must visit venue.

Retro Arcade in Warrington
I'll be back

Check out the Retro Arcade website for more info, opening times and prices.

Retro Arcade in Warrington

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The SEGA Bus

Hopping aboard the SEGA Mega Drive Mini Bus in Manchester.


Last week I heard that the SEGA Bus was hitting the road again!


The SEGA Game Bus
The SEGA Game Bus on Market Street in Manchester

My brothers and I went on one (a lot) when it stopped off at Barry Island Holiday Camp in the early 90s.


It was such a fun thing to do and I remember we played challenge games of Sonic the Hedgehog for prizes as well as receiving goody bags for visiting. Once we left the bus we immediately joined the queue to get on board for another game of Sonic on the Mega Drive.

The SEGA Game Bus
The 2019 SEGA Game Bus

The version of the double decker bus that called in to Manchester on it's week-long tour housed a number of the new SEGA Mega Drive Mini consoles and allowed players to have a go on the system's 42 games. I played Road Rash II, Darius and Street Fighter II: Special Champion Edition.

The SEGA Game Bus
Playing Darius on the SEGA Mega Drive Mini

I hope it isn't another 28 years before I go on another SEGA Bus. The year 2047 is AGES away.

The SEGA Game Bus

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Happy Video Games Day

Today is Video Games Day.

The 32-bit era was a wonderful and interesting time to be a gamer - prior to the Sony PlayStation my family opted for the '64-bit' Atari Jaguar
The 32-bit era was my favourite. It was a wonderful and interesting time to be a gamer - prior to the Sony PlayStation my family opted for the '64-bit' Atari Jaguar

What games will you be playing?

I played a Philips CD-i for the very first time at last month's Power Up exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
I played a Philips CD-i for the very first time at last month's Power Up exhibition at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester 

Zany Golf for the SEGA Mega Drive
Zany Golf for the SEGA Mega Drive

Sinclair Crazy Golf for the ZX Spectrum
Sinclair Crazy Golf for the ZX Spectrum

Related blog posts:
- Videogames
- Video Games

Monday, July 15, 2019

Munch Man

Spotting 'Pac-Man' on a sandwich shop sign in Burnley.


Munch sandwich bar in Burnley
Pac-Man is always munching

We've also seen the video-game character pop up on shop signs in Preston, Ipswich, Nottingham and Bristol.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Nintendo Ouija

The things you see at Car Boot Sales!

On Saturday we called in at a car boot sale at Trinity Park in Ipswich to see if we could snap up some bargains. In among all the tat we saw these two items side by side.

A Nintendo Wii games console and a Ouija Board at a Car Boot Sale in Ipswich
I was tempted to buy both, combine them and make a Nintendo Ouija

What's the strangest thing you've seen at a car boot sale?

Friday, February 22, 2019

Arcade Club in Bury

A trip down memory lane at Arcade Club in Bury.


We finally visited Arcade Club in Bury last Saturday. I don't know why it's taken us so long!


Arcade Club in Bury

As a big fan of retro gaming and amusement arcades I've got many brilliant memories of playing arcade games at holiday camps and seasides back in the 80's and 90's, so it was superb to visit a venue that has hundreds of arcade cabinets set-up from the era.


Arcade Club in Bury

Arcade Club operates an entry fee policy after which you can access all of the games without having to fumble around for change. As it was our first visit we opted for the £16 price for access to both levels. For £12 you could access one or other of the levels.

Arcade Club in Bury
About to enter Level 3 of Arcade Club

Level 2 is home to a range of modern and imported arcade games, VR games, pinball tables and gaming PCs. It's not really my cup of tea but it was still nice to have access on our visit. The floor was absolutely packed with people having fun - I haven't seen an arcade like it for years!

Arcade Club in Bury
In my element

Level 3 was what I was interested in and I wasn't disappointed. At Arcade Club you'll find row upon row of lovingly restored arcade cabinets offering everything from Asteroids to Pac-Man - and probably a game beginning with Z.

Asteroids at Arcade Club in Bury
Asteroids

The New Zealand Story at Arcade Club in Bury
The New Zealand Story

It was a bit overwhelming to see so many games to play, all set on free-play, and we didn't know quite where to begin. Luckily for us we spotted a 2-player Parodius game and jumped on that. We're big fans of Parodius on the SNES so we quickly got into the swing of things and enjoyed playing for a few credits before we were lured away with another 249 or so games to play.

Arcade Club in Bury

When I was a kid my two brothers and I used to love visiting the arcades at Barry Island and Minehead holiday camps and when we ventured out to the seaside amusement arcades there were even more games to play.

Bomb Jack at Arcade Club in Bury
I remember seeing the Bomb Jack arcade game at our local Chinese takeaway when I was a kid. I never ever got to play it. I made up for that at Arcade Club though

Bomb Jack at Arcade Club in Bury
On the leader-board again

Until I bought Pac-Land for the Atari Lynx and PC Engine last year I hadn't played the game since a stay at Butlin's Somerwest World in Minehead in the 1990's. Over the all of the noise at Arcade Club I could clearly hear the music from the game playing and so had to give it a play. I wasn't disappointed.

Pac-Land at Arcade Club in Bury
Pac-Land

Back in the 80's and 90's there was no way I had the money to master any arcade games, but with the games set to free-play and unlimited credits available I was able to complete MERCS (a game I used to have on the SEGA Master System) and also get on the leader-board on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

MERCS at Arcade Club in Bury
2nd on the MERCS leader-board

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom at Arcade Club in Bury
Such a tough game

One game I wasted many many many 10p's on as a kid was RoboCop. Playing it now the graphics are still cool and my skills on it are still as rubbish as they were 30 years ago. It was still fun to play though, and just as back then it was good to watch other better players working their way through the game.

RoboCop at Arcade Club in Bury
RoboCop

Arcade Club is a superb venue and I'd consider it a living museum as well as a retro throwback to those halcyon days of the 80's and 90's when an amusement arcade didn't consist of mostly ticket redemption games.

Arcade Club in Bury
How arcades should be 

Pacmania at Arcade Club in Bury
Pacmania 

Flicky at Arcade Club in Bury
We'd never played Flicky before. We're now both addicted to it 

Space Invaders Part II at Arcade Club in Bury
Space Invaders Part II 

Super Pac-Man at Arcade Club in Bury
Super Pac-Man is a tough game

We had a wonderful afternoon at Arcade Club and after three hours of pretty much non-stop gaming we were ready to head outside for some fresh air and a chance to give our weary backs, necks and wrists a rest.

Vendetta at Arcade Club in Bury
The last game we played at Arcade Club 

Vendetta at Arcade Club in Bury
How I felt after three hours of retro gaming! 

Operation Thunderbolt, the sequel to Operation Wolf. We played both games at Arcade Club
Operation Thunderbolt, the sequel to Operation Wolf. We played both games at Arcade Club

You've got to love old video games and they're typos ;-)
You've got to love old video games and they're typos ;-) 

Pole Position at Arcade Club in Bury
Having a nice sit down to play Pole Position

We will be back.

You can find Arcade Club at Ella Mill in Bury, Greater Manchester.

Check out the Arcade Club website for more information, opening times and prices.

The team at Arcade Club are putting the finishing touches to their second venue, with the site in Leeds opening soon. We're looking forward to visiting.

Arcade Club in Bury
Arcade Club certainly does

Link:

- Arcade Club

Related blog posts:
- Amusement Arcades
- Greater Manchester