With a roster of over 300 games all under one roof, the Arcade Club is mightily impressive. It's a warehouse packed with the world's best retro arcade games, pinball machines and even newer, more technologically impressive marvels.
The place is a complete Mecca for anyone who likes shooting zombies or kicking the shit out of a big fire breathing lizard while simultaneously fixing the plumbing for a lovely princess. They've got pretty much every game you'd ever care to play.
The whole thing has been a passion project for owner Andy Palmer for a fair few years now, first starting with his collection of 30 machines at the back of a computer shop, and then quickly expanding into a warehouse in Bury, incorporating more than 300 more machines.
There aren't any real money games available, just typical arcade machines. Slot machines require a special gambling licence in the UK, whether online or offline. From online you can find multiple sites that offer free spins with no deposit so technically you can play slots for free as well.
The whole venue is split into two sections – the first you come across features all manner of 'modern' arcade machines and games including a ton of top-spec PC's (all decked out with lights and neon) as well as all the kinds of games you'd likely see getting rinsed in Tokyo by gangs of game-hungry teenagers.
There's them dancing games that youngsters seem to be brilliant at, as well as loads of dedicated ‘Versus’ machines where you can get hooked up to Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter and beat the living daylights out of your mates.
Add to this access to the latest VR technology and you're pretty much going to feel like you're an extra in Lawnmower Man.
This floor also features a dedicated Pinball section, featuring a wealth of old-school ball tapping contraptions. Unfortunately my terrible dexterity ensures that I not only look like a complete tool playing pinball, but I also get VERY angry, VERY fast – so not for me thank you.
I'll tell you my favourite games from this floor because then you can hunt them down and try to beat my always impressive high scores. First of all I should point out that this floor features the weirdest game I've ever seen - basically a virtual table flipping game.
It's one of the best things I've ever played and you should certainly give it a go. Also super fun is the Namco Quick & Crash shooting gallery which uses real targets and even a real mug you can shoot (if you're quick enough!)
Up the stairs on the 3rd floor you'll find the Retro Arcade, a HUGE space that's pretty much an 80's arcade dream world where the only thing missing is the whiff of excessive cigarette smoke and gangs of gobby little kids looking to spend their dinner money.
There's some of the best games ever up here including my favourites Marble Madness, Crystal Castles, Point Blank and the ever-lovely Ms Pac Man.
You'll also be pleased to know that they also have two of the greatest 4 player arcade games ever in here - The Simpsons one (where you can all play one of the family and try to save Maggie) and that Turtles one which was later ported onto the SNES and Mega Drive but wasn't nearly as much fun.
I've also spied a HUGE X-Men 8 PLAYER in here, alongside quite possibly the most beautiful 1982 Star Wars arcade you're ever likely to find. There really is too many to list here, but if you visit the Arcade Club website, they’ve very nicely listed all of the games for you.
To get access to all of these machines, all you need to do is pay for 'Full Access' for only £16 and all the games are free over the two floors.
Not just this but the Arcade Club serves up a huge range of snacks and food including toasties, loaded nachos and pizzas, alongside a fully stocked bar that's very difficult to resist.
So if you fancy yourself as the next Billy Mitchell, or just want to relive some fond childhood memories - Arcade Club is for you.
Arcade Club Opening Times:
Thursday: 11am - 11pm
Friday: 6pm - 12am
Saturday: 11am - 11pm
Sunday: 11am - 8pm
Arcade Club, Ela Mill, Cork St, Bury, BL9 7BW
0161 464 9796