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Everything retro - big and small! Live from Perth, Australia!

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Game City: Eat Lunch & Play Retro/Arcade Games Right in the CBD!

I must admit, I feel a bit embarrassed.
Usually, when something new that's retro gaming related opens in or around Perth, I like to think I'm pretty quick to react. There have been a handful of game shops and even a museum that I'm have checked out with my camera within the first week of opening or at the very least, within the first month - but Game City (for one reason or another) has completely flown below my radar since 2013. 2013!
On top of that, it's insanely popular. Like, really popular. Just check the review section on their Facebook page for one, and you'll see that it maintains a rating of 4.9/5.0 over 154 reviews. If you know anything about the reviews on Facebook (or any online rating place for that matter) you'll understand how good a score that it. People online, for the most part, are hard as hell to please - but Game City are just killing it.

I feel I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, though. I haven't even explained what Game City is yet, so before I praise it anymore, I'll describe it in a nutshell.
Game City is a cafe and a place to pickup some lunch - but with a very awesome twist. Venture inside from the small part of Game City that pokes out into Raine Square - and you'll instantly see arcade machines, pinball machines, retro consoles hooked up to TV's, modern consoles hooked up to TV's (and also a projector) with fighting sticks and even amusement machines!

And I'm sorry, no, I didn't embarrass myself on the Dance Dance Revolution machine.

There was even a Wii!

An accidental out of focus photo. The horror!

Game Citys location is absolutely central in Perth too. Entering the Perth Underground Train Station from the Murray Street Mall (down those huge escalators), it can be found immediately to the left before the turnstiles as you enter the adjoining Raine Square shopping complex. I must have obliviously walked straight past it at least ten or fifteen times since 2013, making me feel that my situational awareness isn't as great as I thought it was. Either way, I visited for the first time on Saturday and had a really enjoyable time.

Unfortunately, I did not get to try the food or drink. I should get that out of the way immediately.
It wasn't because I didn't want to, though, but because it doesn't open until 1:00PM on Saturdays. I had already eaten just before, and already had enough caffeine in my system to see me through all the games. I really should have planned it so I was there to eat, drink AND play games for the whole experience - but hey, I never bragged about having good organisational skills. If anything, I'm lucky Retro Game On even exists at all.

Regardless, all the positive reviews I've read by everyone else seems to indicate that they're doing the right thing - and there is a lot of those reviews to choose from. For those that are interested, here is their menu, which looks to be very reasonably priced. I cannot see anything much over $10 and that is a very rare price point right in the CBD unless you want McDonalds (and there are no arcade machines in there).
It is still a shame I didn't try anything, though - I do realise that, but this is a website about gaming after all, so let's talk about that.

All the games can be played with specialty tokens that cost a dollar each - so don't go plugging in real dollarydoos like one special specimen of the human race did with a Midnight Maximum Tune 5 machine - it will just get stuck and ruin it for everyone.
I didn't see anything that cost more than two tokens to play, and there was a fair amount that only cost one (for instance, the retro consoles could be played for ten minutes each on one token).
On first entering, I was drawn right to the pinball machines - mostly because they're something that I don't get to play very often. I played the Twilight Zone first out of the selection because The Addams Family machine was out of order and I’ve never watched an episode of Game of Thrones (go ahead, tell me I’m silly for not doing so). But surprisingly, my favourite of the bunch was one I’d never heard of: Medieval Madness.
This was first released in 1997 by Williams and was a whole bunch of fun. Trolls stick their heads out to be slain, there’s a castle to invade and at one point there were about five balls flying all over the place. I was trying to spread out my time across the whole of Game City to try everything out – but that’s easily the one I’ll be playing first upon returning.

The 'getting deathly serious about obtaining a high score' face.
From there, I checked out some of the other, more modern arcade machines. The Tekken 7 machines were occupied the whole time I was there (it seemed there was a quite competitive series of matches happening), so being a fan of racing games I jumped straight onto a Midnight Maximum Tune 5 machine. I’ve actually played something like this before, in an IMAX of all places. It's a story based arcade racing game where you basically pay to keep playing, but the upside is that you use a memory card of sorts that remembers your progress. I don't know much about it, to be honest, but if you don't want to commit to the storyline, there are plenty of time trial levels to play as well.

After kicking my girlfriend's butt on a two player Point Blank X machine, we then moved onto some PS3's with arcade sticks that play Street Fighter 5 where I got a royal butt kicking myself. I swear I was okay at SF, since I always go on about beating SF2 Turbo, but the day just wasn't mine I guess (we'll have to organise a rematch soon).
These were token powered too but lasted less time compared to the retro consoles (attributed to how fast you can lose to your better half supposedly). I also assume that they're in higher demand too because of their competitive nature and the fact they're right in the cafe part of Game City.
Also in the cafe part, but on the other side was the bread and butter of my visit: the retro consoles. I had saved these to last and was not disappointed. All lined up in a neat row along the counter was a Mega Drive, a SNES and surprisingly, a Sega Saturn! That excited me the most since it was the console out of the three which I don't own myself (one day) and I had a merry old time playing Bomberman on it. I played that for a few tokens and then moved onto the Mega Drive to play Earthworm Jim for another few tokens while my girlfriend enjoyed some Tetris on the SNES.
To say that these were my favourite part of Game City would be an obvious statement (read the name of this website) but it's all been set up in a comfortable and fun environment which makes it a true winner. And even if Tetris, Earthworm Jim and Bomberman don't interest you (which would be weird) there is a whole library of games available that a helpful staff member will happily swap to for you.

The large amount of Mega Drive games available to play pleased me, since I've become somewhat of a fanboy of the console over the years.

And on that note, that pretty much sums up the whole experience I had. The staff were super nice and helpful, the shopfront its self is inviting and on top of everything, you simply cannot have a bad time. There's so many different sounds, lights and even smells (thanks to the cafe) that makes visiting Game City a fantastic experience. If there was to be one negative, it would be that there is just too much to choose from. I walked in and it was pretty much like "Ohh look at the all the pinball machines, ohh look Tekken and Street Fighter, ohh A SATURN! etc. etc".
If you ever happen to be getting on or off a train in the city, I'd highly recommend giving yourself an extra 20 minutes (at least) and checking out Game City. You will not be disappointed.

Game City can found in Raine Square (in Perth) near the Perth Underground Train Station exit.

Website:      www.gamecity.com.au
Phone:       0433 032 616

1 comment:

  1. As a fan of both Pinball Machines and Retro games, this place sounds like my kind of place - pity it's not In Brisbane (Maybe I should open one in Brisbane!)
    FYI Medieval Madness, Twilight Zone & Addams Family are widely consider 3 of the top 5 Pinball Machines ever made, each is worth over $5000 a piece with Medieval Madness at close to $10K so that's a hell of a lineup to find in one place