From rare arcade games to classic board games and everything in between, these gaming playgrounds are guaranteed to take your night to the next level. Dodge obstacles in Donkey Kong at Bartronica, drift in gear in Daytona at Pixel Alley and out stack your friends in giant avalanche Jenga at IceBar. Game on!
Located in Flinders Lane, this vintage arcade bar is home to one of the best collections of video games, pinball machines and race car simulators in Australia. From an original Donkey Kong to Galaga, Sega Rally and Ice Cold Beer, Batronica has all your favourites as well as a few rare finds dating as far back as 1975. Every Tuesday, Bartronica holds trivia nights, while Wednesdays are notorious for competitive tournaments. The bar menu is also an 80s throwback with drinks including The Delorean, Risky Business and Fatal Attraction.
Nostalgic in nature, Pixel Alley boasts an impressive variety of classic game cabinets and multi-game cabinets, from Daytona and Big Buck Hunter to Snow Bros, Sega Standards, and Pac Man. There are also pinball machines and on the last Tuesday of every month, the bar runs a pinball competition. Located directly underneath Mr. Wow’s Emporium, Pixel Alley serves gaming inspired cocktails, Bubble Tea and boozy milkshakes.
Styled to re-create the residence of the infamous oil painter and street walker Katishe, 29th Apartment brings to life an urban New York abode where you can dance, drink and play games. The living room has a retro television playing cult classics as well as games such as Jenga and Connect Four; meanwhile, in the diner, you’ll find an AC/DC pinball machine. On Tuesdays, drop in for Mario Kart, pizza, and beer or just chill out in the boudoir or bathtub and take advantage of the meal deals.
Underneath Games Laboratory on Lonsdale Street is a bar focused on old fashioned fun. Alchemist’s Refuge has a vast library of board games featuring family favourites and lesser-known titles, but be warned: games can get heated and bar tenders often double as adjudicators. Speaking of the bar, they stock a mouth-watering, rotating menu of craft beer and a cocktail list as spirited as the characters they’re named after. The Refuge also hosts Geek Trivia nights with prizes galore.
Described as ‘an extension of your best mates’ living room, but a lot more stylish,’ The Rooks Return is a laid-back bar for gigs and games open seven nights a week. Play Trivial Pursuit and Cards Against Humanity or try your hand at a game of cards in one of the cozy nooks. On Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday crowds swarm as bands play, while the bar serves beer, wine and spirits along with cocktails, coffee and tea. You can even order pizza from Shawcross.
Not your standard putt putt course, Holey Moley is an immersive labyrinth of challenges that will have you navigating 27 themed mini golf holes including Smells Like Tee Spirit and a Game of Thrones hole throughout three multi-sensory nine-hole courses. Golfers can refuel at The Caddyshack with drinks including Happy Gilmoreo, Long Island Iced Tee, Teeyoncé Holes and Fresh As A Birdie, all of which are served in red solo cups, as well as wood fire pizza.
Ever wanted to play giant avalanche Jenga in subzero temperatures? Well at Fitzroy’s IceBar you can. Upon arrival, the staff will provide you with snow capes, gloves, and snow boots and after you’re dressed, it’s time to shiver into the ice palace where you can play an Antarctic game of hoop and shiver through brain-teasing puzzles. Kids are welcome until 6:30pm and although there is no time limit, most people can only withstand 30 minutes before hanging up their Eskimo gear.