Oh, those were the days… Nagging at your parents for a bit of change, before running off to the arcade with your mates and playing games until you’d spent every penny – and then repeating the whole process until those responsible for you got pretty fed up. And now, taking us all on one big nostalgic trip to better days is NQ64 – a unique gaming arcade and bar that’s taken over the former Distrikt club in Merchant Square.
Similar to its other sites in Edinburgh and other UK cities such as Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester, the time capsule-like bar boasts a glowing neon sign that gives a friendly nod to the dusty Nintendos stuffed away in our attics. But inside is where the fun really begins (obviously!) – with neon splattered graffiti and retro games galore greeting you as soon as you step through the doors.
Featuring a whole roster of retro favourites, NQ64 Glasgow is home to a number of famous games – including Mortal Kombat, Pac Man, Street Fighter II, Tekken and newer classics such as Guitar Hero. If that wasn’t enough, the uber-cool spot will have its very own Sega Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, N64 and an original Playstation. It’s literally like the early 90s all over again – and we’re obsessed.
The retro arcades and pinball machines work on a token basis, with most games accepting just one token to play, whilst all the games consoles are free to play. The bar is child-free, too, so you can rest assured you can crack on with your game without the interruption of an innocent-looking 10-year-old desperate to pinch your machine.
It’s not just games that NQ64 has on offer either, with an ever-changing beer list featuring both local brews and craft tinnies, as well as gaming-themed cocktails. The venue just upped their game by introducing some brand new concoctions this Autumn. If nostalgia and fun had a flavour, the new cocktails would be it: Final Fantarita as a sour cherry margarita, Super Coco Ball based on Super Monkey Ball game, or Mega Daisy based on Daisy from the Mario Franchise.
You can also sip on the likes of The Simpsons or Ghostbusters “whilst button bashing to victory against your mates.” Plus, you can enjoy your drinks with retro snacks from the bar like Space Raiders and Monster Munch.
NQ64’s founder, Matt Robson, said: “Glasgow has always been on our radar. […] We’re lovers of retro gaming and booze, and we hope you’ll be pleased by what’s on offer when you come down! We’ve sourced some amazing games from across the globe and our drinks are no afterthought either. Join us for a drink and a have a laugh at your mates stacking it on the Dance Mat or getting hammered at Street Fighter!”