A Gamers Guide to Liverpool: 5 spots to get your game on
Once consigned to the reputation of dank teenagers basements and darkened arcades, the fledging gaming community has exploded in recent years, with Liverpool offering a host of fantastic spots to get immersed in the culture.
We take a look at some of the best local establishments and cafés to get your gaming fix on in the city.
No self-respecting Scouse gamer’s foray into town would be complete without a quick stop at Bold Street stalwart Forbidden Planet. While not offering much in way of video games, Forbidden Planet has been providing the geekdom with a broad selection of pop culture merchandise for well over two decades, selling toys, figurines and branded clothing of all your favourite video game characters, as well as an extensive comic book selection at the back.
Sugar & Dice Café
Lovers of board games rejoice, there’s a local café just for you! Situated in the city centre, Sugar & Dice offers vibrantly colourful surroundings and shelves packed with hundreds of board games to get stuck into over freshly baked cakes and coffee. It’s a novel approach to the café experience, with friendly, knowledgeable staff on hand to help you pick the right game for you and explain the rules. All board game needs are catered for here with options ranging from classics such as Cluedo and Pop Up Pirate to more niche, vintage games to acquaint yourself with. The full, exhaustive list of options is up on their site here: http://sugaranddice.co.uk/games/. Grab the Monopoly, order a delicious vegan brownie, and throw some hotels on Pall Mall.
Housed in the quirky depths of the iconic Grand Central Hall on Renshaw Street is a place of pure, unadulterated nostalgia therapy. LevelUp is a charming retro game shop situated in the vibrant underbelly of the former Quiggins marketplace that is sure to stock something that will take you back to your gaming glory days. With a vintage offering that is always growing it is an essential spot for retro fans. Come and indulge in your favourite memories and you’ll likely leave with a battered copy of Fifa 98. Song 2 by Blur as menu music, what’s not to love?
Horizon E-Sports Café
Tucked away in the Georgian Quarter is a gaming café like no other. Boasting a striking mix of ornately old fashioned décor and high-end gaming facilities, Horizon E-sports café is an absolute must for any local gamer. Fine art adorns the walls of this secretive spot on Pilgrim Street, while chandeliers hang over the bank of 40 high performance gaming PCs. Liverpool’s first truly bespoke gaming lounge is a wonderful blend of chilled coffee stop by day, hidden away from the hustle and bustle on Pilgrim Street, and by evening a place for gaming communities to socialise with regular meet ups and events. You can get comfortable at your chosen gaming rig and get stuck into a range of games such as Overwatch while ordering food and drink from the computer. Your coffee and cake is brought to you directly from the café downstairs by Horizon’s friendly staff, so there’s no need to get up. Moving’s overrated anyway.
Pokemon hunting at The Albert Dock
Where you living under a rock in 2016? If so, you may not have heard about Pokemon GO – the wildly popular mobile gaming juggernaut that swept the planet for a brief period last July. While its popularity may have waned since, there is still a sizeable community of Pokemon hunters in the city who seek out the best hot spots to lure these digital pocket monsters from their hiding places. There’s even a dedicated Pokemon GO Facebook group for Liverpool and Merseyside to keep on top of the latest local news and events. No area in the city may be quite as in abundance with these creatures than the Albert Dock, which still sees gatherings of avid hunters obsessively staring down at their phones, as The Albert Dock boasts a wide variety of water Pokemon to be caught due to its natural vicinity to the River Mersey. With summer now fast approaching, it’s a perfect time to get down the Docks and enjoy the weather whilst trying to wrangle yourself a Gyrados.
So there you go whether it’s Mrio Kart or monopoly, Liverpool really is a gamers paradise if you look hard enough. If we have missed any venues or events then drop us a line firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a follow on Twitter @TheGuideLpool.
By Alex Bennet