Console yourself: gaming nights in London

Fan of old-school computer games? Venture out of your bedroom and into the pub

Please note: image not taken at MOSI

Please note: image not taken at MOSI © REZtron

Question: what springs into life when you tenderly blow it? Answer: a Sega Megadrive’s cartridge port, of course. Why, what did you think I was talking about? You what? Oh, right.

Moving on. If you correctly (and cleanly) answered that, then we have the night for you. Retrotainment, an event dedicated to drinking and old-school gaming, currently furnishes the basement of Aquum bar in Clapham with a Megadrive, a Master System, a Dreamcast and a Saturn plus a vast collection of games including ‘Sonic the Hedgehog 2’, ‘Streetfighter 2’, ‘Micro Machines 2’ and ‘Sega Rally’. But this week it launches its first free event at the Hoxton Pony on Curtain Road, starting with a beat-’em-up special that’ll pit players against each other in a tournament on a 120-inch projector screen. Games lined up include ‘Final Fight’, as well as the likes of ‘Mortal Kombat’ and ‘Streets of Rage 2’, via eight consoles linked up to retro ’90s tellies. Plus, there’s an area dedicated to a little-known plug-in, the Mega-CD, that lets you use the Megadrive as a karaoke machine.

Hopefully, as strangers join each other in battle, it’ll bring them together to answer some age-old gaming questions. Such as ‘Ken: he’s just Ryu in a Pat Sharp wig, right?’ ‘Couldn’t Chun Li have worn something that didn’t flash her knickers?’ And, most importantly, ‘Oi mate, any chance you could come over here and blow on this for me, please?’

Want more? More late-night gaming and geekery

© Loading Bar

Loading Bar

Formerly housed in Soho, now in the basement of Stokey haunt Scenario, Loading Bar is crammed full of retro arcade games, including classic beat-’em-up ‘Street Fighter 2’. When you’ve finished twiddling your joystick, sink a ‘Donkey Konga’ and other game-themed cocktails.

See @drinkrelaxplay on Twitter for more details

  1. 97 Stoke Newington Rd, N16 8BX

© Meltdown Bar


If you want to brainstorm battle tactics with likeminded folk, head to this dedicated gaming bar. Meltdown specialises in multiplayer e-sports tournaments of strategy and sci-fi games like ‘Starcraft’ and ‘League of Legends’.

See Meltdown's Facebook page for more details

  1. 342 Caledonian Rd, N1 1BB

© The Exhibit

The Exhibit

This Balham boozer hosts a range of gaming nights, using the attached cinema for players to blow each other up on the big screen. When nature calls, gents can play a hands-free video game above urinals, sending a virtual skier whizzing down a slope by altering the direction of their, flow.

See for more details

  1. 12 Balham Station Rd, SW12 9SG



A nomadic, monthly(ish) meet-up that gives gamers, coders, gadget-freaks and other digitally obsessed bods a chance to get away from the computer screen and into a pub (frequently the Phoenix, near Oxford Circus) with real people – to talk about gaming, coding, gadgets and other digital obsessions.

See for more details

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