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 tucked away in The Custard Factory.
Glowing in a purple neon with a sign that gives a friendly nod to the dusty Nintendos stuffed away in our attics, the time capsule-like bar can be found next to Digbeth board game café Chance & Counters, just a hop away from the hustle and bustle of Birmingham’s city centre. But inside is where the fun really begins (obviously!) – with retro games galore greeting you as soon as you step through the illuminated doors.
Featuring a whole roster of retro favourites, the bar 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 also has 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 games work on a token-basis, with 15 tokens costing just £6, and most games accepting just one token 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 NQ64 has on offer either, with an ever-changing beer list featuring both local brews and craft tinnies, as well as gaming-themed cocktails such as Princess Peach, the Mad Max and the Root Beer Tapper to sup on while spending time at the arcade.
NQ64 is open seven days a week from 4pm-midnight on weekdays, from 12 noon to 2am on Saturday and from 12 noon to midnight on Sunday. NQ64, The Custard Factory, Gibb Street, B9 4BG