When I was younger, my family purchased so many gaming systems — the original Nintendo, a Gameboy, Sega Genesis, Sega Game Gear, and Nintendo Wii, just to name a few — that you’d think I’d be a natural gamer.
Not. Yet when a friend suggested we check out the Rec Room this past Saturday night, I was uber excited if for no other reason than I would get the chance to play some of the most iconic games on these long forgotten, yet fondly remembered gaming systems.
The Rec Room is in a very unassuming and ordinary looking 6,000 square foot warehouse from the outside, but once you walk in you immediately feel like you’ve stepped into the ultimate bachelor pad or frat house (in a good way), complete with six huge projection televisions, plush and comfortable sectional sofas, and a well-stocked bar. After grabbing a couple of Kentucky Mules (the American cousin of the Moscow Mule just made with whiskey…who knew?), I took a lay of the land. My first stop: arcade hoops basketball. I won’t embarrass my other party and tell you how bad I crushed him, but suffice to say that it was the best dollar per game spent of the evening. Rec Room also has a few 50 cent pinball machines that transported me to the happiest of childhood memories when my cousins and I would waste so much of our allowance on pinball machines for seemingly hours. I guess I’m a bit rusty, or just the paddles were a bit short, but the games didn’t last nearly as long as I had hoped but were fun nonetheless.
Looking around, the Rec Room has six “living rooms”—comfy, leather sectionals in front of a huge projection screen tv—that you can rent for $25 an hour and play your favorite video games with your friends. Every living room was booked that evening, but it was great seeing folks having a great time and displaying their gaming skills (or lack thereof) in front of everyone. There are other games to rent, including lots of traditional board games and card games, but there’s also plenty of the traditional arcade games that are free to play. We got caught up in playing Street Fighter and the fastest Mrs. Pac Man I think I’ve ever played in my life. There is a smaller area with three TVs that are hooked up to traditional gaming systems that are also free if you don’t feel like shelling out any money.
After grabbing another Kentucky Mule, I relaxed on the generous patio area and enjoyed the great weather and conversations being had out there. All-in-all, I would highly recommend the Rec Room as a place to go with a group of friends to have a good time during the week or the weekend. I know that it hosts events, too, like the Indie Memphis Film Festival teaser they had this past Monday, so check out Rec Room’s website for ongoing events. There’s definitely something for everyone. It’ll definitely be one of my regular spots.