Best arcade games of the 80’s

The 80’s are known for that era when video games and arcade games were truly bought into the mainstream world. There were a few basic prototypes and ideas prior, but nothing like what 1980 and beyond would produce. Arcade gaming was booming back throughout the decade and there were some truly iconic pieces out there. 

Some of the best games of the 80’s would then go on to act as a launchpad for video games further on down the timeline. The games you see now are that way because they were able to stand on the shoulders of these giants. With regard to the goal, the narrative, the style, and so many different aspects, games of this generation are modelled on those retro classics.

Within this article, we’re going to discuss the best 80’s arcade games and the impact they had. We’ll quickly brush up on how they remain popular to this day while ending with some of the most popular games around – games that provided the foundation for today’s blockbusters and today’s professional esports athletes. 

The popularisation of gaming in the 80’s

Until the arcade game boom of the 80s, digital gaming wasn’t all that fashionable. It was in its infancy, but it still had a lot to offer. People had never seen anything like this before and became quickly hooked.

Kids (and adults alike) who had no real sense of competitiveness or interest in sports now had a new way of competing and challenging their cognitive abilities. The 80s arcade gaming scene truly opened the world up to all kinds of possibilities.  

1980’s gaming manufacturers

The big boys back in the day were that of Atari, NAMCO, CAPCOM, Konami, and SEGA. All five are names that all gamers will instantly recognize and look back on fondly. The work the people did at these huge names will never be forgotten – they’ll also continue to be enjoyed for years to come. While they may not be the big names in comparison to the 2020s era, they’re by no means gone without a trace. They’ll continue to work and continue to live on. 

Modern nostalgia with arcade games  

80s retro arcade games will never die it seems – they’re just too good and provide so much entertainment. For those who lived through it, the nostalgia brings them back. Reliving the memories is something those of the elder generations will always wish for.

The biggest games we’ve had in human history such as Pac-Man and Mario Bros. will never ever go out of fashion. With the rising popularity of Stranger Things this past few years, the 80s, in general, came back into fashion somewhat – the video game aspect also got a huge boost! It’s amazing what amazing TV shows can do for popular culture. That show allowed people to unlock memories that perhaps may have been lost forever. 

The best 80’s games still going today

If you’re interested in revisiting that time as you’d like to learn more (or whether you just need a little nostalgia trip), then here are some of the best arcade games of the 80s!

Original Pacman Arcade Machine


Probably the most popular arcade game of all time and the pioneer that set off the trend. Pac-Man was and remains an extremely simple yet fun way of passing the time. You cannot get a much more legendary arcade game character than Pac-Man – maybe Ms. Pac-Man! On May 22nd, 1980, Pac-Man was released by Namco.

Space Invaders

So this was technically 70’s but it really hit the big time in the 80’s. It was originally created by Tomohiro Nishikado then manufactured and sold by Taito in Japan. Space Invaders is one of the most recognisable shooting games with its pixellated characters and theme track.

Donkey Kong 

The prequel to the Mario Brothers phenomenon. Donkey Kong is an even gorilla who has captured Mario’s girlfriend, Pauline. Your job is to save her. Again, made by Nintendo in 1981, this has gone down as a legendary game in history. You’ve probably heard of it!

original Tron Arcade Cabinet


Released in 1982 in the same year as the movie it is based on, this game proved to be super-popular with gamers and non-gamers alike. It was created by Bally Midway games. It consists of four subgames that follow the story of the film. 


Developed by Gottlieb in 1982, Q*bert is another cult classic that people will play all day if they could. The objective is to change each cube in a pyramid to a target color by making Q*bert hop onto it. You have to avoid other enemies and players while doing so.


Created in 1981, Galaga is a fixed shooter that was developed by Namco. Your job is to destroy Galaga forces in different stages as the pilot of a starship. All while voiding different enemies and projectiles. 


5th June 1981 is when Frogger graced the world. Developed and published by Konami, Frogger is all about getting past different obstacles and reaching the other side. As you guessed it, you’ll play as a frog aiming to avoid cars and to jump on lily pads. 

Pole Position

Pole Position is an arcade racing game that came out in 1982 and was, again, produced by Namco – licensed by Atari. Those video games you see now that are viewed from behind the car featuring an actually racing circuit? They were inspired by Pole Position. As you’d expect, your job is to win the races you’re placed in!

Star Wars Collection

Star Wars

As you’d expect, this arcade game is based on the huge film franchise that took over the world. Released in 1983 by Atari, Star Wars allows the player to pilot a Rebel starship and battle against the forces of the empire. It uses references to both A New Hope and Return Of The Jedi.


The legendary game of Tetris came out in the 80s, too. Created by software developer Alexey Pajitnov, the simple game became a phenomenon. You probably already know, but if you don’t, then it’s a case of manipulating falling shapes so that you can score points and stop everything from piling up. If it all piles up and reaches the top, the game ends. 

So there you have the list of our top picks for 80’s arcade games. Why not rent one of these retro classics? View our collection of classic arcade games for hire.

Best Pandemic Action Holiday Companies

Which holiday companies provided amazing customer service during Covid-19?

The coronavirus has caused major disruption across the world. While everybody recognises the importance of social distancing and flattening the curve when it comes to the virus, people have still been left disappointed with events and holidays. Unfortunately, most people have had to cancel the exciting plans they had.

Notably, there have been some holiday companies that have provided better customer service than others during COVID-19. Let’s take a look at some of the companies that have treated their customers well during this difficult time, as well as some of the worst.

travel councellors logo

Travel Counsellors

Keeping a good reputation during COVID-19 is Travel Counsellors. They have shown themselves to be a great choice for booking your holidays since they contacted customers as soon as their flights were cancelled. They were kept in the loop and they were able to refund their expenses or figure out a way to rebook. While people were disappointed about their vacation, Travel Counsellors made sure that everything was seamless during a difficult time. 

It is interesting to note the survey carried out by They conducted a survey with over 27,000 responses from customers, asking for their feedback and experiences with a number of large travel companies, including Travel Counsellors. Out of 81 travel companies and 207 responses, Travel Counsellors performed the best, with +91% score. Customers were clearly very happy with how this company responded during a confusing and difficult time. This is compared to some companies that had very negative scores, such as Teletext Holidays at -94% and Tui at -60%.

Hays Travel Logo

Hays Travel

Another holiday company that has come out on top during COVID-19 has been Hays Travel. They were ranked second best travel firm by Money Saving Expert and in their survey. In particular, over 1000 people gave them a 70 per cent positive response. They now have a lot of travel agents working that can handle customer inquiries.

They are stating that they are prioritising those who already have a booking so that they can call you back and discuss what is going to happen. Customers have already been able to cancel their holidays that they had planned and receive refunds for them.



One of the best holiday companies during the coronavirus pandemic has been Airbnb. They were quick to update their policy during COVID-19 to let their customers and hosts know what was happening. They stated that if you have made a check-in date for between March and July 2020, you are going to be covered by the policy and able to cancel your arrangement. There would be no charge for this cancellation and you can be refunded for your stay. Alternatively, you can get a travel credit if you want to book in the future. This is great news for those that were worried about losing their money during this difficult time.

Jet 2 Holidays Logo

Jet2 Holidays

Jet2 Holidays has been reported have handled COVID-19 well despite the major disruptions to the airline. They decided to suspend their flights and holidays but they have made sure that anybody that had a vacation booked will receive a refund during the coronavirus pandemic. They are progressing through departure date order and doing their best to get in touch with customers.

In addition, their customer service means that you can rebook your holiday without any amendment feeds. They offered £100 off a holiday if you chose a departure date before 31st March 2021. This is a great incentive that not a lot of holiday companies are offering right now as everybody is struggling financially.


British Airways Logo

British Airways Holidays

British Airways Holidays are doing their best to help customers during the coronavirus pandemic. You have been allowed a refund for your holiday but getting the money back has not been a fast process. Some easier options that are offered include re-arranging your holiday to a later date. In addition, you can claim a voucher that is going to be to the value of your booking and you have two years to use it. Overall, British Airways Holidays are doing everything they can to keep customers happy. 


Unfortunately, there are some holiday companies that have not responded as well during COVID-19.


it appears Ryanair customers have been having difficulty speaking to customer service. They have been giving customers a refund for their flights, but they are not going to receive the money any time soon.

Travel Trolley

Travel Trolley has reportedly not been keeping customers informed with what is happening. In particular, they are not sending updates on cancelled flights and customer service is hard to get through to. Some customers have even said that they have switched off their phone lines and their emails are not being answered. Others that have got through have said that they are not receiving a refund but instead will get a credit note. Of course, during this difficult time, this is not what everybody wants.

Sykes Cottages

Some customers of Sykes Cottages have said that they are withholding refunds from customers. They were found to have small printed terms and conditions that stated they did not have to offer a refund if the holiday was cancelled due to circumstances deemed out of their control.

The Overall Findings

A pandemic is a sure way to highlight the good and bad in how companies operate, and who really has customer service at the heart of all they do.

There is no doubt that Travel Counsellors are excelling during the coronavirus pandemic. They are helping their customers navigate through an unknown time, with positive feedback from those that have dealt with them already. If you have a holiday booked with them, this can offer you peace of mind.  Unfortunately, there are some companies that are struggling to offer the customer service that you would hope for. Hopefully, they can improve their experience for customers moving forward, as we try to get back to normal after COVID-19.


Arcade Direct are proud to work with Travel Counsellors

Arcade Direct along with Passion4Events have organised some fantastic events for Travel Counsellors, having organised their Financial Reporter awards for the past 3 years

These events were planned with a unique theme for each. The most recent, to celebrate their 10th-anniversary awards was styled around a ‘House Party’. There were themed areas created such as a cool kitchen area with a custom-built bar, and a bedroom with beer pong and custom arcade games. There was even a bathtub turned into a photo booth! It was a fun night for everybody and allowed guests to unwind. It was a huge success.

Arcade Direct also helped with the Financial Reporter Awards in 2018. They created an immersive Batman theme, allowing over 400 guests to be amazed for the event. This included creating a back street to Gotham, complete with everything from the Joker and his magic tricks, as well as cool cocktails, Batman arcade machines and Mr Freeze snow cones.

Arcade Direct is definitely a company that you can depend on if you are wanting to organise an event and party. They make the process easy and the end result is a fun and memorable occasion. That is exactly what everybody needs after COVID-19 is over!

Get in touch and see what we can do for your event!


Best Brazen Gaming Chairs 2020


Are you looking for a new Brazen chair for playing your favourite games? There are a lot of cool designs around, but Brazen is certainly a brand to stand out from the crowd. You want to look for gaming chairs that combine comfort and style. Some of the best gaming chairs are designed by BraZen right here in the United Kingdom. So, let’s take a look at some so that you can find the best one for you. We have matched various budgets and styles!


1. BraZen Panther Elite 2.1 Bluetooth

First on our list is the amazing BraZen Panther Elite 2.1. This is exactly what you need if you want to have a stylish gaming setup since there are a variety of colours available. It is an adult pedestal gaming chair that boasts comfort, as well as style, with padded armrests, breathable mesh fabric and foam for support. We love how this gaming chair folds away for easy storage when not in use. One of the best parts is that it boasts a 2.1 surround system with a subwoofer and three vibration motors. This can bring any game to life. Just plug it into the mains and enjoy gaming all day long!

Price: £150.00 + VAT


2. BraZen Phantom Elite PC Chair

Do you play a lot of computer games sitting on a PC? Then we would recommend the fantastic BraZen Phantom Elite PC Gaming Chair. You can enjoy comfort when gaming since it has breathable mesh fabric and foam for padding. The arms are adjustable too. It has cushions for back and head support. The Phantom Elite also looks modern and stylish and there are a variety of bright coloured accents to choose from. In addition, this PC gaming chair has nylon castors for moving around and the height can be adjusted to suit your needs.

Price: £125.00 + VAT


3. BraZen Pride 2.1 Bluetooth

Next up is the BraZen Pride 2.1 Bluetooth Purple Gaming Chair. This has a cool and contemporary design that everybody loves. The gaming chair is black with vibrant purple accents and the foam and padding offer great support for long gaming sessions. The chair is even compliant with fire safety regulation. The 2.1 surround sound speakers allow you to feel like you are in the game. They offer great sound and it is compatible with all major gaming consoles. You can also connect to your television to watch movies and your smartphone for kicking back and listening to music.

Price: £120.00 + VAT


4. BraZen Puma PC Black & Pink Chair

The BraZen PC Black and Pink Gaming Chair is one of the most appealing chairs for those gamer ladies out there! It boasts a fantastic design, with classy black material and bright pink accents. This is going to add contemporary style to any gaming setup. You can adjust the height and tilt the chair using the butterfly mechanism. This desk gaming chair is suitable for all ages and provides support through the foam padding. Plus, it is easy to set up and only takes around 20 minutes.

Price: £100.00 + VAT


5. BraZen Python 2.0 Bluetooth

This is the most popular for console gaming! We recommend the BraZen Python 2.0 Bluetooth Black and Grey Gaming Chair as a cool accessory for any child aged four to 14 years old. The black chair and grey accents will add a modern and fun touch to any gaming setup. The best part about this gaming chair is that it has built-in speakers in the headrest. Enjoy 2.0 audio surround sound when you are playing games via Bluetooth or through the audio cable. You can even watch movies or listen to music.

Price: £74.99 + VAT


6. BraZen Sentinel Elite PC Gaming Chair

When we are talking about the best gaming chairs, we have got to mention the BraZen Sentinel Elite PC Green Gaming Chair. This is exactly what you need when playing computer games. It features 5 cm nylon casters so that you easily move around and the neck and lumbar cushions provide support when you are playing for hours on end. The gaming chair has a cool racing style design, which features vibrant green accents on black material. You can adjust the height of the chair, as well as for the armrests.

Price: £145 + VAT


7. BraZen Salute PC Pink Gaming Chair

Last but not least is the BraZen Salute PC Pink Gaming Chair. It designed from PU, PVC and mesh materials, as well as having foam padding for comfort. This chair has a popular racing design and pink accents on black and also features the BraZen logos. Move around on the five nylon castors and you can adjust the height easily. Everyone can enjoy this cool gaming chair!

Price: £100 + VAT

10 gaming blogs you should be following

Top 10 Best Gaming Blogs

If you love gaming, then you will want to know everything there is in order to improve your score or finish the story and complete the game. Following popular gaming blogs online is a great way to keep up to date with the latest gaming knowledge.

Other gamers often share tips, cheats and other useful information about games in their own blogs. You can use this to your information to improve your experience.

If you are not sure what the best gaming blogs are to follow, you have come to the right place. We have found some of the best around. Let’s check out 10 gaming blogs and what they can offer you.

Shack News

1. Shacknews

Let’s start with Shacknews. This gaming blog allows readers to stay updated with the latest releases and exclusives all in one place. Treat it like your daily gaming newspaper! You can learn about everything from Call of Duty to Resident Evil.

There is a mix of genres to enjoy. It is regularly updated with interesting articles that will keep you occupied for hours. Join in the conversation and talk about anything with like-minded people. Shacknews has been around since 1996 and continues to be a popular gaming blog.

VG 24/7

2. VG247

VG247 was started by Patrick Garratt back in 2008. It quickly grew to be a fun and popular gaming blog for the community and it continues to be up there with the best. You can expect great content that is well written and humorous. This gaming blog has even won three awards at the Games Media Awards.

Dive into the review guides, new articles or surf around the hot stories. With around 16 new posts a day, you are never without something new to read on the gaming world. What are you waiting for? Check it out and see if you like the content.

Video Gamer

3. Videogamer

Next on our list is Videogamer. This website was created in 2008 and is full of useful information for gamers. We like that it has a clear menu where you can explore what interests you the most. For example, there are videos, features, guides and new articles. We also love that you can access the forums and speak to other gamers about any topic you like.

There is a podcast too so that you can listen to content when you are on the road. With around 12 new posts a day, there is plenty of fascinating material for gaming enthusiasts. Videogamer is one of the largest websites of its kind.

Joy Freak

4. JoyFreak

JoyFreak is known as one of the top gaming forums and blog websites around. It is a great place to gather with like-minded people and discuss everything games. You can also read the latest news and reviews that interest you. We like how you can choose your platform from the beginning. This includes PlayStation, PC, mobile, Xbox and Nintendo.

US Gamer

5. USgamer

When looking for quality content for gamers, the blog that immediately stands out on our list is USgamer. You can take a look at analysis pieces, reviews and guides. You can get involved, comment and talk about what you have read. There is an easy to navigate menu to work around the website. For example, you can choose to read about retro topics or listen to their podcast when you are away from home.

Rock Paper Shotgun

6. Rock Paper Shotgun

Rock Paper Shotgun is much more than a cool name. It is jam-packed full of useful and interesting information for those that love playing PC games. This is a gaming website that has been around since 1873. It offers everything from news and reviews to videos and guides. The wealth of information will let you discover something new every day. There is a forum to have discussions and a podcast to listen to in your spare time. There are even some free PC games that you can enjoy. We like the game of the month feature. This is a great way to discover new games on the market.

Kotaku UK

7. Kotaku UK

Next on our list is Kotaku UK. This is definitely in our top 10 gaming blogs as it has been around for years and attracts a lot of visitors. This has a lot of information for gamers that enjoy playing Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo and PC games. You can read in depth articles if you have a lot of time, as well as short new stories to keep up with the latest gaming trends. This gaming blog uses simple and engaging language, as well as bold and vibrant images to keep readers interested. From reading about Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch to learning more about Final Fantasy XIV, you can come and search for your favourite games.

Frugal Gaming

8. Frugal Gaming

We all know that gaming is expensive. Being able to afford all of the latest games and accessories can be difficult. But that is why we like Frugal Gaming. It is a blog dedicated to helping you save money. The team search the interest to find the best discounts and deals out there. This allows you to get that new game you want at a lower and better price. There is also a community forum where you can talk and have some fun. You can find the latest deals for PlayStation, Nintendo, PC and Xbox One.

Grown Gaming

9. Grown Gaming

A lot of gaming blogs are aimed at younger ages, ranging from school kids to teenagers. But the great thing about Grown Gaming is that it is dedicated to grown-ups that love to play games. The information is better for adult gamers and there is a wealth of awesome information you can learn. You can check out the stories and articles, as well as reviews. There is even the opportunity to contribute to the gaming community and write for Grown Gaming. What’s more, we like the latest, popular, hot and trending categories so that you can quickly find the latest news.


10. The Sixth Axis

The Sixth Axis, or simply known as TSA, is a gaming blog that keeps you up to date with the latest news, previews and reviews. You can stay in the loop and not miss a thing when it comes to games. From Warcraft III to Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, there is plenty of content that you can read that will interest you. There really is something for everyone. There are also competitions, a forum and videos that you can watch. This is definitely a gaming blog you can visit every day and not get bored with. Check it out!

Top 10 careers for Geeks

In these uncertain times with Covid-19, many people have found themselves out of work or re-evaluating how happy they are in their current roles.

You know how the old saying goes; ‘find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life‘. Searching for a career to suit your personality, merged with your nerdy traits can be a challenge, so we have compiled a handy list of suggestions that may be the perfect match!

Arcade Direct doesn’t just supply awesome arcade games, we are a community of geeks and gamers, to inspire you with a range of weird and wonderful, slightly nerdy products and interests.

We have found the top 10 careers for geeks to give you some inspiration. Let’s check them out! 

Museum Curator

1. Museum Curator

If you have a love of history and like to visit a museum or two in your spare time, then consider working as a museum curator. This can allow you to work in an engaging environment full time, talking about your interests with others who love it too – perfect right?

Your duties will include overseeing collections and helping visitors understand historical material. This can be a fun and rewarding job if you have a passion for history. You may also have to work on the placement of collections and have an input on how they are displayed to the public.

You can demonstrate your knowledge and enjoy getting up and close with ancient artefacts. You may need a history or related degree for this career. However, this is not always necessary and it will depend on the museum.

Video Games Designer

2. Video Games Designer

If you like playing games, then it’s highly likely you will love creating them! As a Video Games Designer, it is your job to create fascinating and captivating stories for people to play. Design experiences on a range of different consoles or PC games & applications.

You can create an immersive fantasy world, a product of your own imagination and creativity. This is a highly skilled and incredibly sought after role. Not only can you do something that you love but you can also make a lot of money as a video games designer. There are courses you can take to learn how to create the software and understand all the small details of what goes into making a video game. 

Every game has a story, and a team of creatives that brought it to life. Who knows, maybe one day you will create a game to rival the classics of Pacman and Space Invaders!


3. Librarian

If you are someone that loves to read with a long-lived passion for books, then why not look into a career as a librarian? This job requires extensive knowledge, as many people ask for advice on books and novels.

You will need to train as a librarian in order to know where everything is, but if you already have a good knowledge of popular literature, you can will hit the ground running. Daily tasks will include organising books, customer service and cleaning up. What’s more, working at the library can offer you some peace and quiet during the day! There are many small and local library jobs, as well as bigger libraries across the country. Find one that you feel comfortable in and have the knowledge to share.

Mobile Application Development

4. Mobile Application Developer

Mobile apps are not going anywhere, their popularity is rising as people find more ways to save time and improve everyday convenience. More companies are opting for a mobile app experience for their customers, meaning there is a high number of careers in mobile app development.

If you enjoy coding and the idea of creating new apps, head over and check out the latest jobs to become a mobile application developer. Many employers offer junior-level positions, allowing you to learn on the job with one-to-one mentoring. This isn’t easy to learn, and to create a truly professional app will require training and experience, but once mastered this can be an extremely rewarding job. It can be a fun process to be part of building something. These skills also transfer in to other careers such as web development or games design. Maybe you can challenge yourself to create a new arcade game like the Galaxian or the Defender!

You will need to be creative, good at problem-solving, know your programming languages and have analytical skills. This is going to ensure you create an enjoyable app that operates well when it is released.

special effects makeup artist

5. Special FX Makeup Artist

Are you fascinated by horror movies and all the blood and gore that is created in these films? Ever wondered how they create those gory characters in zombie movies, or how those monsters and ghosts look so realistic? Perhaps it is time to dive into the work of special effects makeup.

It’s not easy to get into this industry, and to get into the big blockbusters can be difficult as you have to first build a strong portfolio and get noticed. That said, everyone starts somewhere, and if you have a natural talent, with practice you could quickly rise up the ladder and get a lucky break! This career is about bringing fantasy to life and having attention to detail to make it happen. There is the potential to make good money with a career in special effects makeup and the opportunity to work on awesome movie sets.


6. Historian

If your friends describe you as a human fact machine, and you have a passion for period dramas and documentaries, this is probably the right career for you!

A job as a historian will allow you to analyse and research your favourite topics and write your interpretation of them. You can go on to write novels and help with major projects. You can be surrounded by historic artefacts and documents that can be fascinating if you are a history geek. You can earn good money as an experienced historian but you may have to gain a degree before you begin.

graphic designer

7. Graphic Designer

You may have briefly dipped your toes in the world of graphic design from an early age with many schools offering it as a key subject. It’s the perfect career for those that love to use their creativity and design skills to create new campaigns. You have the option to work for a large company with their own internal design team, or for an agency that work on a variety of projects at one time. Graphic Designers often create for both print and web, from producing printed brochures to designing digital banners for websites and social media.

There are a variety of different projects you can work on depending on who you are hired by. It is possible to work as a freelance graphic designer once you have the experience. 

8. Arcade Game Repair Engineer

The popularity of arcade games remains high, with retro machines hired regularly, and pubs and bars hiring boxing machines and pool tables to keep the punters entertained and increase their revenue. Many companies take up long term hire of classic arcade games for their staff to use, and businesses hire our custom arcade machines to promote new products and events via branded activations

All these machines require upkeep and maintenance to keep them running smoothly, so this is a great opportunity for a new career. The job role involves repairing and maintaining of your favourite arcade game as an engineer. You will gain training and experience to restore machines that are malfunctioning or broken. In addition, your job may include refurbishing classic arcade machines to their former glory. You can expect a good salary for this job and the opportunity to repair cool arcade machines.

ethical hacker

9. Ethical Hacker

You may be wondering; is being a hacker legal? Of course, on your own from home – full vigilate style is not a good idea – and could get you in some serious trouble, however, it is possible to become an ethical hacker. If your inner geek calling combines with a passion to do some good in the world this makes total sense. This role often involves helping clients test the security of their websites and systems. Your job is to try to hack into their network and carry out an assessment. It enables companies to improve their security from real threats. This can be a testing job and will require a lot of computing skills. 


10. Actuary

If you are good at equations with an analytical brain, then consider becoming an Actuary. This is a highly paid job that requires you to have good mathematical skills and be an expert in risk management. Your duty will be to assess risk for companies and provide insight into how these might impact on their business. You will need a strong academic background and really enjoy working with numbers. But if you find statistics fun, this can be a rewarding and exciting job that sees you apply your skills in real-life situations.


How to embrace your inner nerd and create your own geek themed interior

Are you moving into a new home or are renovating your rooms? If you love geeky stuff then this is the perfect time to customise your home with your favourite games and characters. Not only is this going to be fun and unique, but it is also going to be perfect for YOU. After all, you want to feel at home in your house!

Nowadays, there are a lot of cool and fun additions that you can make to your home. Let’s take a look at favourite geek-themed interior ideas so that you can create your dream home today.

brazen gaming chairs

Settle in with a comfy gaming chair from Brazen

No matter if you like PC gaming, XBOX One or Playstation, you are going to be sat around for hours on end playing your favourite game. The last thing you need is a sore back from a rubbish chair! Arcade Direct are now stocking a range of stylish and quality gaming chairs from top brand Brazen. There is a range of colours and styles to choose from for your home, so you can make sure it matches the rest of the decor!

Get your very own original Space Invaders game

if like us you have a passion for original arcade machines, then this will make a great addition to your home. You can make the place look super retro whilst taking the amazing opportunity to own one of the original arcade machines forever. This exciting game was first released in 1978 and continues to inspire people with its alien invasion storyline. It is easy to play, which makes it fun for you and your guests. What’s more, this arcade machine looks cools too. It has the original design, with bold colours. Not a fan of Space Invaders? There are tons of other machines such as Pacman, Galaxian and original Asteroids!

Captain America Shield

Marvel in some wall art: Captain America Shield

Captain America always saves the day! If you are a big fan of the Avengers movies, then you are going to love this wall art. This is a bold and vibrant wall sticker that looks just like Captain America’s shield. It is perfect for a child’s bedroom or an Avenger’s themed living room or games room. It is easy to apply to your wall without having to use any nails or fixing attachments. So, if you love Marvel, this is definitely the art that you are going to want for your home!

Star Wars Waffle Maker

Kit out the kitchen with a Star Wars Waffle Maker

Do you love waffles? How about the Star Wars franchise? The good news is that you can combine these two things together to enjoy. This Star Wars waffle maker is just what you need as a subtle addition to your kitchen. It’s white in colour and has BB-8 on the lid. It will complement your kitchen. But the best part about this waffle maker is that it makes delicious waffles in the shape of BB-8. This allows you to have a filling and fun breakfast! We love the detail of BB-8 and it is perfect to serve up to guests. They will be impressed! There are five temperature settings so that you can fluffy and crispy waffles. This will also make a thoughtful gift for anybody that loves Star Wars. Everybody has a soft spot for BB-8!

omega pool tables

Keep guests entertained with an Omega Pool Table

If you are a bit of a game or sports geek, then you need a pool table. No games round is complete without it! This is the perfect game to play with friends when they come over. It is coin-operated for some fun and you can choose the colour of this pool table to suit your décor. We love games that everybody can play together and we cannot think of anything better than this pool table. For example, if you are creating a man cave in your new home, you definitely need a pool table!

Stern Pinball Machines

Challenge your mates to a game of pinball!

X-Men were created in comic books by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, as well as being published by Marvel. So, if you are a comic book geek, you are definitely going to want X-Men in your home. Ensure hours of fun with this pinball machine and be wary… this will definitely entice more visitors! Challenge friends to beat the high score, and select your favourite design such as this cool X-Men theme, or Avatar, Family Guy and even Shrek!, which makes it the best game for comic book fans. It is a challenge for all ages to enjoy playing. Why not feature it on your living room or bedroom?

Pacman Table

The ultimate centrepiece – a Pac-Man Table

If you like quirky furniture then you are going to love this Pac-Man table! We all love this famous maze arcade game that continues to be one of the best arcade games of all time. We never get tired of eating all of the dots and running away from the ghosts! So, if you want to enjoy a retro geek theme in your home, check out this cool table. It has been handcrafted in the North West, with the Pac-Man design for the table and a stool. It even has a wine holder. It is compact, quirky and contemporary, which is perfect for any home. It enjoys a white and red design that is sure to be the focal point in any room.

lord of the rings doormat

Welcome guests with a Lord of the Rings doormat

We have not forgotten about Lord of the Rings. This epic fantasy novel and movie is one that cannot be ignored and had to be included on our list! So, if you are moving into a new home or want to decorate it with your favourite geeky movies, check out this Lord of the Rings ‘You Shall Not Pass” doormat.

As well as being a home essential, this is also a lighthearted way to welcomes people into your home – LOTR fans will certainly appricate the quote! It is a fun accessory to have at your door, as well as a great way to avoid muddy shoes messing up your home.

The Lost World

Get lost in another world with this Jurassic Park Arcade Machine

There are a lot of new Jurassic World movies out in recent years. But nothing can beat the originals. If you are a big fan of the older movies, you have got to take a look at the Lost World: Jurassic Park Arcade Machine. This is based on the original movie, as you battle to survive the island that is overrun with dinosaurs. With five stages of the game, there is a lot to keep you amused. This makes this arcade machine the perfect addition to a games room or man cave. There is nothing better than the classics and this is one of them! What a great addition to your home.

You are one step closer to your geek-themed paradise!

There you have it; nine geek-themed interior ideas that you can add to your new home. Whether you are a big Star Wars fan or love characters from Marvel and comic books, there are plenty of décor items and arcade machines out there to choose from. To enjoy some of the original arcade machines, you can check out our collection at Arcade Direct today.

The Evolution of Games Consoles

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The gaming industry is now worth more than the video & music industry combined. It now accounts for more than half of the UK’s entire entertainment market!

The evolution of games consoles throughout the years has certainly played a big part in this, and games consoles have rapidly advanced over the years. From retro arcade games such as Pac-Man to Nintendo games and more modern games consoles such as the Xbox…here’s a sneak peek at how games consoles have developed over the years.

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1985 – NES debuts at CES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) gaming console is launched to American consumers and is a breath of fresh air in the States. It has better graphics, faster gameplay and more audible and developed sound than its predecessors. Nintendo soon becomes the best-selling system.

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1989 – Game Boy catapults the portable gaming industry

Nintendo’s iconic hand-held Game Boy invaded gamers’ palms and over the years the Game Boy is revamped as Game Boy Pocket and Game Boy Color. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 400 million portables.

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1991 – Super Nintendo vs. Sega Genesis

Nintendo releases the 16-bit Super NES to compete with Sega’s Genesis and wins out thanks to popular in-house titles like Mario, The Legend of Zelda and Donkey Kong.

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1996 – The Nintendo 64

Nintendo releases Nintendo 64 which has 64-bit graphics and 3-D games such as Mario and Zelda, as well as the debut title in the James Bond series, the massively popular GoldenEye 007. The 64 was the last cartridge-based system to be used! 

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1999 – Sega releases the Dreamcast!

Sega releases the Dreamcast, which is the first console capable of online play and the company’s last console. With competition from Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft, Sega changed its tactics to become a third-party software developer. 

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2001 – Microsoft fires back with the Xbox

Microsoft unveils the Xbox in a keynote presentation by Bill Gates. The device features PC technology, an Ethernet port, an 8 GB hard drive and the ability to play DVDs. Its Halo: Combat Evolved game is instantly popular and becomes Xbox’s flagship game franchise. The next year, Xbox introduces Xbox Live, which allows gamers to compete with users around the world.

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2005 – The Xbox 360 picks up where the Xbox left off

Microsoft unveils the Xbox 360. It will later leap ahead of the competition, namely the Nintendo Wii and the Playstation 3, largely because of Halo 3’s astonishing commercial success and critical acclaim. At one time, Xbox 360 has almost a 2-1 software attach rate advantage (the metric used to quantify how many games are sold on average to a user per system) over PS3 and Wii.

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2006 – The Nintendo Wii

The Nintendo Wii markets itself as a way for gamers to get more involved with their games. Nintendo markets the console to active, outdoorsy people who don’t normally describe themselves as gamers. The Wii becomes a worldwide hit nd by 2009, it has sold almost two times the number of consoles as Sony with the PS3.

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2006 – Sony and Microsoft compete!

Sony releases the PlayStation 3, which allows users to play Blu-Rays and stream movies and music to their system. The PS3 also connects to gamers’ PlayStation Portable consoles and, most notably to many users, offers free online gameplay without a subscription.

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2008 – Apple opens the App Store and mobile gaming grows significantly!

The launch of Apple’s app store opens up many opportunities in mobile gaming for both developers and consumers. The next year, Mobile, social games like Angry Birds for the iPhone and FarmVille for Facebook burst onto the scene.

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2013 – The Xbox One, the third Xbox, finally arrives

Xbox releases Xbox One with cloud integration and the ability to overlay live TV. The console also has voice integration and an improved Kinect sensor.

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How can Arcade Direct help with your next event? 

Here at Arcade Direct, we are specialists in all types of arcade hire and not only can we provide you with everything from retro machines such as Space Invaders, Pac Man and more. We can also offer totally bespoke arcade machines for your next party, wedding or corporate event! 

Supplying various types of machines; which can all be customised, revamped and edited to suit your needs, we have worked with a variety of different companies and individuals to deliver customised machines for any occasion. 

Bring back that nostalgia from your childhood with inspiration on how to transform your next event with a fun and unusual twist.

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Arcade Hangouts: The coolest locations across the globe

Cafe culture & gaming collide

It’s definitely true that cafe culture and finding the latest and most stylish hangout has become a more prominent trend across the globe. Today’s hangout spaces have really evolved and if you are a gaming fan, there’s plenty of arcade bars, cafes and other cool venues where you can hang out with friends!

Here are some of the most stylish gaming-focused hangouts trending across the globe right now: 

1. The Arcade Hotel in Amsterdam

Arcade Gaming Hotel


The Arcade Hotel specifically caters to passionate video gamers and keeps an impressive selection of vintage and modern video games behind its front desk so they can be hired by the guests at any time. Including games from Nintendo, Sony, Atari, and Microsoft, they have all the games consoles you could ever need! 

2. Barcade in Brooklyn, New York

Barcade Brooklyn

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

Barcade prides itself on two things: providing delicious craft beer and classic video games. The first venue opened in 2004 in the notorious hipster neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There are now three other locations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When you visit Barcade you can play Donkey Kong, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.

3. Joypolis in Tokyo, Japan

joypolis centre

Website: Image Credit:  

More than just an arcade, Joypolis is essentially a theme park including bumper cars, an indoor roller coaster and a huge variety of arcade games. 

4. The 1up in Denver, Colorado

Denver arcade bar Colorado

Website:  Image Credit: WestWorld

With two locations in Colorado, The 1up has more than 45 games in its nostalgia-ridden basement location, including pinball, Mortal Kombat and Mario Bros. On top of that, it serves excellent beer, food and tunes from a jukebox. 

5. 17 Below in Manchester

17 below arcade bar manchester

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

This venue isn’t the easiest place to find, but it’s totally worth the added effort. In order to access it, you need to enter the Dogs ‘n’ Dough restaurant and walk downstairs as it doesn’t have an entrance of its own.

Once inside, though, you’ll find a bunch of arcade cabinets, such as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Double Dragon – you can drink gaming-inspired cocktails, too. It’s one of Manchester’s best kept secrets, and a great spot for video game fans. 

6. Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in St. Petersburg, Russia

soviet arcade museum

History buffs in search of rare, likely unheard-of games should book a flight to St. Petersburg! The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines tracks down rare games produced in the mid-1970s and you can play them during the museum’s open hours.

Website:   Image Credit: Giant Bomb


7. Fab Café in Manchester

fab cafe manchester

Fab Cafe is a cult TV-and-movie-themed bar that also has something special in store for gamers. Some of the tables in the bar are fitted with classic arcade games – there are also cabinets to play. If you have an interest in geek culture, it’s a wonderful place to visit!

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

8. Sega Republic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

sega republic dubai

Dubai is no stranger to excess and its Sega Republic arcade is no exception. The indoor theme park is spacious and flashy, with 76,000 square feet, rides and more than 170 games. Go for the grandeur, stay for the gaming!

Website:   Image Credit: Dubai Travelator

9. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

A surreal wonderland of mechanical goods, Marvin’s is packed with weird artefacts. Items picked by founder, mechanical and electric gaming expert, Mark Yagoda surround you as you play pinball and Donkey Kong. It’s also been named one of the most unusual museums in the world.



10. Hold Fast in Manchester

hold fast bar manchester

Hold Fast is a fantastic bar for gamers that’s located in the Northern Quarter, inside a former bowler hat factory that’s been transformed into a hostel.

There are a bunch of retro consoles hooked up around the bar, which means you can play N64 games while sampling from the extensive cocktail menu. It’s the perfect place to unwind and play some Mario Kart.

Website:   Image Credit: Hatters


When it comes to finding other super stylish hangouts, it isn’t just cafes and bars that showcase unique and interesting spaces so here are some other examples: 

run a staff competition

The Rise of Coworking Spaces 

If you haven’t already noticed, coworking spaces have become some of the most stylish hangout spaces across the globe and many people who are self-employed or freelancing use these cool hangout spaces to meet new people, have a change of scenery from the usual office 9-5 and socialise with new people in similar industries. 

Employees usually thrive in these spaces and researchers have discovered that people who use coworking spaces can be more productive by changing their work environment more regularly, as opposed to doing their jobs in regular offices.   

Coworking spaces also have communal areas such as kitchens and breakout spaces where people can network and socialise with new and interesting people! 

As these places are usually the trendiest office spaces around you can usually find all the latest technology and often fun gaming equipment so coworkers can enjoy their time out there! 

Installing a retro or customised arcade machine into a coworking space would be a great way to get people to mix with each other, creating a fun yet competitive environment! Games machines could also be added into the reception or waiting areas too and if the coworking space has a creative look and feel, this would fit in so well! 

gaming cafe

Gaming Cafes 

Gaming cafes might be more popular in Asia than they are in the UK, but several new venues have been popping up across the UK and they’re a great way to create an engaging community of people who love hanging out and gaming in a fun and friendly way! 

Internet gaming cafes are a popular new way to meet up with friends with similar interests and here at Arcade Direct, we have a variety of gaming solutions on offer.

If your cafe needs a new attraction to bring in some new customers, why not recreate a classic arcade with retro arcade machines such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Time Crisis, Street Fighter and the beloved pinball machine. 

The games don’t have to be retro either! Did you know you can also enjoy more physical games such as Boxing Machines, Dance Machines and Shooting Machines too! 

gaming restaurants

Unique Restaurants

Wherever you go, there’s a hub of cutting edge restaurants offering something niche and quirky that you’ve never seen before! Whether that’s a personalised photo that can be printed on top of your coffee or foam cocktail or a unique performer on stage, restaurants are some of the coolest and cutting edge hangouts around.

If you want to eat out at the kinds of places that are serving the latest culinary trends or you’re looking to find that dish you’ve seen all over Instagram, there’s so many hotspots for you to enjoy! Here at Arcade Direct, we have helped some amazing brands to ensure they have the most stylish hangout areas ever so if you are looking to redesign a particular space, take a look at one of the links below to find your perfect machine for your next cool hangout space! We promise you won’t regret it!

Run a staff competition to drive office enthusiasm!

Branded arcade machines to boost social media!

Here at Arcade Direct, we are experts in creating fully branded arcade machines that can be tailored to your business to create a competition or incentive for your staff. 

Short term & long term hire: Whether you are looking for a custom arcade machine to hire for a few days, weeks  or you are looking to buy a custom arcade machine as a permanent feature, we can really help to make your concept a reality! 

Offering bespoke services to our clients is what we do best and we often produce one-off or even a range of special limited edition arcade machines to add that special touch to a  team building day. 

Custom boxing machine review

Unique team building – without leaving the office!

Companies with a fun and creative approach are always on the lookout for something a little different, and that’s exactly what we can offer!

Work with us on creating your very own custom arcade machine, from boxers to dance machines, and create an in-house competition to encourage team building, a bit of healthy competition, and raise your brand awareness at the same time. 

#hashtag it!

With the increasing use of social media, a custom arcade machine is also great for creating a real buzz that will be talked about for months to come! Why not consider adding your social media details on the side or add a hashtag for maximum exposure?

Employees are guaranteed to use the hashtag and talk about who is winning the competition so it’s a great way to create a real buzz around your event. 


Bespoke graphics for your PR campaign

Working with our graphics reproduction team, we can either re-create original artwork to make your machine look like new or completely transform it to match the competition or PR campaign you have in mind. 

All of our bespoke, customised machines are beautifully hand crafted and there’s a range of upgrades we can do to create the arcade machine of your dreams.

Classic Competition!

Depending on the competition you have in mind, we can create a modern arcade machine to play all of the latest games or a classic retro arcade machine to play old school games.

Add a little retro nostalgia…

Custom arcade machines could be used in many different locations and let’s face it, they are a cool addition to add to any corporate space! They’re the ultimate statement piece, whether in the office, at a company event or as part of a games room and they will definitely help o drive morale and enthusiasm in the office. 

classic arcade games

Encourage interaction and improve mental well being in the workplace

Many companies have begun to offer incentives for staff, in the form of internal competitions. For example, Virgin Atlantic placed a dance machine in their head office, and gave away an amazing holiday to one of their lucky employees for getting the highest score.

Companies are trying to build team relationships, and get people away from their desks at break times. Research shows by taking part in something fun and interactive during the working day, it will release happy chemicals, and improve your sense of well being. By having happy staff, you are sure to have a more productive team!

Some examples of machines you can hire:

Boxing Machine: Allow your employees to let off some steam by taking it out on the punch bag! Offer rewards for the highest scores, and runners up. Prizes could include an extra days holiday or a voucher for their favorite restaurant! Boxing machines are really popular, and we can even custom brand it for you.

Dance Machine: Get the music going and a sing along for those not dancing! You can either go on the highest score, or offer a prize to everyone who takes part. This doesn’t have to be anything big, it could just be early finishes on Fridays for a month, or free snacks! Take a look at our dance machine for hire.

Grabber Cranes: A prize every time! This is a great way to get people out of their seats over lunchtime. These are perfect for staff events, as you can fill them with whatever you like. You could have a load of plastic balls, with messages in each ball including a challenge or a question or comment to make people think, it will be fun for everyone to see what their message says!

In the example below you can see how Snap Chat included their own custom soft toy, which was shared far and wide on social media, making a great brand presence to potential customers!

Don’t be surprised if after the campaign you have an influx of CV’s with keen future employees, you look after your staff well it seems!

Place in a breakout area of the office

Arcade Machines are not only a fun addition to a space but can also be used for team building purposes too. Arcade machines may be a great way to evoke discussion and provide some fun competition amongst the employees. This is the best placement for running a competition too! Depending on the type of competition you have in mind, there are a variety of gaming solutions.

From a classic retro arcade machine with games such as Pac-man, Space Invaders, Time Crisis, Street Fighter or a Pinball Machine to the claw grabber cranes. 

Take the competition outside of the workplace, and involve potential customers!

Perfect for a PR, corporate or roadshow event an arcade machine adds some interactive element to invite customers to come and speak to you! We have helped companies such as Juicy Couture and Top Shop to set up bespoke exhibitions in shopping centers.

This is incredibly effective for brand awareness, as people hashtag their experience on social media. Whether you are launching a new product, service, or just running a one-off-campaign, we can help you to organise something effective and unique.

We can brand your own custom boxing machine, dance machine, grabber crane, or just about anything else! This will stand out from a normal arcade machine to bring an action-packed feel to your event. You have the freedom to customise your machine to make it fun and eye-catching and using images, slogans and branding you will be making your business more memorable in the process too! 

custom hashtag

Grab attention and gain new customers

Attract potential customers walking past! People love to play competitive games and won’t be able to resist all the fun! Why not start a competition between everyone with prizes to be won as this will no doubt keep everyone engaged? 

For example, there have been several brands and businesses that have run successful campaigns with a custom boxing machine. This includes Juicy Couture that had their fantastic personalised boxing machine in the Trafford Centre in Manchester. This was a hit with passers-by who loved to test their punching skills on the machine. The machine featured a hashtag displayed on the side of the machine for everybody to talk about it on social media, with the chance to win daily prizes from Juicy Couture.

custom machines branded

We have helped some fantastic brands!

Another fantastic advertisement for Bulk Powders was their custom boxing machine that featured Boxer, Anthony Joshua. This was featured at the Body Power Experience and guests loved having a go. It was an instant hit everybody loved the competition of seeing if they could beat the high score. What’s more, Bulk Powders used it as a chance to advertise their brand, with their own hashtags and branding features on the boxing machine.

Of course, it is not just businesses that will love designing a custom boxing machine; everybody has the opportunity to join in the competition and get involved! You can use any images, logos or messages that you want to on the boxing machine to make it special and one of a kind.

How can arcade Direct help bring this to life?

You have the opportunity to choose how you want to advertise or style your custom arcade machine and we can help you to bring all your ideas to life. You can be the next big business to feature one of these fantastic machines, alongside Topshop, Snapchat, Marr Clothing and Activision. Our design team works hard to make sure that everybody loves their custom machine and once you’ve tried one competition in the office, you are sure to find it’s been the best thing ever for your business to bring everyone together and create a great team spirit.

So, come and join in the fun today with Arcade Direct! Click one of the links below to find your perfect machine