Humans have been social creatures for almost as long as we’ve been on earth. It may have started out as survival, but then we realised that it was also fun.

The first traces of humans playing games dates back nearly 7,000 years, and it has evolved too. Now, with all our technology we can play alone, but actually studies suggest that we don’t want to.

Even when playing at home, people now buy headsets and communicate with their friends when playing games. For some, it’s a way of making new friends by playing their favourite game.

When we gather in each other’s homes, people young and old play board games and video games. Increasingly, VR headsets are part of the experience.

It’s hardly surprising that gaming venues have begun popping up in various cities, so people can play games while socialising.


A variety of interesting games

 Of course, London has jumped on this hot trend and has many gaming bars around the city. Now you can spend an afternoon or evening with friends and play games at the same time.

Some of the games you might find in these venues include:

  • Shuffleboard
  • Vintage computer games such as Need for Speed
  • Retro arcade games
  • Virtual clay shooting

And many, many more. Whatever your favourite gaming experience is, you can probably find it, and add food and drinks to the mix.

Whether north, south, east or west of the city, you can easily jump on the Tube or bus to find one of these. Let’s take a look at some of the cool spots.


1. Platform
 Located in hip Shoreditch, Platform is the place to go if you want multiplayer old school games. Grab a table, play Mario Party and order some pizza and beers.

This is a place for pure fun times with friends, but the friendly staff give game tips too.


2. The Three Compasses

Fancy playing some board games? Head over to Dalston to this friendly spot, and you may even see a movie while you’re there.

There’s also table football and darts, so you and your friends can stay entertained for hours over drinks.




3. Pimp Shuei

 This place certainly looks the part with martial arts posters lining the walls. As well as the popular arcade games, you can drink Asian-inspired cocktails with cool names like Bangkok Dangerous here.

A top tip is to get there early to actually play the arcade games, as people love this Farringdon joint.


4. Hippodrome Casino

Of course, casinos are the original gaming venues that serve food and alcohol, and the Hippodrome is one of the most well-known casino venues in the UK. As live casino games at home become more popular, more people are checking out the real deal at bricks and mortar venues.

The Hippodrome is located right in the theatre district of London and has five floors of fun. The venue is host to eight bars including an outdoor terrace overlooking Soho.


5. Four Thieves

Have you ever been in a bar that you had to plot to get out of? This pub has its own escape room, Lady Chastity’s Reserve, which is brilliant for birthdays.

You’ll also find VR experiences, a black-light crazy golf course, and a tasty drinks menu at this Battersea venue.


6. Puttshack

Designed like an amusement park, this bar revolves around party golf. It’s futuristic with lots of bright lights, music and screens, but crazy golf lovers will feel totally at home.

Each hole is themed too, so you’re not just playing the round. The food is great, with poutine, sushi and bao buns on the menu.

You can find Puttshack in Bank and Watford.




7. The Grosvenor Victoria

Another popular casino gaming venue is The Grosvenor in Victoria and is more of a traditional land based casino in comparison to The Hippodrome.

It’s located near Edgware Road Station and has nice added touches such as shisha by night. If you like Arabic food, you’re onto a winner here, so you can eat with friends between games.


8. Monopoly Lifesized

If traditional board games are more your thing then be sure to check out Monopoly Lifesized, a new gaming venue close to Tottenham Court Road.

The gaming venue is just like the real thing! Players will travel around a lifesized board, building houses and charging rent by completing escape room themed challenges, not to mention trying to avoid jail!

For those who fancy grabbing a bite to eat and drink there is also a luxury top hat restaurant and bar offering British cuisine.


Are there gaming venues in other cities?

The trend has already spread to other UK cities, with game bars in:

  • Birmingham
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester
  • Brighton
  • Leeds

The more connected the world gets, means more options for playing games.


London has the most, but more will follow

Combining games with a bar environment is a winning idea. It presents a great option for special occasions or even just after work drinks.

It’s likely that this trend will continue, and more venues will open, even in smaller towns.