Reality check: I’ve actually still got face ache from laughing so much and my forearms feel like I may have accidentally swam the channel to France but I’m powering on to type this; what an epic afternoon I’ve had gaming at Platform and I’d definitely do it all over again in a heartbeat… after my thumbs recover from the Mortal Combat death match to end all death matches of course!
They say that anything goes in Platforms fully-kitted multiplayer gaming zones and that’s certainly true as I had no choice but to wrestle and tickle my opponent who thought it was ok to repeatedly button mash the controller as the Terminator in our death match, stopping me from getting a look in before FINISH HIM flashed across the screen – the cheek of it!
Set within a funky industrial space buzzing with the excitement of retro tunes, pizza, cocktails and gaming contests between friends, couples on dates and work mates stoking a bit of friendly office rivalry, as a girl who once-upon-a-time used to dabble in social game play in her youth, I found this experience a blast from the past that reignited my enthusiasm for competing the Mario Kart Mushroom Cup x1000!
I revved, chopped, skipped and high-jump down memory lane and it was wonderful to step away from the hustle and bustle of life and get lost in the magic of gaming, reminiscing over retro games, killer graphics and hilarious self-imposed contests with friends.
With a curated library of games from Mario Kart to FIFA there is a joyfully unpredictable experience at every turn, kick, punch, twerk, slice, bite, slice, sip and top-up for all. Gaming hosts are on hand to help everybody from beginner to god-level gamers to find something fun and challenging and welcome you to experience gaming in real life with your nearest and dearest instead of sitting alone in a stuffy bedroom that smells of old socks… or not?
Each party has their own Covid-friendly gaming zone of a cushty sofa, flatscreen TV and choice of consoles with multiple controllers to kick back, relax, enjoy and adventure with friends until your heart is content. The attentive table service staff kept us topped up on coffee, cocktails, pizza and sorbet as well as assisting us in switching games and trying different consoles to find a game to suit all vibes.
I literally went from making sandwiches as a really adorable little restaurant chef guy, to slicing up sick looking enemies in a fighting arena, racing cartoon characters on classic Mario tracks that made me feel like a kid again and even played football as a car with a crown on its roof trying to smash a giant ball into a goal – I mean, who can honestly say they experience such outrageous fun on an ordinary day!?
The arcade-themed menu was very reasonably priced with tongue-in-cheek drinks titled KO, Girl’s Got Game, Red Head redemption, Ice Queen and The Boss accompanied by hilarious descriptions that you’ll have to go and read for yourself!
I also partook in a slice or ten of their vegan gluten-free Farmville pizza topped with tomato, dairy-free mozzarella, mushroom, mixed peppers and red onion which touched my soul and gave my little thumbs that extra bit of energy to smash out another 2nd place win on Mario Kart.
I loved everything about this impromptu gaming championship and it’s certainly something that I will remember fondly for quite some time. It can be easy to forget how fun it is to let your inner child out for a run around and to let your hair down, have fun and play games when the seriousness of being an adult and surviving a pandemic kicks in.
We can all do with a little more chill out time, a health-conscious carb-loading and your favourite tipple teamed with a widescreen and bants to refresh and reload us for life outside in the big wide world.
For a girl who hasn’t played video games in absolute years I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of laughter and learning to play car football; whether you go retro to reminisce on your childhood or try something entirely new and crazy there’s something for everyone and it’s practically impossible not to have fun!