Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

You may have seen on our Twitter or Facebook feed that we have a Nucleus arcade table at the Ideal Home Show this year. (It’s on until Sunday 3rd April btw) The Nucleus featured in the Ideal Smart Home powered by Virgin Media.

Ideal Smart Home Powered by Virgin Media

We visited on the first day to make sure everything was good with the table on the stand. After all it would be getting a good hammering over the 17 days! We met the great staff manning the Virgin Media Smart Home and maybe even had a quick game on the table!

virgin smart home staff

Every day at the Ideal Home Show in the Virgin Media Smart Home there were multiple presentations on some ideas on creating a smarter home. We got ourselves over for the first one, which included special guest Suzi Perry. So I couldn’t resist challenging her to a game of Bubble Bobble.

Suzi Perry arcade table surface tension

Suzi was only there for the first presentation, along side the amazing Lee talking the crowd through some of the items within the smart home. Lee was then to soldier on alone for the rest of the 17 days.

Suzi Perry ideal smart home

BeoPlay A9

This features the BeoLink Multiroom technology, which unites your B&O PLAY and Bang & Olufsen products into one wireless system. You can play different music in different rooms – or let one song play on all your speakers throughout the home. Connect using AirPlay, DLNA or Bluetooth 4.0 and you will be playing your music in a matter of seconds.

beoplay a9 ideal home show


A fully integrated desktop 3D scanning solution with 3D object capture, editing and multiple streamlined 3D print options. Now anyone can grab something from the real world, manipulate it in the digital world, and bring it to life in physical space.

sprout scanner ideal home show

Smart light bulbs

There were 3 smart light bulbs up in the kitchen. The LIFX Colour 1000 with smartphone control over wifi. The Olixar Lightbeats controlled by Bluetooth, plus also plays your music! The Vocca pro is a voice-activated bulb which can be turned on or off by command.

smart light bulbs ideal home show


An interactive wireless pet camera that helps you stay connected to your pets when you are not at home. Petcube pet monitor system lets you watch, talk and play laser games with your dog or cat from anywhere using your smartphone. You can share access to your pet video cam with your friends, family or anyone else on Petcube network.

petcube ideal home show

Smarter Coffee

Enjoy Smarter Coffee with a wifi enabled brew station. The machine will grind the beans up before brewing, so you will always have the fresh stuff but without the wait. You can set it going straight after your alarm goes off so when you get downstairs, you’ll have a fresh cup in your hand without any wait.

smarter coffee maker ideal home show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Along side all of these great products was our Nucleus arcade table at the Ideal Home Show. If you have been to the show and had a play on the table, or are planning to go, send us a tweet or Instagram snap using #surface_tension_design.

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

Nucleus arcade table at The Ideal Home Show

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Revival 2014 run-down

It’s been a week since we got back from Revival and what a great show it was too! Craig, Chris and the Revival team did an amazing job again. Plenty of consoles, computers, arcade cabinets, light gun machines, driving games, pinball machines, traders, talks, costumes, chip-tunes, special guests, competitions…

surface tension was there with our stand again this year in the chill-out zone. With us we had our Dual, Arcane and forthcoming upright, Retrograde. Plenty of couches to crash out on too. We had our Rubik’s Cube seat on one side of the Dual, but also built some quirky seating for the other side. A 555 timer seat modeled on the 8-pin through-hole IC, which got plenty of attention! If you’re interested, you can see how it was made here.

surface tension stand

We had a good buzz around the stand all weekend with all ages.

555 seat

The 555 seat with the Dual arcade table.

Super Hexagon Arcade Machine

Super Hexagon arcade machine

Super Hexagon worked a treat on the upright. Though the surface tension team were battling it out between us for the highest score, only to be beaten by a 12 year old (not pictured). Meh.

Super Hexagon Arcade Machine

Our feeble attempts before being out-done 🙁

Goldeneye 4 player

If you didn’t get hooked on this 20 years ago, what were you hooked on?!

retro computers and consoles.

Loads of consoles and home computers to bring back the memories.

retro systems for sale

Plenty of systems to buy as well as play.

Pinball machines

pinball machines

A plethora of pinball machines, but never a spare one!

Traverse USA arcade cabinet

Crazy Balloon arcade cabinet

Driving arcade machines

Standup arcade machines in a row

Stand up arcade machines

There weren’t quite as many stand-ups as last year, but more than enough to keep you occupied. Plus with all of the pins, you weren’t left twiddling your thumbs.

John Romero playing multiplayer Doom

John Romero was there for a Q&A session, and to kick your ass at Doom.

Revival Survival Cabinet

Craig’s Revival Survival cabinet made its debut…

surface tension in Revival Survival

…which surface tension feature in as we helped Kickstart the project!

SIDMAN at Revival

Chip-tunes supplied by SIDMAN.

That’s about it. We look forward to next year but aren’t quite ready to go at it again just yet! It was a long and tiring weekend, plus a busy run up to it.

Asteroids volcano switch

Defender Control Panel

1, 2, 5 DM coin slot


One Player Select button

Williams coin mech

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Surface TensionRevival 2014 run-down
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Invader 1000 exhibition, Paris.

If you’ve seen the Banksy flick, Exit through the gift shop, then you’ll be familiar with the French street artist, Space Invader. Famous for his invasions around the world, he’s holding an exhibition in Paris until 17th July at La Générale

Blow up the crate for 1000 point bonus…


Atari cartridge stack…

A working display piece – Space Invader waffles!


Check out the giant Rubik’s cube. Ours won’t be THAT big!

Album covers using Rubik’s cubes. Grace in the middle.

When the red invader says stop, you stop!

Lo-fi CD Jukebox…

Space Invader exhibition at La Générale.

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Surface TensionInvader 1000 exhibition, Paris.
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game on exhibition

Well I finally managed to make it to the Game On exhibition at the London Science Museum. I would say that I dragged my girlfriend there, but it wasn’t as if she was difficult to convince. She soon found the system playing Bubble Bobble and that was probably the last I saw of her.

 This is definitely worth taking time out to head to. As you step through the entrance, you start at the very beginning… pong, computer space and some other huge machine which signifies the beginning of an era. I intended to go back and have a proper look at that but found myself playing too much Bomberman on the Dreamcast, against kids that were barely tall enough to see over the counter.

So from Pong to Wii, the games have advanced, but maybe not the names…


…one of the first things to dazzle you as you walk in. Pong on the big screen.


Computer space. The first commercially sold video game. Looks like something from a B-movie.


…This is where it all began for the home console market, the Magnavox Odyssey. Designed by Ralph Baer, it has a very intersting history.


It took me forever to get Hall & Oates out of the way so I could get this picture.


…Pacman, Dig-Dig, Galaxian, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Asteroids… the list goes on. So many people trying to re-live those mis-spent hours.


…ah the trusty space invaders cocktail cab and inspiration for the surface tension table. I felt invaded after a few rounds on that stool, though that’s not a picture of me. I wouldn’t inflict that on anyone.


…would you look at that. MAME!


…I want to, I want to. But they’ve locked you away in a glass cabinet.


…Speak & Spell. Learn and have fun at the same time, with the voice box pre-dating Stephen Hawking’s.


…we had a few minutes of free love on freelove freeway. The bird was catching up on me towards the end.


…the only thing played more than bomberman on my SNES was Super Mario Kart. “Just one more game!” Yes, of course I was the bottom screen.


…set up for some 6-player action, I spent far too much time on here reminiscing my student days.


…it appears that someone found their way off Bubble Bobble (onto someting equally as cute).

Well those are the choice cuts from the day out. I’d love to hear some other people’s opinions on the day. Personally we found it to be well worth the effort as there was a lot to see and do. The place had a great atmosphere too. Maybe half-price entry if you turned up in 70s/80s wigs and clothes could have been an option…

Game On exhibition is still running at the London Science Museum until 25th February (£8.50/£6.50) and is run on an allocated-slot entrance system which you choose when booking the tickets. Just to make sure everyone doesn’t arrive at once. I believe there are a certain amount of tickets available on the door too.

 If you arrive early enough before your slot, you can get your hands on a ticket to play on a Wii and/or a PS3. Though I overheard an irate family that had been waiting for an hour and a half!
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Surface Tensiongame on exhibition
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