20 inspirational games room ideas

Whether you’re a retro gamer, modern console and PC gamer or board gamer, you have to admit we would all love our own dedicated games room. Whether it’s all of your retro consoles complete with back catalogs of cartridges, the latest consoles connected up to the latest 4K TV, your beloved collection of arcade machines and pinball tables or even your boxes of board games. We’re looking to help you with some games room ideas to help design your own!

Here are some of the ways for gamers get their fix. Whether it’s a fully-fledged games room, or just a way of discreetly introducing your games tech into the family home.

Football themed man cave

Let’s kick off with a proper man cave. The place where real men hang out whilst drinking beer and arguing over which players aren’t earning their keep. A real striking theme here with plenty of red going on with the Liverpool themed pool table and darts mat. A TV in the corner to keep an eye on your team whilst playing some pinball, putting your money into the owner’s fruit machine or playing table football. There’s also a poker table for those late night sessions. Strictly no shoes allowed though and that also goes for the retriever.

mancave with pool and table football

Dan20 inspirational games room ideas
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Preview of the new Dual arcade table

The new Dual arcade coffee table – Coming soon!

We’ve all been working hard on the new Dual arcade table and it’s looking pretty sweet! But why should we keep it all to ourselves?

Dual Arcade Table Re-Design

Where to start!

Why the re-design? Well, we felt the original design a little outdated. It also didn’t lend itself to any flexibility to personalising which we often get asked about and offer on both our other home arcade systems. Another reason was to reduce the assembly time in order to enable us to ship quicker.

A quick run down of the first unit in the photo shows the new Dual sporting a pair of solid walnut legs with our familiar paintwork in black gloss. The top is tinted and toughened and the speakers are discreetly located at each end.

Opposite Arcade Controls

You want to go straight to the main event? OK, so pull out the control panel drawers on both sides to give you 2 players with alternate play on the flipped screen. Not shown here (as we weren’t yet up and running), the 19″ display is located under the toughened glass. It’s tinted at the right level so as you can’t see anything other than the games themselves, but plenty bright enough in daylight.

arcade table with controls on both sides

Arcade control panel

The new Dual features the original drawer mechanism to hide the arcade controls away when not in use. We fit with Sanwa JLW arcade joysticks. These are switchable between 4 and 8 way by a lift of the control panel and rotation of a plate. Also fitted are Happ arcade buttons, designed to take a bashing over and over again. All mounted on our bolt-less metal panel which folds away when pressing the release mechanism which is easy to reach but located out of sight.

Arcade Table Legs

We’re really proud of this feature. You can choose from a selection of timbers which will include walnut (pictured), oak and ply just like our Retrograde and Nucleus systems. But what if you decide to change your decor, or even move? Well we can ship out another pair of legs to match that can be fitted in under 5 minutes.

arcade coffee table with controls both sides

Arcade table speaker covers

We fit our system speakers with a sturdy, medium weave acoustically transparent black cloth. For the first time, we’re going to be offering colour options here. We’re looking forward to seeing some of the customer choices when combined with the choice of timbers!

arcade coffee table end view

Mains powered

The one cable you can’t do without and most people aren’t willing to have a socket installed into the floor. Well, we’re doing our best to keep the table looking as clean as possible by creating a tidier cable trail by incorporating a slot into the legs. The cable can be run out in either direction and at either end.

groove in the wood cable guide

Arcade table power button and volume control

You’ll have to excuse this photo. You really are getting a sneak preview here! This will be updated as soon as we have the panel up together.

What’s this flap about? Previously, the power switch and volume control were located underneath. We’ve taken a good think about this and found a new place for them. Just click open the pop-out panel to access the power and volume. Not only that, we’ve managed to fit a USB charger option in here too. After all, we all need our devices in sight, right?

Customisable Arcade Table

We will be able to fit the Dual out with LED lighting underneath which is remote controlled and looks pretty cool during those late night game sessions.

To really complete the customisation options, we will in the future be offering the ability to change the gloss faces for anything of your choice using vinyl wrapping. The panels are easily swapped too, so if you fancy a change a couple of years down the line, we can ship something different out.

Feel free to get in touch on any of the above or if you want to ask about any other custom options. We will be updating the Dual page soon. In the mean time, you can keep an eye on what we’re doing behind the scenes on Instagram and Facebook.

DanPreview of the new Dual arcade table
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Top 20 Arcade Machine ROMs of All Time

This is list of the top 20 downloaded video game ROM’s of all time from a broad range of consoles and arcade machines. Find out which retro games have been downloaded and played the most using popular emulators.

Data is compiled from the sources you’ll find at the bottom of the infographic.

DanTop 20 Arcade Machine ROMs of All Time
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Abandoned Arcades – A glimpse to the past

Abandoned Arcades

In this post we take a look at some of the discoveries of abandoned arcades made around the world. It’s unfortunate but you have to love the eerie sadness of an arcade graveyard whether it’s an abandoned mall arcade, abandoned arcades at a theme park or just an abandoned arcade room. However, it’s not all bad!

Arcade machines left in existence

It’s hard to speculate on how many original arcade cabinets are still in existence. At one stage there would have been tens, if not hundreds of thousands of these things around the world. I mean, where I grew up my local town had 3 arcades ranging from 20 to 50 machines – excluding slot machines. Multiply this up for each town and that’s a lot of arcade machines.

So, where have they all gone? A quick browse through the likes of eBay, Craigslist and Gumtree brings up one or two here and there. Bearing in mind the number of years these go back when thinking of the golden era of the arcades, it’s hardly surprising considering they were cumbersome beasts mostly made out of chipboard. Who is going to want to hang onto these?

Spreepark – Berlin

Originally opening in 1969 as Kulturpark Plänterworld, it was sold to a private investor in 1989 after reunification and renamed Spreepark, located next to the river Spree.

dirty outrun steering wheel

The park closed in 2002 after some shady movement of 6 of the main rides to Peru… along with the owner and some family and co-workers. The attempt to run ‘Lunapark’ in Lima failed and the owner was jailed for drug smuggling.

old outrun arcade machine with screen missing

discarded old arcade machinesSource:
Google images

Abandoned School Cottage

Not a lot of information on this one. The urban explorer Abandoned Steve lists it as ‘Campbell cottage’ which belonged to an abandoned school which closed its doors in 2001. The school started up in the early 1900s as an all-girls school for juvenile delinquents, later becoming a mixed school in the 70s, but closed in 2001 due to financial issues. Here Steve discovered a small abandoned video arcade.

With a scattering of pool balls on the floor, there was a Sega ESWAT and a Leland All American Football…

eswat and all american football vandalised arcade machines

… and a Data East Robocop , Nichibutsu UFO Dangar and Midway’s Arch Rivals. All of which have water damage and have slowly rotted away at the base. They have also been vandalised by whoever got into the cottage before. Such a shame to see them in this state when there would have been many good homes for these to go to.

seriously damaged robocop, dangar and arch rivals arcade machines

Plus a sorry looking Atari Tetris which looks like it was raided for any remaining quarters.

tetris arcade machine discarded and vandalised

It wouldn’t be a school property without table football. Even the legs on this are starting to give up.

fusbol table with rotten legs

Abandoned Steve

Abandoned Arcade Hotel – Japan

Nara Dreamland is an abandoned amusement park which was inspired by Disneyland. Opening in 1961, it closed its doors in 2006. Urban explorer site Abandoned Kansai has been around the park numerous times since closure, but the following photos are from 2014 and the place is in a pretty poor state. Another one of many abandoned arcades fallen foul to vandalism.

The Disneyland style entrance of Nara Dreamland with promises of excitement and adventure. An abandoned castle arcade perhaps…

nara dreamland theme park disney style castle

A sorry looking cocktail table.

forgotten arcade cocktail cabinet

A Super Monaco GP sit-down cabinet. Who knows how this room got into such a state!

super monaco gp arcade machine buried

Taito Space Invaders cabinet in pretty good condition… from this angle.

discarded space invaders cabinet

A couple of more modern Sega Astro City cabinets.

discarded astro city cabinets

You can just about hear the echos of the fun had of these Konami DDR machines.

old ddr machines

Abandoned Kansai

Last night I dreamt that somebody loved me

Well, you know it isn’t going to be a happy ending when you’re quoting The Smiths as the title for a photo set. This series is all about an abandoned Star Wars cabinet, a holy grails for many arcade collectors. He has many pictures of arcades that have been left to rot, but this one conjures up the emotions.

From what I can gather, this discovery was made in a small town in Arizona. Thomas Schultz stumbled across a garage containing a few old arcade cabinets. Symbols of a long-gone era when arcades were the gathering point of all the youngsters in the area.

A pair of abandoned arcade machines. Thankfully the Star Wars cabinet wasn’t alone for all those years, with the faithful Bandido cab to keep it company.

black and white photo of abandoned star wars and bandido arcade cabinets

There are plenty of enthusiasts that would give their right arm for a genuine Star Wars yoke – though that wouldn’t help when it comes to getting that proton torpedo down the exhaust port.

dusty yoke on an abandoned star wars arcade cabinet

The side art looks to be in good shape considering the heat it has had to endure. Though it didn’t stop the T-moulding from trying to jump ship.

view of side art on an abandoned star wars arcade cabinet

The whole machine looks to be in relatively good shape. Sure, someone has had the star wars marquee away, as well as any remaining quarters. The base looks to have some water damage too which is a real problem when you want to restore an arcade machine.

dusty abandoned star wars cabinet

Thomas Schultz

Abandoned Arcade UK – Operation Lancaster

It’s not all bad, though a rarity these days to find a cache of abandoned arcade machines in salvageable condition. But over here in the UK, it’s almost unheard of. In 2009 a member of the UKVac.com forums interest was piqued by the discovery of some pictures taken by urban explorers who had found their way into the abandoned Duke Of Lancaster cruise ship in North Wales where it had been resting since 1979. 30 YEARS!!!!

duke of lancaster cruise ship

There were huge plans to convert this ship into the Fun Ship, which initially opened as just an arcade with plans for more such as hotel conversion and restaurant which never materialised. It was unfortunately short-lived and closed soon after.

arcade machines and fruit machines aboard the duke of lancaster cruise ship

UKVac member, Oliver Moazzezi managed to track down the owner of the vessel after some detective work and was given 10 days to remove the machines as there was some impending maintenance work. Oh, and he was told he needed a fill size crane!

asteroids, galaxy wars and space invaders part 2 arcade cabinets

So in 2012 after a mammoth effort, around 15 collectors and enthusiasts gathered in a small town in NW Wales with a crane and vans to save the abandoned arcades which had lied dormant in The Duke Of Lancaster for so many years. They saved around 50 machines.

bally nitro ground shake pinball machine inside cruise ship

Look at the condition of these abandoned arcades and pinball machines!

corridor of arcade and pinball machines on cruise ship

This was a serious operation.

crane lifting arcade machines off cruise ship

A fine array or original arcade machines layed out in front of the old Duke Of Lancaster cruise ship.

man standing with arcade machines next to cruise ship

row of arcade machines and crane

Wales Online

Trafford Park arcade machines stash

This one is another UK find and also another (mostly) happy ending. From what information I can find, this all started with a UK arcade collector purchasing a couple of arcade machines on ebay. During the transaction, as you would expect from an enthusiast, they asked if there were more available. This led him to the owner of a stash of machines located in Manchester which he had locked up in storage for which the rent was way overdue. He had made numerous attempts to reach the owner who had emigrated, with no luck. This cache of abandoned arcade machines owed the guy and he was starting to recoup his losses. Negotiations took place, a price to clear the whole lot was settled and a date was set to clear the whole lot… whatever that was!

The treasures were spread over a few storage locations and the first was a little upsetting. The usual water damage due to the unit not being particularly weatherproof, had got the better of some of the arcade machines from the ground up. With the only way to initially inspect the find, the guy climbs in for a closer look.

man climbing through storage unit full of arcade machines

Just look at all those titles! Road Blasters, Tapper, Indiana Jones, PAPERBOY!!!!  Still, nothing was lost. Whatever couldn’t be restored out of these would have been stripped for spare parts to help keep other arcade machines alive and kicking.

selection of abandoned arcade games in storage

So there were a few more rooms to explore and extract, which must have been a hefty task. After all, arcade machines are neither light nor particularly maneuverable! Here’s a bunch of arcade pictures showing some of the finds in a better condition.

collection of arcade machines in a warehouse - arabian, astron belt, mach 3

Some really great condition original arcade cabinets here. A lot of them appear to be film-wrapped making this an exceptional find. Though this would only protect the sides and not the bases of abandoned arcade machines as if there’s water around, it will always find a way in.

arcade machines in a warehouse find

Indiana Jones, Dodgem and another holy grail for a lot of people – Paperboy! Definitely a couple from my childhood in there.

indiana jone, dodgem and paperboy arcade cabinets

Not all abandoned arcade cabinets end up going to the grave. Some of these are in great condition.

collection of arcade machines in a warehouse

It’s no surprise that the condition of some of these abandoned arcade machines is so good. There was clearly an intention for the previous owner. Lunar Lander, Fast Freddie, Video Pinball…

video pinball, fast freddie and lunar lander arcade machines

Just look at the condition of the Asteroids arcade machine? APB absorbed a lot of my pocket money as a kid.

asteroids and apb arcade cabinets

I’ve not heard of Dominos, but I love the design and colours of this arcade cabinet with simple sweeping lines.

dusty dominos arcade machine

I’m not sure I’ve ever seen an original Tapper arcade machine, only conversions. Looks like it was found in amazing condition. Extremely lucky if it’s the one in the arcade machine stash photo at the start of the Trafford Park raid.

tapper arcade cabinet in warehouse raid

Saving the best until last, I imagine there were a few takers for this one – Star Wars sit down arcade machine. Again, this looks to be in incredible condition.

two guys moving a star wars sit down arcade machine


Other artefacts of the golden era of arcade gaming

To finish off here’s a few more cool photos I found whilst looking into abandoned arcades. It’s sad, but we’ve all gotta go some time.

A row Centipede arcade cabinets which look like they have been through numerous wet/dry cycles.

damaged centipede arcade cabinets

A Chase HQ cabinet slumped from a rotten base.

slumped chase hq arcade cabinet

Fire-damaged cocktail cabinets.

cocktail arcade cabinets with fire damage

A lonely Williams Make Trax arcade cabinet.

abandoned make trax arcade machine

An overturned Millipede cabinet and Mr Do covered in graffiti.

neglected mr do and millipede arcade cabinets

The remains of a Taito arcade cabinet. The shape of this was the inspiration for our Retrograde machine.

taito arcade cabinet shell

We hope you found this post on abandoned arcades interesting. If you want to get in touch, you can reach us on the contact page or via the social media links at the bottom.

This page was inspired by and recreated with permission from TheArcadeBlogger.

DanAbandoned Arcades – A glimpse to the past
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8Bitdo arcade tabletop

I’ve just seen the 8Bitdo arcade tabletop machine in my feed and isn’t it a stunning piece of retro gaming hardware!

8Bitdo are the company that have been helping to bring your existing retro consoles into the 21st century with the Bluetooth NES and SNES controllers. Allowing you to play your classic retro console games without the wires of yesteryear.

Appropriately named the 8Bitdo Desktop Arcade, this really is a fancy piece of retro kit.

profile of 8bitdo arcade desktop

Dan8Bitdo arcade tabletop
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Ultra cool NASA retro space travel posters

Earlier this year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory release a set of 14 rather cool NASA retro space travel posters titled ‘Visons Of The Future’. A blast-from-the-past style poster with modern day content. During the 30s and 40s, artists designed posters for the Works Projects Administration to encourage tourism in the US. JPL has created an intergalactic equivalent, encouraging the likes of experiencing the Auroras of Jupiter, the liquid methane lakes of Titan and from another perspective, visiting earth once we’ve all jumped ship.

DanUltra cool NASA retro space travel posters
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The Handheld Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Recently finished on the crowd-sourcing website Indiegogo is the extremely successful handheld Sinclair ZX Spectrum, “Vega+”. From Retro Computers Ltd, a Luton, UK based start up, they have crowd-sourced the concept of the Vega+, a low cost handheld games console with a colour LCD screen and 1,000 licensed games installed. Crowd-sourcing was completed with over 350% of the original fund request.

sinclair zx spectrum profile

The company behind the Vega+ Handheld Sinclair ZX Spectrum

The Vega+ project will be marketed by Retro Computers Ltd, in which Sir Clive Sinclair’s company, Sinclair Research Ltd, is a shareholder. The project is under license from Sky In-Home Service Ltd who inherited the intellectual property rights so the Spectrum computers from Amstrad.

The Vega+ comes complete with 1,000 licensed games built in and has sufficient memory to allow you to download many thousands of additional Spectrum games free of charge.. You can play this using the built-in LCD or the other option is to plug it into a TV set.

The concept design of the Vega+ is by Rick Dickinson, one of the UK’s leasing industrial designers, responsible for the design of Sir Clive Sinclair’s ZX computers back in the 1980s: the ZX 80, ZX 81 and ZX Spectrum.

sinclair zx spectrum connectivity


  • Classic gaming D-Pad, offering up, down, left right and diagonals.
  • Four primary action buttons and three secondary buttons.
  • System menu and control-set toggle button.
  • Volume up/down / Brightness up/down.


  • Sharp LCD 4:3 aspect ratio with approximately 0.2565 mm dot pitch. Accurately reproduces the ZX Spectrum 256×192 resolution with minimal screen border.
  • LCD Screen brightness adjustable. Suitable for all light levels, and to extend battery life.
  • Extended “ULAplus” colour palette support, in addition to the classic ZX Spectrum colour palette.


  • SDSC and SDHC micro SD cards are supported.
  • Additional games may be loaded from micro SD card – popular snapshot and tape file formats supported.
  • SD card also allows preferences and game-saves to be stored for later resumption.
  • Firmware upgradable through SD card.

Although the campaign is now complete, you’ll hopefully be able to pick one up direct from Retro Computers soon.

sinclair zx spectrum handheld playing skool daze

DanThe Handheld Sinclair ZX Spectrum
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Space Invaders Couch

You can have your very own Space Invader at home with the pixel series Space Invaders couch and love seat. They look like very high quality design and manufacturer and it would appear Evercube have every confidence as they offer a lifetime structural warranty on them. Their sleek design with steel frame and durable faux leather upholstery means these Space Invaders inspired seats will still be looking good in years to come.

space invaders couch

Right at home with the Nucleus

These wouldn’t look out of place coupled with one of our arcade coffee tables for those long 8-bit retro-gaming sessions! Gorgeous black and white colour scheme!
space invaders seat

The couch and love seat, designed by Russian Igor Chak, is available to buy with worldwide shipping from the Evercube website, currently dedicated to these pixelated seats.

The love seat is listed at $1,350 and the couch at $1,800 and available direct from Evercube.

DanSpace Invaders Couch
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surface tension arcade systems now running on Windows 10

All things must move forward. We have just rolled out our last arcade table on Windows 7 with surface tension arcade systems now running on Windows 10. It has taken a bit of setting up, but we’re now all configured for Microsoft’s latest operating system.

We really liked Windows 7 for its familiarity as a desktop OS, but the evolution to a more contemporary interface was the way forward.

surface tension arcade systems now running on Windows 10

After tinkering around with Windows 10 for a few weeks, we love it and feel it complements our Nucleus and Retrograde home arcade systems. We configure to a fairly simple specification – after all, we don’t want to tell our customers how they should have their desktops! It’s easy to navigate with the arcade trackball and buttons on the control panel. Customize and add your own apps with desktop access that we’re now accustomed to through the use of smartphones.

shuttle logo

PC hardware

We have been installing Shuttle PC systems in our products for around 7 years now, with the current stock model being the SH87R6. Attractive, robust and compact, these things are real performers. We kit them out as standard with the Pentium CPU, 4GB RAM and 1TB HDD. We’ll also work with you on creating your own custom spec PC.

gameex logo

Arcade frontend

Running the games menu system on our home arcade systems is GameEx. It’s highly-configurable and oh so easy to navigate. It’s configured to run the pre-loaded games but easy to add your own computer and console emulators. There are tremors of the updated GameEx Evolution which looks to give surface tension arcade systems an even slicker interface.


Dansurface tension arcade systems now running on Windows 10
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