Introducing the newest addition to Digbeth, NQ64 is a new arcade bar located in the heart of the Custard Factory inviting gamers to relive their childhoods with classic 80s/90s arcade games that we used to rinse our parents of their money to play. Me and my friend Laura was invited to the launch night on Thursday and just like that, We stepped into a time machine and went back to the 90s to relive our forgotten youth.
Stepping into NQ64 is like stepping into the world of Stranger Things teaming up with Pizza Planet from Toy Story with, of course, a splash of Digbeth. UV lighting, neon paint and then you hear them “ITS-A ME, MARIO” “FINISH HIM” “K.O.” all the iconic phrases you would hear as a child in a 90s arcade. As a child, you would run to the nearest available game but as an adult, you now would run to the nearest bar or toilet.
The bar is not the biggest, but it seemed to have quite a few staff members behind there juggling glasses. Staff are very pleasent and interacte well with gamers. The drinks menu is on the board offering a variety of arcade-themed cocktails, beers/ales on draught and bottles. I went for the princess peach cocktail which is a peached flavoured prosecco and Laura went for Bubble Bobble which is a combination of rum/gin coconut prosecco which came in one of those ice blast cups, very quirky I like it! I found the cocktails to be quite sweet but that didn’t stop me from throwing it down me, I did opt for a pale ale in the iconic red cup which was very lovely! The prices of the drinks are reasonable, cocktails are priced at £8 and Ales around £4.50. NQ64 do not offer hot food but they do offer a variety of arcadian themed crisp such as space raiders and space invaders.
An impressive game selection here in NQ64 you have your head to head games such as Tekken, Mario Kart and even Crash Bandicoot team racing. I could spend hours on Mario kart and one thing I really like about this place is that anyone can join in with you, you come with your friends and its very impossible to make even more friends in NQ64. Time Crisis was a favourite of mine, Laura and I found ourselves shoving the tokens down the slots and slamming down on the continue button, Time Crisis did strip us the most of our tokens.The pinball machines are also great fun but I found myself coming out with sounds that I didn’t even know they existed in me. To some people, they must have sounded like “fooling around” noises. Take note Amy not to enjoy yourself too much in public places.
The prices for games are feasible, they offer a deal of 15 tokens for £6 behind the bar. When looking around you will notice 80s/90s video arcade memorabilia scattered around such as token coins and comic book covers. Good news! this place doesnt have those rob dog coin pusher “games” do you know how much pocket money I lost as a child on those Saturn machines?! You put money in and you get nothing in return, its like the gold digger of machines.
A paradise for gamers, you could spend hours in here and as for first dates, I think NQ64 just kicked Ghetto Golfs arse by taking the crown as the new first dates spot in Digbeth.
Another exciting new venue to Digbeth that is sure to have a thriving future here in Birmingham. Great vibe through out the venue with 90s hip hop playing in the background, great combination of drinks and a very generous offering of retro arcade gaming. Some would say NQ64 is a bar for “Gamer Nerds” maybe so, but it’s also a great place to let your hair down, take off that work tie and just have some good hard fun with friends. I may warn you friendships might be at stake here but the feeling of beating your friends on the driving games when they have a license and you dont is utterly delightful.
Thank you NQ64 for the crazy ride.