A few years ago there were various retro gaming stores around the UK. In my own area (North Yorkshire) towns like Northallerton, Stokesley, Guisborough, and even the city of York had stores selling old games.
Instead, old gear and games have been the preserve of charity shops and Cex, placing them firmly in the world of the unwanted. But we want retro games, don’t we? They’re not unwanted, and as the oddness of 2020 fails to subside, bricks and mortar retro gaming stores are popping up around the world.
One such store has opened in Plymouth, Devon. Revival games is on Faraday Mill Business Park and buys, sells, and trades games and consoles from the retro gaming era. Owner Paul Mattock opened the store in 2020, having built a reputation trading at comic conventions.
“I’d always wanted to open a shop, so I took the plunge and rented out this place. I opened the shop when we were allowed to after the first lockdown back in 2020. People told me I was crazy to be opening up a shop during the pandemic, but I knew this is what I wanted to do and I didn’t want to work from home, and it’s gone from strength to strength really.”
Above you can take a look inside Revival Games, courtesy of the RetroSesh YouTube channel.
Too Many Game Boys
Paul has a vast collection of consoles and retro toys, and performs customizations on Game Boys (of which he has 45… FORTY FIVE). Admitting to being “a huge geek, really,” Paul was encouraged into opening a shop by his wife who seemed to want the gear out of their home.
Despite not being in the centre of Plymouth, Paul is getting plenty of customers who come in for a look around, and seeing plenty of returning faces.
I have people coming in just for a chat; they come in just to have a look around because they want to take a little trip down memory lane. It’s like a museum in here, but you can buys all the stuff inside. People really like the nostalgic feel here. I had one customer who came in and mentioned one old game in particular, and I happened to have it out the back, so I went and got it and put it on.
“Next thing I knew he wanted to buy it, because it instantly took him back to his childhood, and that’s what I love about this job.”
Sadly for me, it’s right at the opposite end of the country, but if you’re in the south west don’t miss the chance to visit Revival Games.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.