Last Updated on October 9, 2023
A trip out in the car yesterday unlocked a number of retro games locations in Halifax, a town in West Yorkshire that I’d somehow never been to before.
The main reason for the visit was to check out the Piece Hall. A former trading post for cloth merchants, the Grade I listed building has been recently been reimagined as a home for boutique stores and an arts venue. Why now? Well, the site was featured in episode one of Secret Invasion on Disney Plus (starring Samuel L Jackson and Ben Mendelson), where it starred not as Halifax, but as a fictional Russian plaza, Vossoyedineniye Square.
The trip revealed Halifax’s retro games scene, with two arcades for you to check out.
1. The Retro Station
Situated on Wards End not far from the Victoria Theatre, this retro games bar and restaurant mixes classic arcade machines with food and drink. Pizzas, burgers, paninis, and a kids menu are available, with beer, cocktails, coffees, and soft drinks for refreshments.
It’s like a family-oriented NQ64.
40 arcade machines are on the premises, including Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Street Fighter, and pinball machines. Meanwhile, 15,000 games are available via emulation. There is parking nearby, on-road along New Road, New Road Car Park, or the nearby St John’s Car Park.
Single, family, and private party bookings are available, starting at £15 per person for unlimited play time. Find out out more at www.retrostationhalifax.co.uk.
2. Blast from the Past
Based along the upper floor of the Piece Hall itself, Blast from the Past is run by Ryan, who offers a friendly welcome and excellent rates: £5 for two hours! Shorter visits are just £2.50 per half hour.
Space Invaders, Defender, Galaxian, and a handful of pinball machines can be found at Blast from the Past. A lot is squeezed into quite a small space, and it’s dark enough to avoid any reflection issues on the displays.
I wish we’d been able to stay for a game or two, but time was pressing.
By ‘eck! Have some Halifax retro games action
Something I need to share before you make any plans: approaching Halifax from Leeds takes about 45 minutes despite being about 25 miles away by car. I’d advise taking the train from Leeds or Manchester rather than relying on roads. Driving from North Yorkshire took us 1 hour 45, with almost half the time spent west of Leeds.
Once you get there, though, both venues are within walking distance of the car parks mentioned.
But, when you get there – and I hope you get a sunny day as the town looks amazing in sunshine – you’ve got a couple of excellent retro arcade options. And if that wasn’t enough, Halifax has quite a few decent eateries.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.