Last week I took the time to drive down to York, for only the second time since lockdown ended, to check out Sore Thumb Games. It’s a retro store on York’s Lillygate, not far from the gallery, in the shadow of the Minster, and next door to a vinyl record shop, so you can pretty much make an afternoon of it.
A few months ago we went to York on a Sunday, sort of at the last minute. Parking off Lillygate, we spotted Sore Thumb Games on the way into the centre, and decided to check it out on the way back to the car, only to arrive at something frustrating like a minute past closing. That mistake would not be made a second time.
Inside, Sore Thumb Games is a prime example of organized chaos. While everything is grouped as it should be, there is quite a bit that simply can’t be easily organized. Game controllers, for example, hang from hooks, while just-about-useful boxes hold onto classic computers and consoles in a slightly untidy-yet-tidy manner.
Picked this boxed beauty up at @SoreThumbRetro on Saturday. Young'un opted for Wii Quantum of Solace.
— gamingretroUK (@gamingretroUK) April 27, 2022
The main thing to note about Sore Thumb Games is just how much they’ve squeezed into such a small store. Nintendo NES, SNES, N64, Gamecube, and beyond can be found there, games, consoles, controllers, the lot. I spotted a Commodore 64 in the exact same boxing mine arrived home in 28 years ago, as well as an Amiga 1200. Oh, and the obligatory CD32, although I don’t know if that was working or not.
A few Amiga and other diskette and cassette based games could be found at the back of the shop, but the majority was dedicated to consoles. It was a good opportunity to grab a copy of Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader for my Gamecube, and Quantum of Solace for my son’s Wii. That was probably my favourite game on the Xbox 360 (aside from Half-Life 2 on the Orange Box) and as he enjoys the Wii version of GoldenEye I thought he might take to it.
They even have a few Evercade collections in stock, although when I asked if they had any and where they were, the instructions were a little vague from the guy behind the counter. I found them eventually, but didn’t spot anything I don’t already own.
If only more shops stocked Evercade carts!
But I digress. This was a trip to check out some genuine retro gear and grab some great old games. Sore Thumb Games is the perfect destination for that, and its close to various eateries, hotels, and bus routes. You can’t miss it, and you shouldn’t.
Gaming since 1984, retro gaming since 2004. Contributes to Linux Format magazine and MakeUseOf.com.