Ok, so, I’m not an 80s baby. I’m not actually a 90s baby, either. The earliest games I remember are Nintendogs and Lego Star Wars. I’m a 2000s-zombie-killing-COD baby.
Nevertheless, I can’t think of anything cooler than 80s style arcades. Specifically NQ64’s UV underworld, with its selection of matching, game-inspired cocktails. If you’ve never been before (what are you doing???) we’ve come up with a list of our favourite games in the bar, paired with some of their best cocktails – but we recommend you try them all anyway, just to be sure.
The Godfather of arcade gaming. Did you know the little ghosts are called Inky, Blinky, Pinky and Clyde? I didn’t – but I’m a far happier person since finding out. Only 1 man has been known to beat and finish the game – but that could all change on a Friday night in NQ64. Possibly the most iconic game of the 80s – what’s a trip down memory lane (sorry – Short Street, behind Afflecks) without having a go on Pac-Man?
Pac’s a Punch
Would you look at that. A gorgeous cocktail for all you Pac-man fans (you’re literally meant to be together). Buy one for your Ms. Pac-Man, or just a couple for yourself to complete the experience. The cocktail blends fruits and citrus with portobello gin – like a strawberry gin cocktail, with a little something extra.
Street Fighter II
This classic game is an absolute KO. I’m no good at it, but I like to play as Chun-Li: if I’m going to lose anyway, I may as well lose in style, right? NQ64 would not be allowed to call themselves an arcade without featuring this bad boy. There’d be riots! There’d be fighting on the streets! Keep Manchester’s streets clean and come play a round with me. You’ll win, I promise.
Ready? FIGHT! For people who are bored of the bog-standard margarita, try Blanka, with tequila, midori, cucumber, lemon, apple and agave. Big fan of this one. Plus, you might get a little shock of orange rind sticking out the end like the big guy’s hair. Incredible.
The House of The Dead
This game is the best. A plastic gun? Yes please. Mowing down biologically engineered undead? YES PLEASE. It’s even got somewhat of a storyline if you care for it. But mostly its the zombie-killing. Very easy to get way too involved, way too soon in this game. Who needs exercise to let off steam? I’m sweating by the end of round 1.
All that sweat probably calls for a cool-down drink. This one will fit the bill nicely. I prefer the Princess Daisy character, but I could be biased. Prosecco, peach, orgeat, pimento and dram make for a beautifully light and stunning cocktail – the prettiest on the menu for those with their cameras at the ready. Plus, a bit of fizz never hurt no one.
I was going to end this list at The House of The Dead. Because how can you follow The House of The Dead? With Guitar Hero, that’s how. They should use this game instead of breathalyzers to test how drunk you are. Never in my life have I been so aware of how useless my fingers are and what little rhythm I have. Despite being a sore loser, this game is still brilliant. You don’t need to win – just do as I do and go Bez.
This is not for the faint-hearted. I was about to say that people with heart problems and pregnant women should avoid – but have since remembered that they can’t actually drink anyway. Sorry, preggos. With a blend of house rum, grapefruit, absinthe and lime – there’s nothing that can make this cocktail more hardcore. Except that they set it on fire. Post-apocococktail madness.
NQ64, 9 Short St, Manchester M4 1AA
Monday – Friday, 4pm – 2am
Saturday – Sunday, 12pm – 2am