Hand Baked Arcade / Retro Game Base TV

Definitely the top non-musical regular happening in my books is Hand Baked Arcade. Whether a pub, bowling alley, cinema, any other venue for any sort of occasion in addition to their regular night Button Bash, the chaps behind Hand Baked always supplied a quality event. As a pop-up arcade, HBA supply a never-ending supply of vintage gaming consoles, rare platforms and even a MAME arcade machines that would see a collection of vintage gaming regulars, occasional players, retro-files and those who’ve never picked up a console before descend on to the location. For about £4 you could play games all night.

The events were all-inclusive too, nowhere near excluding the non-gaming crowd. Those who’d never owned a Gameboy were able to make up for lost time, and ten-player Bomberman on Sega Saturn and multi-player Bond on N64 projected on to pull-down movie screens were definite favourites. One memorable night I shared a MAME arcade box with a random chap who also turned out to be a gun at arcade Contra, and we almost smashed the whole game on minimal credits. A sage nod at the end and we went our separate ways never to play together again.

Before we’d found these nights we’d bumped in to the Retro Game Base crew via their stall at Camden markets, which regrettably was one of the ones to go following the fire a few years back. Not to be put off, they’ve since moved in to a permanent presence in Streatham common, Retro Game Base. Looking on the site and an unknown highlight comes in the form of dual-cartridge systems, not sure why I’ve not seen these before. Having NES and Super NES running out of the same console is brilliant.

As of last week the RGB have also piloted an online show, hopefully coming more often than not. Check below for the full clip via their youtube channel. As well as covering Shinobi X and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on NES (remembered fondly) there’s also tips on getting those thought to be dead cartridges working.

Bomb it around, and definitely stop by the shop. Gaming love aside you’ve got to big up heads dedicated to the cause and growing their own business bit by bit.