While you're out enjoying all that Singapore has to offer, remember to observe good hygiene measures. Stay safe!
There’s no doubt we’re in a golden age of gaming. Look past the console gamers clamouring for PS5 consoles and you will find everyone – from kids to younger siblings to work colleagues – hooked onto their screens with flashy colours and infinite rewards that induce an unbeatable dopamine rush.
Despite that, nothing comes close to playing games in an arcade. A tradition rooted in the birth of video games, the flashing lights and chirpy sounds still induce excitement fuelled by nostalgia. Gaming doesn’t have to be solitary – the beauty of an arcade is to fill your day with indoor activities and thrills afforded by state-of-the-art machines for kids, couples, families, and the young at heart.
Now that recent regulations allow Singaporeans to breathe, relax, and congregate, here are some arcades in Singapore to add to your weekend itinerary of fun things to do!
1. The family-friendly fun of Cow Play Cow Moo
Cow Play Cow Moo promotes itself as the largest amusement carnival and arcade store in Singapore — and there’s no doubt about it when you step into one of their several outlets across the island.
In fact, there are over 700 machines under one roof at their flagship outlet in Suntec City.
One of the signature Cow Play Cow Moo attractions is their collection of some of the largest old-school claw machines in the country as well as button-smashing games.
These machines churn out tickets when you win each game, which can be used to redeem Cow Play Cow Moo’s amazing selection of toys and collectibles.
It’s no secret that winning can be a thrilling experience in itself – just ask these two girls who made headlines last year for amassing a huge haul of tickets. During school holidays, the arcade offers up to 50% more tokens for your dollar, so this will be a prime time for some family-friendly fun with the kids.
Going to the arcade on a budget? There are handy guides showing you how to get the biggest bang for your buck at every Cow Play Cow Moo outlet. Superhero geeks will also be chuffed to find out that Cow Play Cow Moo is currently hosting an exclusive Marvel pop-up near their flagship arcade.
There are so many Cow Play Cow Moo outlets to choose from, but we highly recommend going to their Suntec City headquarters – there are two outlets in Suntec alone – to maximise your afternoon fun.
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-372, Singapore 038983 / #B1-152, Singapore 038983
Operating hours: Opens daily from 11:00am to 12:30am
Rates: S$0.20/token, although Cow Play Cow Moo regularly offers holiday discounts. Keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook and Instagram pages when those happen!
2. The after-work revelry of Level Up
Level Up is certainly a big step forward for arcades in Singapore. Offering both a solid selection of arcade games and a weekly line-up of live music, Level Up combines the gaming excitement of arcades with the lively atmosphere of a nightlife bar.
With a motto of “Eat, Drink, Play” adoring its bar counter, you better believe that this is a place to play hard and party hard. Its walls are also filled with murals of classic video game characters like Mario from ‘Super Mario’ and Chun Li from ‘Street Fighter’
Its selection of games includes retro video game machines like ‘Daytona USA’, ‘Time Crisis’, ‘Puzzle Bobble’ and ‘Metal Slug’, along with sports game machines like basketball, air hockey, foosball, pool and darts. These multiplayer options are perfect for a fun time with colleagues and close friends!
Claw maniacs, you’re not left behind. Level Up has claw machines for you to try and win colourful toys and prizes. Its extensive menu of bar bites and drinks is reasonably priced, with an added bonus of game tokens provided with every menu item. The more you buy, the more tokens you receive!
You can also get pints of beer starting from $9 and food like Truffle Fries (S$12) and Mini Asian Sliders (S$15) to share around.
Address: 3A River Valley Road, #02-04, Clarke Quay, Singapore 179020
Operating hours: Sunday to Thursday - 5:00pm to 1:00am; Friday and Saturday - 5:00pm to 3:00am
Rates: Game tokens can be purchased separately – 2 tokens for S$2, 6 tokens for S$5, 15 tokens for S$10.
3. The large-scale worlds of Zero Latency at Suntec City
Let’s put aside the claw machines and toys for a bit. If we’re diving deep into gaming — especially for an experience that transports you to another realm — you have to check out Zero Latency.
Promoting their space as the “largest virtual gaming arena in Singapore”, Zero Latency provides a free-forming, multiplayer experience that tests your teamwork and physical skills in a large room, requiring you to move around while you’re wearing state-of-the-art virtual headsets.
Their VR gear is custom-made, featuring 2K high-definition graphics with surround sound. The Zero Latency experience is designed for up to 8 players in a warehouse-like space, where you’re tasked to shoot down zombies, monsters, aliens, pirates and so much more.
Teamwork comes in two ways: you can team up to defeat a swarm of enemies, or battle each other in a couple of fun skirmishes. Unlike usual arcade games with designated seats and spots, the Zero Latency arena is free-roaming.
This will require you to communicate effectively with your teammates – verbal instructions, teamwork and stamina will be key to your victory! You will get to see the scoreboard at the end of the game to find out who is indeed the master of virtual reality shooters among your friends and family.
Address: 3 Temasek Boulevard, #03-346/347, Suntec City Mall, Singapore 038983
Operating hours: Monday to Thursday - 12:00pm to 9:00pm; Friday - 12:00pm to 10:00pm; Saturday - 11:00am to 10:00pm; Sunday - 11:00am to 9:00pm
Rates: S$48 per pax on off-peak hours (Mon–Thurs before 4.30pm), S$59 per pax on peak hours (Mon–Thurs after 5pm, Fri–Sun all day)
4. The integrated fun of New World Carnival at 313@Somerset
Despite its name, New World Carnival takes from both the family-friendly delight of old-school arcades and the immersion of a VR arena. Located in the heart of the city at 313@Somerset, New World Carnival features a wide selection of VR games and experiences.
While it lacks Zero Latency’s expansive warehouse space, New World offers something for everyone. In the mood to shoot some zombies? There are four different zombie games to choose from, each with unique maps and enemies to conquer.
Meanwhile, you can also delve into some good clean laser tag fun, fight alongside ninjas, protect villages – all requiring the same amount of dexterity and energy for those looking to break a little sweat.
However, for something more light and endearing for the little ones, there’s a Baby Shark dance game to brighten their day. For those looking to push the boundaries of their comfort, the game ‘The Others’ brings you right into a haunted house, where unsettling mysteries unravel into supernatural horrors – definitely not for the faint of heart.
If you’d like to take off the headset for a while, the space also hosts tables with a slew of board games to continue the fun while you catch a breather.
A new feature of New World Carnival is its NFT gallery, where you’ll get to see an exclusive array of digital artwork sought after by collectors around the world.
Address: 313 Orchard Rd, #03-31, 313@Somerset, Singapore 238895
Operating hours: Monday to Friday - 1:00pm to 9:00pm; Saturday and Sunday - 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Rates: S$54 per pax for 45 minutes of gameplay.
5. The exhilaration of Zone X at Changi Airport Terminal 3
Entering Zone X feels like stepping into a brightly-lit paradise, untethered from the worries of the outside world.
Since opening its doors in 2009, it feels like they’ve stepped up every ensuing year to provide an incredible space of thrills and unmitigated fun. The arcade chain has four outlets across the island, but its main attraction at Changi Airport Terminal 3 is unmissable.
You can test your musical and rhythmic skills on the popular Japanese game MaiMai, where you’re tasked to accurately press (or smash, depending on how you play) eight buttons around its circled screen according to the beat of the song selected. Put the pedal to the metal in ‘Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 6’, where you can choose from the coolest new cars and live out your racing dreams.
What’s an arcade experience without a round of basketball? There’s the ‘Storm Shot Basketball Arcade’, where you can do some pure quarantine-free travelling (without leaving Singapore, of course!) with the travel simulator ‘Let’s Go Island!’
But what about the prizes you may ask? Zone X has a wonderful selection of toys and merchandise to be won. This year alone, they have introduced Pokemon and Dragonball Z toys that are truly irresistible.
Budget-minded gamers, look out for their seasonal top-up promotions as well!
Address: Terminal 3 #B2-23
Operating hours: Monday to Thursday - 10:00am to 10:00pm; Friday and Saturday - 10:00am to 11:00pm; Sunday - 10:00am–10:30pm
Rates: S$2 and up per gameplay. Regular discount promos are also offered for specific games – you can spend S$30 for 20 gameplays on ‘Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune 6’ and ‘MaiMai’.
6. The timeless entertainment of Timezone at Vivocity
A classic arcade brand in Singapore, Timezone stands tall even after decades since it first opened on our shores. As always, Timezone has an incredible amount of outlets across our island, but its flagship outlet at Vivocity remains its crowning glory.
Just like Zone X, the games at Timezone reflect the ways arcade technology has accelerated over the years – providing entertainment for all ages with next-gen gaming.
Want to defeat waves of zombies and monsters? Dive into ‘Zombie Outbreak’ and ‘Monster Catcher’. Looking to stretch your muscles and move? The classic Dance Dance Revolution machines have been given a new facelift, along with the relatively new dance game called ‘Pump It Up’.
But if you’re looking for something even more immersive, Timezone hosts the incredible ‘Halo: Fireteam Raven’ game, which boasts a panoramic 4K display and surround sound to bring you into the science-fiction action. For the seasoned gamers, you can also link your Xbox Live Gamertag/Accounts to register your stats and rewards!
With virtual reality games getting popular these days, Timezone has got your back with the ‘Virtual Rabbids’ VR ride. It offers 360-degree views through three distinct game adventures: Alpine Adventure, Canyon Chaos, and Holiday Hijinks. If you want to step away from the screens, Timezone also offers bumper cars (S$8), bowling (S$6), and air hockey!
Be sure to get a Timezone Powercard so you can store your credits and e-Tickets for repeated visits.
Address: 1 Harbourfront Walk, VivoCity #02-43 Singapore 098585
Operating hours: Monday to Friday - 11:00am to 10:00pm; Friday & Eve of Public Holidays - 11:00am to midnight; Saturday - 10:00am to midnight; Sunday & Public Holidays - 10:00am to 10:00pm
Rates: S$2-3.50 per gameplay.
As we’ve shown, there are so many things to do in Singapore within arcades alone. Gaming alone at home may feel enticing but there’s more you can do with your friends on a proper day out.
Whether you’re duking it out in a virtual reality arena or handling a claw machine with precision to win a plush toy for a loved one, arcades have never lost their lustre over the decades. Now, time to get your game on!
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