Flex your thumbs gamers, Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry’s celebration of more than 30 years of video gaming is back and this year there are even more games to play.

After the success of last year’s event, PLAY it! has returned with over 170 consoles and thousands of games with titles ranging from Halo to Guitar HeroPacman to Pong. Regardless of ability or age there’s something for everyone, so you’re likely to see beginners and enthusiasts alike having a go at the widely varying games available.

PLAY it!If multi-player is your thing then there are plenty of chances to throw down the gauntlet, with shooters, racing, sports and fighting games to choose from. I’d recommend trying the original Mario Kart as it’s a lot more difficult than the newer versions. Or there’s the Dreamcast Tennis where your players land many surprisingly satisfying shots, and the chaotic and crazy TimeSplitters 2 shooter, where I had no idea what was going on but, man, was it fun.

If you prefer single player then new for this year is the addition of the Next Gen consoles PS4 and Xbox One – so you can try some of the most recent games on the market. Many of the older favourites are back too including Sonic the Hedgehog and Super Mario, and alongside the returning sections for StreetFighter, Minecraft and rhythm games there are two new dedicated sections for Disney and Batman, as well as more PC titles.

Running in partnership with leading gaming specialists European Gaming League (EGL) and forming part of the museum’s Power programme, PLAY it! features early programmable computers and classic 80s educational games which encourage learning to code, as well as a virtual reality experience with a motion ride seat to look at the future of the industry. There’s also a shop selling goodies such as books, merchandise, toys and t-shirts to satisfy all of your gaming needs.

Grab your family and friends and game on!

By Stephanie Alderson

Photos: Jason Lock


PLAY it!What: PLAY it! Manchester

Where: Museum of Science and Industry

When: until April 17, 2016

More info: http://msimanchester.org.uk/whats-on/activity/play-it

Recommended for ages 5+