I was lucky enough to visit the newly opened Molly’s Arena. A Japanese-style arcade where you can sit down and have ramen and Mochi ice cream while playing the most epic arcade games. And even better, fly loops in an air plane in VR. So if you need some more convincing to drop by this Arcade, let me tell you about why you need to go there ASAP.
Update! Since the 14th of January, Molly’s Arena is open again! Support the local gaming scene and go visit when you can!
1 – It’s so new, no one knows about it yet!
Molly’s Arena isn’t the only place in Amsterdam where you can go to get your arcade kick. Places like BlastGalaxy and GameState have been around for a while, as well as TonTon Club. All very fun places to go and hang out, but also pretty known to the gaming public. So if you want to go somewhere less crowded, a new place like Molly’s Arena might be the spot for you. And, another upside to a new arcade is the fact that non of the machines are out of order or in need of some repairs. At least, not while I was there. And as a frequent visiter of Arcades, it was refreshing to go somewhere where I hadn’t played the games a milion times before.
Molly’s Arena opened it’s door on December 10th, and while it’s located in a shopping mall, it is pretty peacefull inside. When we went there, only a handful of people were inside, and you could play the VR games and arcade machines as long as you’d like (or, for as long as your bank account allows). And you can go on for a really long time – the prices are absolutely reasonable, which is great in the area the arena is located. I can imagine young people without many financial means enjoy their first arcade experience at Molly’s.
2 – The styling is awesome
Another thing that sets apart Molly’s from the other arcades in Amsterdam is the styling. Molly’s Arena aims to be an anime inspired arcade, based on the Akihabara arena’s in Japan. You see life-sized statues of famous anime characters, the staff is dressed in anime clothing and everything is styled to perfection. The perfect place for self proclaimed Japanophiles, who enjoy everything about Japanese culture, art and anime culture. And if the anime isn’t your thing, the Kawaii umbrella’s on the roof make you feel like you’re in Japan as well.
3 – VR arcade games
What really sets Molly’s Arena apart is the VR setup they have. I’m used to playing VR games in different set ups, and until now I thought that free-roaming VR like they have at VR Arcade Amsterdam and Epix Arcade in Zaandam was the best experience ever… now I think Molly’s takes that place. The 360 experience and 720 experience are totally crazy and only advised for real dare devils. If you’re looking for a more easy-going experience, you can join the mech-army to destroy evil mechs. The gameplay is great, but the experience of actually being in a mech is something I’ve never had before. Even more easy-going is the car simulator, but me being car sick all the time opted out of that one ;-). So if you are struggling from motion sickness as well, here are some remedies we have tried in the past.
4 – Other epic arcade games I haven’t seen in Amsterdam yet
Molly’s Arena has lots of other games you can play, from shooters to catching fish and also more ‘carnival themed games’ like throwing basketballs. While there is no ticketing system to win prizes, they do have a high score per machine, and you get points for highscores. While there are enough games that are fun enough playing solo, there are some awesome two-player games as well. My favourite was probably a game where you had to hit lights as fast as you could, against an opponent. Much excitement, much frustration. Of course they have classics like airhockey, but they also have a totally re-invented way of playing pong (with magnets and magnetic balls… it looked very cool!).
5 – FOODS!
Last but not least: foods! Molly’s Arena being a Japanese experience had to have Japanese food as well. And while they could have easily opted to just have ramen, they’ve expanded their food service to something I think everyone should try: Fuwa Fuwa <3. This is a fluffy Japanese pancake that you might want to order just for the Instagram pictures. They have cute names as “Professor Oak” and “Eevee”. And they tasted delicious as well. During soft launch of their kitchen at Molly’s Pie, a small restaurant next to my house, they had lines of people waiting to get their pancakes… so I guess the public has spoken.
If you want to see for yourself what a Japanese Style fluffy pancake looks like, check out Molly’s video at their Instagram page.
What game-related places do you love to go to? Do you have arcades in your hometown that we might need to visit? Let us know! Ready, player one?