Greta Bar Calgary is an interesting establishment that aims to provide classic arcade cabinet gaming with drinks and unique food. I was invited to their media event to check it out and see what they had to offer. It was certainly a good time as I enjoyed some drinks and played the various the games that were present. They even have drink holders on the cabinets so that the machine is less likely to get damaged, and or sticky. I did however find the holders a bit large for the smaller half glasses I was having. Still, a very nice option to have.
The building is two floors, they have a main largely open yet narrow spaced area with varying elevations and a lower chill type location that's decently large. The main area has a large bar area to the right as you enter, there's a coat check as well to your left. After that it's a pile of arcade games lining up all sides with a food area at the far back. While I was there I got to try half of their special hot dog item, I quite liked it. The drinks were well delivered and the staff came across as responsive. I was able to ask if a game was there, Galaga (it's not) and it's good to see a positive response with a bit of knowledge on their inventory.
The main area certainly was fine, there's enough walking room and some cool games. I spent the most time on Golden Axe strangely as I seemed to do well on it. The games are rather reasonably priced and you use a reloadable card to access them. It's an easy swipe to play and with their max offering I went through a ton of their catalogue with repeat visits or extended times at some. I believe I have a fair left as well so it'll be usable for another venture. It should be noted that games often come with the option to play alone, or with others and it will vary depending on the game you're playing.
When you head downstairs it opens up a bit and I quite liked this area. There's a core bar area to a side wall, lots of placement areas if you'd like to chat around them. Lining the walls are many arcade machines. There was everything from X-Men Arcade, to TMNT and even a few Pinball machines. They had air hockey, there was the old style slap the puck around hockey game too with Calgary against the Oilers being present. They certainly had a wide variety and a large list of games, you can see all of them on the Greta Bar Games article below. Everything was very clean and well lit. You could really feel the glow of those games with their fancy lights.
It felt authentic, and a nice way to experience these titles. A sort of modern, casual setup. I see a lot of potential for this place with what they're going for, it looked fancy and sleek as you walked through it while still having those nostalgic machines present. There were new ones available too; a large Space Invaders (I had the high score of the night and the 500 ticket bonus), a photo booth and Mario Kart with wheels to turn. Those newer options are also at the Rec Room, so I was familiar with them. They're still fun, but I was all over those older games as you can't find places with this type of atmosphere mixed with old school arcade cabinets. I think it's a neat place to check out and something fresh to visit in Calgary.
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