Location: Upper Floor, West12 Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, London W12 8PP
We recently visited Funstation at Shepherd’s Bush, an arcade that incorporates a classic mix of amusement arcade machines, with newer video games. Having just opened in the West12 Shopping Centre, this arcade is nicely nestled between a Vue cinema and a few restaurants, making it a great place to visit if you have half an hour spare.
From redemption games such as 3 Across (Skee Ball) to merchandiser claw machines and popular video games, Funstation has a wide variety of experiences to spend your tokens on. On average, we found that most games cost around 4.5 tokens, which equates to just over £1. Considering that you can currently purchase roughly 80 tokens for £15, this seems reasonable enough.
Our favourite game in Funstation had to be Mario Kart Arcade GP DX as it provided the most amount of value for the money as well as being extremely fun. We were surprised to find that Funstation did not have a single fighting game cabinet, though it may have provided a bit too much value if there were skilled players on the machines. On average, each game we played lasted between one and three minutes long, though your time can vary depending on how good you are at each of the games.
Your tokens are stored on a cashless card, as well as any tickets that you earn from some of the machines. Not every machine is built to reward tokens after playing a game, though these token-less games were in the minority compared to the rest of the machines. Once you’ve finished playing for the day, simply deposit your tickets at the Ticket Station to store them onto the cashless card.
The Prizestation has a wide variety of prizes, spanning from as little as a single lollipop (10 tickets) to valuable items such as iPads (53,995) and games consoles. For this reason, if you’re visiting with younger family members, you’re pretty much guaranteed to accumulate enough tickets to redeem something by the end of your session.
Overall, we enjoyed our visit to Funstation and would recommend that others check it out. While we would have liked to have seen more classic arcade video games, we know we’ll be visiting again in the future for a few rounds of Mario Kart versus. The fact that everything is stored on a cashless card also makes everything far more convenient. It’s easy to set yourself a limit of how much you want to spend, load up the card and then have fun, without feeling the need to rummage through your pockets looking for another coin to jam into the machines. Having the opportunity to store the tickets and accumulate them over time also means you’ll have the chance to redeem a prize that you actually want.
It’s fantastic to see that an arcade has finally opened up in Shepherd’s Bush, particularly when it’s so close to a state of the art shopping mall, cinema and multiple restaurants. Considering that a Dark Sphere game store has also recently opened in West12, it’ll be nice to hopefully see more like-minded gaming fans hanging out in this area.