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The Gamer's Guide to Brighton

Studio Gobo shares some of its favourite gaming related venues, shopping experiences and fun activities in and around the city of Brighton and Hove. 


The Gamer’s Guide to Brighton


As a games studio based in Brighton, we’re pretty lucky at Studio Gobo. While we’re obviously passionate about our day jobs working in the games industry, Brighton specifically is an awesome place to live if you also love to play games in your free time, as there are so many places that cater to so many different types of gamers. And sure, while London isn’t too far away (an hour by train if everything is running smoothly), with so much to do and play here in this beautiful sunny seaside town, it’s definitely Brighton that we love the most. Here are Studio Gobo’s favourite gaming locations in and around Brighton…

Gaming Cafes

Loading Bar, Brighton

Gaming cafe & bar | board games and video games

Although sadly it changed its name from the excellent but hard to google C:\ Side Quest, Loading Brighton is still an awesome family-friendly cafe and bar with plenty of games of all kinds. Located right on the seafront near Brighton Pier, Loading Brighton has a mix of video games, some new but most being retro, all free to play when you buy some food or drink (the deep-fried mac and cheese bites are amazing). They’ve also got a very inviting wall of over 50 board games. You don’t need to book, which is really nice if you’re just wandering down to the seaside and feel like playing some games. There are also loads of events that happen here, like D&D 101 learning sessions and the monthly Women in Games Drinks.

Highlights: Board games, beach, cocktails, food, accessibility, dog-friendly

Loading Bar

Dice Saloon

Gaming cafe & shop | board games and tabletop games

We love the Dice Saloon, it’s a lively and friendly place to both play and buy games. They have an amazing range of board games to play, and it’s also a good local place to get supplies if you do model painting. With a large shop connected to the tables in the play area, you can buy the games that you’ve just been playing, which is great news if you’ve just fallen in love with something new. They’re very D&D friendly as well, although it can get a bit noisy. PCBang (a high-end PC gaming room – see below!) is also connected to the Dice Saloon.

Highlights: Tournaments, CCGs, advice, shop, miniatures

Dice Saloon


Gaming room | PC games

If it’s crazy high specs and all the latest games you want, PCBang is one of the best places in Brighton to check out. It’s often not too busy and staff are happy to help out with whatever it is that you’re looking to play. Gaming rigs can be pretty expensive to set up, so PCBang is a great way to play without putting thousands of pounds into your own kit (including seriously comfortable gaming chairs). It’s not free to play here but you can get a membership that saves you some money if you find yourself becoming a regular.

Highlights: PC games, competitive gaming, esport events, high-end tech



Gaming space | VR games

GOVR isn’t quite a traditional games café but it is directly above Presuming Ed’s coffee house on London Road so it counts! Even when games are your passion, it’s sometimes hard to justify the price of a VR kit, considering the range of games compared to PC or console, but VR gaming is such a unique kind of gaming experience that it’s really worth keeping up to date with what’s out there. The price is by headset, not by person, so you can try out a bunch of new games with friends (up to four per headset!), and the guys at GOVR are welcoming and knowledgeable regardless of your experience with VR games.

Highlights: VR games, events, parties, chilled-out space


Gaming Pubs

The World’s End

Lively pub | all kinds of games

This has to be one of our top picks for playing games in Brighton; there’s just so much to do at The World’s End! It’s got a great buzzy vibe and a ridiculous amount of ales and beers to try, and the food is excellent (especially the burgers!). It can get pretty busy and hectic, though, so it’s not necessarily one for people who like to play games quietly! With loads of retro arcade games, a huge remote control car track, VR booths, AND an escape room, The World’s End is three floors of gaming heaven.

Highlights: Retro games, VR booths, remote control car track, burgers

The World's End

Craft Beer Company

Regular board game night

There are loads of places to play D&D and tabletop games independently around Brighton and the Craft Beer Company is one of our favourites. As there’s such a strong gaming community in Brighton, it’s always worth asking a pub if they’ll let you use their space for games. A lot of places, like Craft Beer Company, just ask that you buy your food and drink there. On Wednesdays there’s a regular board game evening run by Brighton Pub Board Games Society, which takes over the upstairs part of the bar. You can also ask about booking out the little nook room with a big round table, which is great for six to eight people to play D&D.

Highlights: Events, D&D, beer, dog-friendly, bookable rooms

Craft Beer Company

Gaming Retro-bution

Retro console events across Brighton

From NES to PS2, if retro games are your thing, it’s Gaming Retro-bution events that you need to look out for. They’re based in Brighton so if you keep an eye on their events page you can see where they’ll be next, but they do have regular nights at The Hare and Hounds, The Sidewinder, and The World’s End throughout the week, so you can head to whichever pub you like best to play amazing (and brilliantly rubbish) games from the past. Gaming Retro-bution has become so popular that they’re now doing festivals and events all over the country, which is awesome. Also of interest to gamers is that there’s not an emulator in sight – it’s all original tech and equipment.

Highlights: Retro games, console games, friendly tournaments, events

Gaming Retro-bution

Gaming Shops

Ninja Game Den

Modern and retro game store

Walking around Ninja Game Den is like going into CeX on a ridiculously good day - there's just so much here. It’s Brighton’s only independent game store that sells the latest releases as well as retro games. You can find games and consoles in great condition, and it's pretty much impossible to walk in without getting that beautiful boxed copy of Mortal Kombat II, or whatever gaps you need to fill in your game collection. Some of the games in the cabinet can be a bit expensive, but to be fair there are some pretty rare finds here, and there's still a lot out on the shelves that's still pretty competitive with online prices. With a great selection and knowledgeable staff on hand to help you find what you're looking for, Ninja Game Den is a real treasure trove for retro gamers.

Highlights: Retro games, console games, handheld games, amazing selection

Ninja Game Den

Baka Neko

Japanese games and anime

We love Baka Neko! A few years ago they were a small stall at the market and now they have their own shop space, which is great news. The stock here changes a lot, though you’ll always find the big hitters in there – Pokémon, Studio Ghibli, etc – but in terms of games it can be a mystery as to what you’ll find. It feels a little like being in the best living room ever, with rows of manga, figurines, cartridges, discs, consoles… It’s amazing how so much is packed into a relatively small space. We can’t recommend checking out Baka Neko enough.

Highlights: Japanese games, retro games, anime, manga, Pokémon, CCGs

Baka Neko

Dave’s Comics & Books

Board games | graphic novels

An absolute staple of the Brighton geek and gamer community, Dave’s Comics & Books is a nerdy paradise split into two locations a few doors away from each other on Sydney Street. There’s Dave’s Comics, where you’ll (unsurprisingly) find graphics novels and comics, as well as loads of pop culture gifts and trinkets. There’s also Dave’s Books, although it’s usually also referred to as Dave’s Comics, which has an amazing selection of board games from some serious top-shelf strategy to the best mix of party games. Important to note that on new comic day (Wednesdays), Dave’s Comics opens a little later, but they’re both open seven days a week, making it a perfect destination for a lazy Sunday afternoon in Brighton.

Highlights: Board games, comic books, toys, gifts

Dave's Comics

Honourable mention

Chain stores around Brighton

Brighton has a lot of second-hand and charity shops, making it a great spot to go retro game hunting, but it’s also got the standard selection of big chains and retail stores. Along Western Road and in the Churchill Square shopping centre you can find GAME, CeX, HMV, LEGO, etc, all the usuals.

Active Games & Fun Stuff

Lady Chastity’s Revenge

Victorian-era escape room | The World’s End

One of our favourite escape rooms in Brighton! We won’t spoil too much about it, but there are a lot of unique elements that make it a really memorable experience. The member of staff who introduces you to the game is in character and remains so the whole time. Unusually, he will come into the escape room with you at times, for example if you need a hint. Secondly, the room has no real light in it; you do the whole thing by torchlight. And if you complete it, you get a bottle of wine! And, as it’s at The World’s End, it’s got the bonus of everything else that’s here, from VR booths to amazing food (we have to mention those burgers again!).

Highlights: Atmospheric, great host, special effects, burgers

Lady Chastity's Revenge

Tulley’s Farm

Escape rooms and events | Sussex countryside

If you’ve got a car, it’s well worth getting up to Tulley’s Farm, about 30 minutes’ drive from our office in Hove, as they have a range of escape rooms and events throughout the year. They’re not the most difficult of escape rooms – we found The Outfitters escape room pretty easy (maybe we’re just smart cookies) – but it’s a beautiful location and definitely still a fun day out. Tulley’s Farm also has some great annual events, including a spooky series of mazes at Halloween that are peppered with actors and props to give you those familiar horror game adrenaline shots.

Highlights: Family fun, themed escape rooms, annual events, outdoors

Tulley's Farm


Team-based laser tag | Brighton Town Center

Who doesn’t love laser tag? LaserZone in Brighton has a pretty decently-sized arena, good equipment and great staff, too. With 3000 square feet of sci-fi themed play area over several levels, a game lasts about 30 minutes and costs about a fiver, making it the perfect antidote to all that sitting around that gaming usually entails. Laserzone is right in the city centre, and although their website says to book, we’ve shown up plenty of times without booking in advance (although obviously it does get busier on the weekends and school holidays).

Highlights: Team games, accessibility, large arena, sci-fi theme, freakin' lasers

Laser Zone

Virtual Aerospace

Flight simulation experiences | Shoreham

It’s not quite in Brighton, Shoreham is a little ways down the coast, but a Virtual Aerospace experience is probably the closest you’ll get to putting those flight skills from EVE Online into action, and it feels very satisfying to do so. The instructors take a backseat to the experience and are there if you need them but for the majority of time, it’s you in the pilot’s seat for an hour. There is an amazing amount of choice in the experience, too, with 24,000 airports to choose from and an accurate recreation of the world to travel through. Would we call this experience by itself a game? Not exactly, but it’s too much fun to describe it as anything else.

Highlights: Detailed flight sim, professional pilots, special effects

Virtual Aerospace


Neon mini golf

Just a little way out of town down at the Marina, Globalls provides a fun, weird twist on a classic game. It’s a little hard to describe this kind of experience, but basically it’s indoor miniature golf in the dark with UV lights and lots of neon. There are a couple of courses to play with different themes, and as it’s at the Marina there are also plenty of places to get something to eat or follow it up with a game of bowling. Good clean family fun!

Highlights: Miniature golf, trippy visuals, friendly staff


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