Upon entering the cool air conditioned Rec Room at the recently rennovated ‘The Amazing Brentwood’ you’re immiediately struck by the lights and sounds of a bygone era. For children of the 90’s, or those looking for a great way to unwind, you’re home.
I got a chance to preview The Rec Room during a recent visit and was shown around by Kashif Ahmad (Executive Director, Amusement & Entertainment, Cineplex). Kashif showed me the new project by Cineplex and answered some of my questions regarding the new Rec Room.
Gone are the days of tokens or quarters. Upon entering the Rec Room, guests will be able to purchase a wrist band like devide called a Game TAG that is their’s to keep. The Game TAG acts as an all-in-one tool. Credits to play the games are loaded onto the Game TAG, and points earned by playing some of the 90 games available can be redeemed for prizes at the Trophy Case. The Game TAG can be registered, so should you say lose yours, as long as it’s registered you can transfer your credits and points to a new Game TAG.
Credits can be purchased ala carte, although Kashif did mention that there could be some promotions for other play time offers such as day passes. It was also mentioned that depending on the bulk number of credits you purchase, you get a particular number for free credits as well. So depending on how long you intend to staay, you may have incentive to purchase more upfront.
As a child of the 90’s and early 00’s I asked Kashif how the Rec Room compares to Playdium; he said that in Cineplex’s eyes, it’s a much more mature experience. Alcoholic drinks are offered, there’s more room for socializing and lounging (and the seats did come with AC adapters for those like me who forget to charge their phone). You do have to be 19+ to go into the Rec Room, and if you are under the age of 19 you can still go in but you need to be accompanied by an adult who’s 19 or older.
It was also mentioned that even compared to the older days of Playdium, that experience has evolved and so has the Rec Room, it’s being touted as a more premium experience and it’s easy to see why. On top of the lounges, food and alcoholic drinks can be purchased from The Shed, which is a place where you can grab drinks or quick bites and they can be taken onto the floor. The bar itself has 16 beers on tap, with multiple cocktails and wine that many will find familiar. The experience reminded me much of bar-cades that you’d see south of the border. It’s taken BC a long time to get to a place where these types of establishments are allowed but we’re finally there.
There was also a spot for live entertainment. DJ’s, bands, karaoke, and comedy acts were all being touted as the types of events you could see. Cineplex is looking to support local acts as well as book acts across Canada to appear at all Rec Room locations.
On top of having 90 games to choose from, there was also an assortment of ‘low tech’ offerings. Ping Pong and Pool was also available.
One of the games was a racing game which was manufactured here in BC. The game itself is very immersive and comes with motion in the vehicle to simulate a driving experience.
Once you’ve collected enough points there’s a good assortment of prizes including Rec Room branded items, smaller items, and larger items including big electronics like an iPad, Nintendo Switch, and an Xbox. Since the points are personal to you and your Game TAG and doesn’t expire, you can save up for as long as you like to get the prize that you want.
The Rec Room also has The Den, which is a social or corporate meeting room. Team building exercises are curated events that teams or groups can book. The screens across The Rec Room can be customized should you rent out the entire venue.
All in all I’d say I was quite impressed. My intial reaction was that as it’s adjacent to the new Cineplex VIP theatre, that it would be more a place for people to kill time, but upon touring the whole facility, it’s evident to me that people could spend a night or afternoon gaming with friends or family. It truly seems set up in a way that you could easily take some friends, familiy, or corworkers there for a fun time.
The Rec Room Brentwood opens on July 5th, 2021. You can find out more HERE.