Place #14: The Rec Room

My co-workers and I often go out for lunch together if there’s someone from a different office visiting in order to see us. Especially when they’ve come from abroad, we don’t want them to be left to their own devices to find lunch for themselves. So we do the completely selfless thing and take them out for lunch. This past week, a developer from Paris was working out of the Mississauga office, but was coming to the downtown Toronto office (my office) one day, so we made plans to go out for lunch. One of my co-workers suggested the Rec Room, I assumed because it was close to the office. Everyone agreed that going to the Rec Room would be fun. I was kind of confused, because we wouldn’t really have time to play any of the games, but whatever. I went along with it.

It wasn’t until about 11:30 when we were discussing when we should head out for lunch that I realized there was never any intention on going to the Rec Room for lunch. They had been planning on going to the Rec Room after work. In hindsight, I probably should have caught on to this sooner than I did. Because while the Rec Room does have a restaurant in it, it’s certainly not the main reason people go there (in my head). We ended going to SoCo Kitchen + Bar (which I’ve been to before) for lunch. I got their award winning mac and cheese. It was good, but I guess I don’t know what the standards for mac and cheese awards is. And to be real with you, it’s hard to have bad mac and cheese. KD tastes good, for goodness sake.

Place #14: The Rec Room, 255 Bremner Blvd, Toronto, ON M5V 3M9

The four of us headed over to the Rec Room after work and the developer somewhat shockingly paid for all of our game tokens. I’m not sure if he’s thinking that he’ll be able to get the company to expense that or what…but I wasn’t going to complain about it. The Rec Room has got a pretty neat set up where you get this tag on a bracelet that tracks your credits to play with and points to win prizes with. Each of the machines then has a panel that reads the tag and deducts the appropriate number of credits. It makes the whole experience smoother than carrying a bucket of tokens around.

I quickly realized which games were the best in terms of return on investment. The cheesy games like skee-ball and tossing ping pong balls into jars gave you 25+ points even if you did terribly. The shooting type variety of games gave you nothing. If I were playing by myself, I would be half inclined to figure out the easiest game to get the most points from and score myself a prize probably bought from the dollar store (and not even one of the $2.50 items). But my co-workers were much more interested in playing the shooting games. I was alright with that, but sometimes my finger just couldn’t handle pulling the trigger as much as the games needed me to. There was one shooting game that didn’t show you where your gun was aimed on the screen, so you had to guess based where your shots were landing. And I realize that that’s how must guns work; there aren’t little crosshairs everywhere you aim to tell you when you’ve got the gun lined up. But this is a video game! I don’t shoot guns on any sort of regular basis, I’m not an expert! Give me the crosshairs!

One of our teammates that didn’t come with us to the Rec Room had previously been and told us that $20 of credits gave you a solid hour of fun, so that’s the amount we each got. I figured we’d play games for an hour, get dinner, and then part ways. That could not be further from the truth. After two hours of playing games, we had to stop to get dinner. And after eating, we went back to playing games. At the end there was probably just as much wandering as playing games, because you get to the point where you’ve played all the games you want to play. So now you either need to drop your arcade game standards or start replaying games. Eventually we all ran out of credits, and the last thing to do for the evening was to get donuts from the cafe in the arcade area. I wasn’t interested in getting a donut for a number of reasons:

  1. I had already eaten out twice that day and my body was already mad at me for it
  2. The donuts looked average at best, and I wasn’t expecting the Rec Room of all places to have unexpectedly stellar donuts
  3. The donuts cost $4 each

So I passed on getting a donut. The developer got two, one for now and one for later. Then we left. 4 hours later. When I got home, Justine was wondering if I had been killed, I had been gone so long.

It was a lot of fun, overall. I think it would have been a tad more enjoyable if it hadn’t lasted quite so long. It was bordering on too much of a good thing. There’s only so long you can play a limited selection of arcade games for before the novelty wears off.

My other new place(s) this week:

  • an Easter walk with the family, through no less than 3 parks: Huron Conservation Park, North London Sports Field, and Adelaide Wells Park

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