MAKING WAVES
The Play Station
RELIVE THE GLORIOUS 1990s AT PACO FUNWORLD, THE HOT NEW GAMING SPOT THAT PROVES THAT ARCADES ARE WELL AND ALIVE IN SINGAPORE.
19-Mar-2019

WHILE SINGAPORE SPORTS HUB AND Kallang Wave Mall are as '21st century' as it gets in terms of design, technology and offerings, there is a space at the Mall that presents a slice of retro cool. Cue a place that plays Nirvana songs, boasts neon lights and serves up a whole lot of arcade time. The rise of smartphones and social media may suggest that these hotbeds of games may have gone out of fashion — after all,who likes connecting in real life anymore when you can forge virtual connections instead, right?

Wrong. When HERE TO PLAY recently visited Paco Funworld on the first floor of Kallang Wave Mall, we found the 1,000-square metre space teeming with life. Upon entering it, you're immediately hit by its pulsating energy, flashing lights and undeniably retro sound effects. Adding to its throwback appeal are its classic games, among them a ball pit playground, rows of brightly-lit claw machines, foosball tables and basketball shoot-out machines. Just like in the old days, we heard strangers cheering on each other, people offering tips to win an item at the claw machines and kids making friends at the playground.

FUN FOR THE FAMILY

Arcades might have been the haunt of moody teenagers in the 1990s, the new Paco Funworld is all about the family. Its owners admit to having spent a lot of time in arcades growing up and felt that adding an element of family would create a more holistic environment. Described as a "Family Entertainment Centre", the space has been designed with the whole family in mind. Take the ball pit for instant — young-uns will undeniably dart to it, attracted by its many slides, balls and bouncy elements. Energetic parents can join in too — but those who prefer to unwind after the work week can take a breather at the seating area next to the pit.

The decision to re-open the classic arcade at Kallang Wave Mall was an easy one, its owners tell HERE TO PLAY. "It was a no-brainer," they say. "After all, it's the go-to place for events and concerts, and it's near the city centre."

UP FOR GRABS

The claw machines are another crowd pleaser that attract a lot of attention. Kids, parents and grandparents gather around the machines in hopes of taking home soft toys, gadgets, fashion accessories and even food items like abalone. It's common to see boyfriends trying to win something special for their sweetheart or mums manoeuvering the joystick carefully to claim a toy for their child. The concentration and accuracy needed to win at the game mean that claw machines are sure to stimulate and thrill.

If it's even greater throwback you're hankering for, go for the kampung section, fitted with classic pasar malam games like 'Hantam Bola' (Knock the Can) and Ring Toss. No surprises that these games are popular with both seniors and young ones, who likely enjoy the "thrill" of gaming without a computer.

No luck at the claw machine or the kampung games? Fret not, because Paco Funworld is full of other stations where you can win prize tickets. You can exchange these tickets for a range of exciting prizes. Our advice? Aim for the PlayStation 4 as well as the limited-edition figurines of popular comic book heroes. Prizes are added every day, so there's always something new to win.

Paco Funworld is located at #01-02 & 59 Kallang Wave Mall. Opens daily from 11am to 11pm. Game tokens are priced from 33 cents onwards.