Games people play
Nex Gen Timezone, Inorbit Mall, Malad (Indoors)
Let me tell you right at the start, I hate gaming places. I hate slot machines. And I abhor digital on-screen games that have flashy lights and virtual racing. I also know that my kids, who I have brought up on a diet of the outdoors, trekking, walking and playing freely, salivate when I merely mention the word, “gaming”.
So knowing how excited they would be, I gather my two kids with a sense of resignation and head to the newly relaunched Timezone in Inorbit Mall, Malad, rechristened Next Gen Timezone (NGTZ). Little do I realise that I would be the one who would have to be torn away from the gaming machines there. Argh. Just proves my point that these machines that feed you with adrenaline are indeed addictive.
NGTZ looks like all Timezones — shiny and noisy, and in the middle of a food mall. Am I trying to tell you this is different? Yes. So, there are the usual bumper-car things, all the racing and shooting games, and many, many different slot-machine kind of games, too. But there is also a 4-D riding game that the kids swear is the best they have ever experienced, and bowling that is easy on the hands. The lightweight balls, kid-friendly lanes and innovative score chart make knocking the pins down more fun. The music is light and fun, and not as raucous as it could have been.
The more I look, the more I realise that NGTZ has elements that focus on young adults along with kids and families. It’s reflected in the store layout and design — from a playful and colourful background, Timezone has moved to a more urbane and futuristic design and colour palette. The space has lit signage for major concept zones and interesting sky-grid lighting, which improves the entire layout. And because of this family-and-child-friendly layout, I find lots of things I want to do with the kids. I strap up for Crazy Whirls (a bumper car ride) and have great fun shoving the kids around. Then, I goad them to win chocolates and ice cream for me at Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory. I even find myself taking the stirrups on the horse racing game and inciting my 13-year-old to ride faster and harder. And so are other parents.
Gaming is lethal, trust me. High on winning, salivating on tickets that were being spooled out at every machine, hell bent on collecting them and having them exchanged for goodies… I have no idea how many hours pass by swiftly. Did I say I hate gaming? Well, if it were not for incessant calls, I have no idea who would have hauled me out. And yes, I’m waiting for an excuse to return.
Where: Inorbit Mall, Malad West (also at Inorbit Road, Goregaon West).
Best for: Boys and girls above seven years.
How to reach: You can get off at Goregaon West or Malad West stations and take an auto to Inorbit Mall.
Timings: Open all days, from 11 am to 10 pm.
Budget: Carry at least '500 per head. The games are addictive and every swipe of the Timezone card zaps you off at least '45.
Food: No outside food allowed. But
NGTZ is on the same floor as the
Water: Carry your own.
Rest Room facilities: Yes.
Where else to go: For indoor play spaces, there is Kiddington close by (Kandivali), Play Zone, Giggle Wiggle, Play Around and Funville. For the outdoors, there are the luscious BMC gardens at Mindspace, Malad.
Parent Poll: I beat the children for the first time in bowling, and that was cool. The kids had to be hauled out.
Kids' Poll: Loved the Virtual Rabbids very much, and loved collecting tickets. Loved the prizes, too.
What's Good: New games, fun incentives to win such as ice cream and chocolates. If you have loaded the cards with lots of money, then this is a place you can keep the kids at and wander off to shop. Perhaps.
What's Not So Good: Highly addictive and because it is so much fun, you keep wanting to load the cards.
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