Play retro video games in Swansea for free

The National Waterfront Museum hosts an exhibition featuring consoles released in the UK since 1973 – available for visitors to play.

Museums are so boring, aren’t they? Just loads of old stuff in big rooms, and none of it you’re allowed to touch. Not at Swansea’s National Waterfront Museum, where, until 18 March, you can play classic video games, such as the original Tomb Raider and Tetris, which you can play on a Game Boy circa 1990.

The collection of consoles is owned by Samuel Anstee from Caerphilly in south Wales. He’s been a keen gamer since he was a child and has since amassed an impressive collection of consoles, which includes the first recognisable console, the Odyssey made by Magnavox, which reached the UK in 1973.

Back in the 70s, the original consoles were a stepping stone between board games and the games we know and love today. Some of the earliest machines required you mount a plastic screen on the TV to give some simulation of graphics, and that players to draw cards from a pack to give them new tasks, meanwhile keeping score with a pencil and paper.

But don’t worry, there are plenty of decent games available for visitors to play, and not just the stone age stuff. So, if you fancy getting lost in the world of consoles for a day, head to the National Waterfront Museum.