Review: Power Up, Science Museum

By Ryan Panchoo

The start of the spring half term school holidays usually means two things – a long bank holiday weekend and Power Up at the Science Museum.

For those not in the know Power Up! is in my opinion the UK’s largest exhibition of all things video games.

They have everything, from Binatone’s TV Master right the way through to PS4 VR (virtual reality) – literally a giant playground.

Power Up at Science Museum Group
(c) Jody Kingzett

(c) Jody Kingzett, Science Museum Group

This year (2019) the exhibit – or the arena – was located at the back of the Museum in the basement; a welcome move from the first floor for a number of reasons.

It’s a much larger space, it’s a little cooler down there and you get to walk through some of the amazing exhibits in the museum itself – our favourites were Space Travel and Transport.

The layout was perfect with zones for Minecraft and Halo, superhero games, Arcade machines and VR.

There were breakout tables which each had handheld consoles fixed to them too – Game Gear, Neo Geo, Gameboy plus the rest.

So. Much. Choice.

One thing that stood out was how many parents were getting involved. The space is wristband protected and sealed off with plenty of staff who were extremely helpful, ensuring a fair turn was had by all.

It felt safe and that reflected in parents and children enjoying the experience independently and together.

It also shows the impact video gaming has had over the last 40 years. Many cries of “I remember this!” and “I used to have that!” could be heard.

Tickets are from £8 but it’s worth booking a half-day pass if you can, 90 minutes goes extremely quickly.

Save a few pennies by taking your own drinks although there is an on-site coffee and juice bar with snacks.

Dress lightly – pack layers if the outside weather is inclement, as the space warms up pretty quickly.

I advise you get there an hour before your time slot and you’ll get to enjoy the exhibits in the museum plus it’s a fair walk from the main entrance to the arena.

Going to Power UP! is an annual tradition in our family and we will definitely be heading back to South Kensington for the 2020 session.



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