Assembling the perfect game room is no easy task. There are many games to find, layouts to figure out, color schemes to decide upon, and budgeting to deal with. A great game room should incorporate your own personal style and your favorite games, but make sure you include things that everyone will enjoy. Here is a list of the top 10 must-haves for your game room. But first, a few assumptions:
• Expect to spend at least $5,000 – $10,000. You must have a reasonable budget to truly deck the place out. Can you create a game room for under $5,000? Of course, but if you want all the good stuff from this Top 10 list, you need to open up that wallet.
• The dedicated game room is no smaller than a standard 2-car garage. If you have a random pool table at your house that sits in next to the living room, that is not a game room. If you have a dart board that hangs in your garage in between posters and storage boxes, that is not a game room. A game room should be an entire space that is focused entirely on the elements listed below.
• This is a Game Room and not a Man Cave. What’s the difference? While there is definite overlap between the two concepts, a Man Cave is considered to be an escape from the rest of the house. A Man Cave is most likely filled with many essentials of a Game Room, but it can also have items that have nothing to do with games, such as a theater seating, collectibles, and computers. The Game Room for your house shouldn’t just be an escape for men; it should be enjoyed by men, women, and kids.
Now your budget is in order, you have an adequate space, and you understand the definition of a game room.
Here is your Top 10 List:
1) Pool table
A pool table is the centerpiece to any well laid out game room. Without a pool table you’ll be hanging out in the minor leagues. Everyone loves pool and it can even double as a base for a ping pong tabletop. Don’t forget to include a rack for your pool cues. Don’t be cheap with your pool table selection. It should be a few notches above bar-quality.
2) Dart board
Stick with the quality bristle sets that come with steel tipped darts. The best bet for a game room is to grab a set that comes with chalkboards along the sides. The dart board needs to be placed in an area away from the any reasonable walking area. The normal black, red, and green color scheme always looks classy. A nice touch is to include a list of all the possible dart games and their rules.
One of the most underrated of the game room options. A well made shuffleboard table can cause a group of people to lose track of time. The game is addicting and nestles itself nicely along your game room wall. There are a few manufacturers that sell shuffleboard tables and the prices can vary from $500 to well over $2,500.
4) Arcade Games
Pick your favorite childhood game or a more recent favorite. You can never go wrong with the original Ms. Pac-Man game. That little yellow lady just never gets old. Big Buck Hunter is another popular game. Even large groups of people can get involved. There are also some obscure options like Tron or Off Road. If you buy an arcade game that requires quarters, make sure to leave a huge cup of change on top of the game. Don’t charge your guests!
5) Bar or Kegorator
An area to keep snacks and cold beverages is key. Who wants to leave the game room once you’re in there? Keep your guests’ glasses full, along with their stomachs. A kegorator can be constructed out of an old fridge, or you can just buy a fully completed version online. Constructing a full bar is a much larger undertaking but if you have the space a little bar area is a spectacular addition to a game room.
6) Television Area
The TV might be the centerpiece of a man cave, but it’s only a secondary aspect to a game room. There should be some comfy chairs and a screen that is large enough to watch an NBA game from the other side of the room. Black leather is a fairly standard option for the game room. If the chairs recline then your guests will never want to leave. Throw in some cupholders onto the chairs and your guests will be begging to come back for the big game.
7) Unique Game
Find something that nobody else on the block has. Think Skeeball, a vintage pinball machine, or any arcade game that was around before 1970. This game will be the least played, but the most memorable. Bonus points for anything that costs a nickel. Old vintage games can be found on the internet and there are tons of options to fit your favorite sport. Say you are a baseball lover, you can find an old baseball game from the 1940’s that has a little swinging bat.
8 ) Mini Basketball Hoop
If you have room for a large popashot style game, that is the way to go. Otherwise, a small hoop over a trashcan or a hoop that hangs over a door will also work. Background basketball games will get people in the mood for practicing their fade away three-pointers. If you are really on a budget, you can always just place a little cup in the corner, crumple up some paper, and then aim for the cup.
9) Gaming Games
A cabinet full of gambling games is a requirement for all game rooms. Multiple decks of cards, poker chips, dice, and a backgammon set should be readily available to be pulled out at all times. A game room is incomplete without a little wagering. A poker table is a great addition if you have the space. If no space is available, you can always play poker on the pool table. Pool tables make for great poker tables but be careful where you place your beer. Beverages should never be placed around the edges of your pool table.
10) Putter and Golf Balls
There is something about a putter leaning against the wall that calls out, “grab me” “putt with me!” An office style artificial turf game is not necessary; all you need is the putter and a few random gold balls. A game can be created by targeting anything on the ground, or simply laying down an empty glass. You might even want to include four to five putters so that everyone can have their own personal putter when coming up with different challenges.