The 9th annual Sega Master System community meet-up event took place on Saturday 5th August 2017. This time round it was held at a new venue, the fantastic Arcade Club in Bury. Here's a report from the day by long-time forum member at SMS event veteran, rupert:

After a 20ish minute journey I arrived at around 11:20 to a non-descript building on an industrial street in Bury. I worked my way through a little maze of doors, corridors and stairs that gave no clue as to the amazing gaming treasures that lay within. I walked up to the upper floor first and paid my 15 (entry fee that covers both floors). I got a little overview of the place from who I assume to be the owner. Basically just explaining that everything is set up to be free play. I wondered around for 5 minutes just in awe of the place and wondering why I have never been here before. The upper floor is crammed full of old arcade cabinets which from what I could tell were about 98% working. I soon found flatapex and soup on one of the 2 player cabs so I took up the controls of the one next to it - some shooter I forget the name of, but it was fun and more so as it was difficult yet free. We soon met up with ian and retrokevretro for a bit of a catch up and introduction to Soup who hadn't been to a forum meet before. dbloke arrived not longer after and last but not least Phil.

The 2 Master Systems people had brought got set up on the lower floor, over 18's only, on a pair of large CRT's. They were in a row of about 6 CRT's with big comfy leather sofas opposite. This lower floor was made up of more cabs, some old and some more modern but not brand new. Also several VR set ups including PS4's and high end looking PC set ups. There was also a big screen with Mario Kart 8 which seemed very popular all day. There was a small side room with several pinball machines which I spent at least an hour in at one point. This brings me on to one of the negative points of the day (the other being the noise making it hard work to have a decent chat) - the venue was too good! The original idea of the sega8bit meet ups was to play Master System games, as well as the social aspect. However there were far too many distractions here that drew us away from our beloved little console.

That being said I did enjoy a run through of Putt and Putter stage 1 with Phil, a two player game that never fails to be lots of fun! Also several rounds of Micro Machines with various people, a sega8bit meet up favourite. I also played Comical Machine Gun Joe for a good 30 minutes or more, mainly due to a malfunctioning Everdrive but it was fun never the less. Later I watched Phil complete Back to the Future II (without cheating apparently).

I spent a good few hours wondering round the floors having a go of random games, some holding my attention for longer than others. I spent a bit too long on a Klax cab which I have now decided is actually a much better game than I previously gave it credit for.

After nearly 8 hours of gaming I decided it was time to say my goodbyes. I believe retrokevretro had departed an hour before me (meaning he missed out on the group photo I insisted we had!). dbloke and Flatapex left at the same time as me. I gave Ian a lift to his accommodation so that he could check in and get back to the club for some more gaming, as it's open until 11pm. Phil and Soup remained and hopefully carried on until closing.

I'll definitely being going back to the Arcade Club again, I can fully recommend it, brilliant. However for a sega8bit forum meet up I think perhaps a pub setting with a few Master Systems and good conversation is hard to beat. Thanks to dbloke and Flatapex for making this happen, a great day.

Read more about the event over on the forum.

Check out photos of the day

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