Role-playing board games such as Dungeons and Dragons are the biggest draw for customers at Games@PI on Orchard Road. Keen to outsmart and outplay one another, competitive players crowd around tables at the store, plotting strategies to win. When done with slaying dragons, other games – such as Dixit, Catan, and Cards against Humanity – provide many more hours of entertainment.
Gudetama, Japan’s most unmotivated egg, now has a home. Its cosy abode, Gudetama Cafe Singapore, comprises two sections: The Food Playground features egg-inspired furniture, while Gudetama Garden is designed with nature’s greenery in mind. Signature savoury dishes include the “I’m Cold” smoked salmon eggs benedict, and Gudetama Lobster Onsen, a lobster bisque with egg that’s served in a bread bowl. For dessert, try sweet treats that are made to look like savoury dishes such as sushi and ramen.
Designed to reflect Singapore’s garden- city vision, Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe fuses inspiration from the country’s national flower, Vanda Miss Joaquim, with Hello Kitty’s kawaii (cute) appeal. Sporting splashes of purple, green and white with wood accents, its interior is decorated with live flora and wrought-iron swing seats. The world’s first 24-hour Hello Kitty cafe has designated photography areas, where you can snap selfies with life-size figurines of the iconic character while waiting for your food. Try the slow-cooked wagyu rendang (dry curry).
Mint Museum of Toys houses a world-class collection of more than 50,000 vintage toys and collectibles. With items from over 40 countries, the museum’s collection dates back to the mid-1800s and features international and regional toys such as capteh (shuttlecocks). The venue’s most valuable toy, a rare Mickey Mouse Hurdy Gurdy, is worth US$35,000. There is also an Alice doll, which once belonged to Alice Liddell, the girl who inspired Lewis Carroll’s famous classic.
There is one rule of behaviour at Play Nation: There are no rules. The video-game cafe caters specially to the uninhibited. Laugh, jump, run, scream, behave like an adolescent and fit right in. The venue’s most popular game, Mario Chase, is designed to draw out your inner child. In a cross between hide-and-seek and catch, four participants team up to nab a hidden fifth player. In Resistance, another addictive multi-player activity, participants are divided into two competing teams, which then investigate players’ identities by asking questions.
Furnished with beanbags and couches, Saint Games, Singapore’s first video-game cafe, resembles a spacious living room built for multi-player gaming. The cosy setting is juxtaposed with high-tempo pop music pumping from Just Dance game machines, which endear themselves to anyone who can bust a move. Often, screams of joy erupt from goalscorers triumphing at Xbox 360 football games such as Fifa. The crowd favourite is Rock Band, where players jam to songs by following on-screen cues to press buttons on their pseudo instruments.
Housed in a conservation shophouse, The Mind Cafe is said to have Singapore’s biggest board-game collection. If you want some local flavour, try playing Let’s Eat Durian, a card game based on the King of Fruits that customers love. There’s also Battleship and word game Lingo.
There isn’t a single “Do not touch” sign at Trick Eye Museum, as interaction is encouraged with its 2-D paintings, which incorporate optical illusions to appear 3-D. The interactive artworks were hand-painted by Korean artists, and most people opt to take funny poses, especially in the immersive zones. Be held captive by a giant baby sculpture or ride on the back of the Merlion.