All Things Retro: Bonami SpelComputer Museum

By Elie - 10:46 PM

Hey blog space! I think I ended my last post by saying I would hopefully not take a whole month to write this but I guess I may have lied because I'm only 4 days short of a month since then. But here I am to talk about the museum I mentioned...

Bonami SpelComputer Museum or the Bonami Games and Computer Museum

Located in the industrial areas of Zwolle, visiting Bonami was a spontaneous decision my other half and I made while going back to Amsterdam from Giethoorn. As we're both interested in things like retro game consoles and arcades, we thought it wouldn't hurt to make the stop along the way. And boy were we glad we did.

As its name suggests, you'd expect to see a variety of retro games and computers at Bonami. What we didn't expect however, was how vast the collection would have ultimately become. From old-school typwriters to now-defunct computers and first generation Nintendo game consoles, you could literally find them all on display here.

According to my father, we have one of these typewriters at home

The iPhones of the yesteryears

For a fee of €15 per person, we were free to explore the museum to our hearts' content - except that they closed at 10PM and we only entered at around 8PM. Still, those were 2 very precious hours for us because there were so many things to see with so little time. 

The very original Duck Hunt game on the NES

Despite the age and the wear and tear on the electronics, some of the items at Bonami were still at near-perfect working conditions. These were very apparent with gaming consoles that we could play around with, including the first generation of the NES systems and the iconic Gameboy console that became one of the first mass produced handheld gaming consoles ever.

Did you ever own one of these consoles?

A perfectly working, first generation Nintendo Gameboy

On top of the museum aspect of Bonami, they also offered unlimited playtime at their retro arcade. Think along the lines of old-school pinball machines and standalone Pac Man games and you'll be on the right track.

Have you ever won a Pac Man game, ever?

And what is an arcade without a driving game, right? 

One of these most modern and possibly sought-after section of Bonami, however, must be the area where they offer all the game time you want on the absurdly hard-to-purchase Playstation 5. Unfortunately for my other half, we have yet to be able to buy the console and we also didn't get to play with it at Bonami because somebody was already there by the time we were done exploring the museum areas of the establishment.

An experience zone to remind you that you just can't buy this elusive console anywhere

Bonami also offers a small cafe with drinks and snacks for sale, in case you work up an appetite after walking through the ridiculously huge old-school collection area. Unlike most tourist spots, prices for food and beverage were very reasonable here. Next to it, you'll come by the museum's "shop" where items are available for sale. 

The best thing I got that evening

I personally picked up a near-mint condition Animal Crossing collectible with a sealed for €15 here. While I first hesitated over my expenditure, a search on Google showed that the original price would have cost me €75 so I was definitely on the winning end here and decided to hug my purchase a lot tighter while we were on the train home.

Making videos of an experience is my new favourite thing to do

But of course, our adventures with Bonami didn't just end there. As the museum was located rather far away from the train station, you'll have to hop on an Arriva bus to make your way to the establishment. What my other half and I didn't know, however, was that Arriva buses don't come in the evening unless you request for them to do so. Thus unfolded our next set of adventure: Getting randomly picked up.

You see, we had waited by the side of the road where the bus stop was, really hoping that Google Maps was accurate with its timing. After what felt like a century, a van with the bus company's decals zoomed past us only to reverse and the kind man wound down his windows. We later learned that we were meant to call for a bus because they otherwise don't run, assuming that there was no one waiting for a ride. This was a great way to help save the environment as less running buses meant less carbon emissions. 

By the end of the night, we got a free ride from the bus stop to the train station that would have otherwise cost us €3 each. While it all worked out great and we made a run for what may have been our last train back to Amsterdam, we couldn't help but to think what would have happened if the van driver had never seen us. Someone up there was really looking out for us that night and I hope whoever that is will continue to watch out for us as we go on more adventures soon!

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