PEOPLE are forking out thousands of pounds for their perfect fun way of coping with lockdown – a games room.

Some, like the West Midlands family who have designed theirs as part of a big house renovation project, have recycled and kept to a strict budget.

But others have spent tens of thousands kitting out their games rooms or ‘man caves’ with pool tables, arcade machines, giant TVs, dartboards and bars.

One man says he spent more than £30,000 equipping his den.

Demand for such equipment has ‘gone crazy’ since the first lockdown and this weekend will be decisive in a competition to find out who has Britain’s best games room.

But if you want to put the fun into lockdown – as best you can – what do you need and what would it cost?

Apparently six in ten games rooms have a pool table as a centrepiece and another vital ingredient is a bar.

But there are plenty of options, so here’s our guide to what it costs and what’s ‘on trend’

if you want to try to create your own fun palace:

Most popular and the price range:

1, Pool Tables: low £1,000 – high £50,000

From a basic table you can move on up to dual purpose ones that transform into table tennis tables or dining tables, to upmarket bespoke tables, often made in Italy

2, Arcade machines: Low £270 – high £2,000+

From laptop machines which play through the TV, to the stand-up ones you associate with arcades. You can get original retro machines. Some also come with built-in fridge

3, Juke box: low £5,000 – high £12,000+

Retro ones are rare, new ones can play CDs, be digital or play vinyl if you have kept your collection.

4, Pinball machines: low £3,500 – high £11,000+

Reconditioned machines are cheaper, modern ones more expensive, including ones so modern they have Marvel Avengers themes.

The West Midlands finalists in the Best Games Room competition, Aimee and Rob, definitely did not set out to lavish loads of money on a ‘man cave.’

Instead Aimee has carefully constructed a cosy and stylish family room while Rob has carefully restored and recycled to keep costs down.

The couple, in their 30s, inherited a snooker table when they bought the house in Kinver, and selling that helped pay for the pool table. The couple have been working to a budget for their renovation work.

Win or lose, the room has been a Godsend for the family through lockdown.

It has a bar, darts board, pool table that can also transform into a table tennis table or dining table, widescreen TV, and a few other home comforts that make it perfect for hunkering down in.

And husband Rob has also turned it into a home office when he has been working from home.

And the couple’s two young daughters reap the rewards with their Saturday

film nights and much more.

“We started on the basement because we could not do the other rooms until major plumbing issues had been sorted out,” said Aimee.

The timing happened to be perfect. They moved in last September, had the games room done in time for a New Year’s party, then had it to escape to during lockdown.

“We have a few friends who are desperate for the second lockdown to be over they so they can come back and enjoy it.”

The couple are still in the process of renovating their ‘dream home’ and Aimee’s design style and progress can be followed on an Instagram account So far she has 2,000 followers.

The competition is run by Home Leisure Direct, a Bristol-based firm who supply games equipment and who say their business has ‘gone crazy’ since lockdown.

To vote for Aimee go to

But be quick, voting ends tomorrow (Sunday)