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A fun, family outing

TIMEPASS It's all entertainment at Amoeba

TIMEPASS It's all entertainment at Amoeba   | Photo Credit: PHOTO: R. ESWAR RAJ

With bowling, gaming and dodgem cars, Amoeba is a cool place to hang out

A bunch of students take turns knocking down pins at the bowling alley. A mother and son are battling it out at the air hockey table. An ageing couple try out a racing video game - all with varying degrees of success. But every one of them finds incredible enjoyment in an unusual evening out. Amoeba, which started in Empire Mall about two months ago, has found favour with Mangaloreans across the age divide. Bowling seems to be the most popular activity among students here. With ten frames priced at a reasonable Rs. 80 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. and Rs. 100 between 5 p.m. and 9.30 p.m., the game seems to have become the ideal way to spend a few hours with one's buddies. Vineet Dubey, a student from Mumbai, says his homesickness ceased after Amoeba came up in the city. "In Mumbai, we had a lot of places to hang out, lots of things to do. Here, there was nothing until this centre started," he says. The video games section is the big attraction for families. Coins worth Rs. 10 each give access to one turn at any game, and winning games earn tokens that can be exchanged for a range of goodies from soft toys to key chains. Taking a break from a video game she is helping her daughter with, Asha Sharma, a homemaker says, "Children love this place. I come here for them." Aboo Baker Moosba, the manager of the centre, says the centre has just the kind of entertainment Mangalore has been seeking for years. Beyond watching a movie, or visiting the beach, there were no avenues for entertainment, he points out. "Many families would, in fact, tell me that they took their children all the way to Bangalore once every two months just to play games and have fun. Now, they just bring them to Amoeba."The dodgem cars started about fifteen days ago and has turned out to be the new highlight of the centre. For Rs. 30, one gets a five-minute drive, if that's the direction that one's preferences lie in - to dash one's way past all the other cars. A special section, for children under the age of five has also been created, and the space will be used to host birthday parties for children, says Moosba. The best part of the whole deal, of course, is that when one has had enough of bowling and is sore from all the hardcore gaming and the dodgem cars, the mall's food court is just a flight of stairs away, complete with a separate stairwell just for Amoeba's customers.

S.S.B.

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