The 10 Best Combo Game Tables
How Do Combo Gaming Tables Work?
You’ll see this approach favored by many kids’ tables, but it also has a strong presence among the most expensive tables on the market.
This can add games like table tennis with the addition of a small net, or even a simple card game so long as you have a deck and some chips available.
A combination gaming table is designed to effectively roll several gaming tables into one, saving you room and making the cost of setting up a full-fledged game room a lot more tolerable. There are a few different styles, however, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with each.
One of the more popular styles of combo gaming table is the swivel table. These units have a kind of axle around which the table itself can spin. This allows you to unlock and rotate the entire tabletop 180 degrees. On either side of the tabletop is a gaming surface — usually a fabric pool surface with cutouts for pockets on one side, and an air hockey surface with goals at either end on the other.
Further configurations of the swivel design come from the addition of a board surface. This can add games like table tennis with the addition of a small net, or even a simple card game so long as you have a deck and some chips available.
Another popular form of combination table eschews the swiveling joint in favor of stacking surfaces. You’ll see this approach favored by many kids’ tables, but it also has a strong presence among the most expensive tables on the market. This is because it tends to offer a significantly sturdier alternative to the swivel by more comprehensively integrating its playing surface with its legs and frame. The only major downside to a stacking gaming table is the storage issue. If you find yourself drawn to the lower level games more often than those on the upper levels, you’re going to have to find space to store those upper surfaces.
What To Look For In A Combo Gaming Table
When you set out to purchase a combination gaming table, it’s important for you to know who’s going to use it the most. If the primary demographic is adult, then a much nicer table is a good idea. Children are liable to destroy nicer tables, however, so if the intended players are split between adults and kids, it might be worth downgrading a bit. That way, when the young ones in your house inevitably scratch the pool surface, you won’t have to add therapy bills to the cost of repairs.
If the puck sticks on the table, you’ll probably never use the air hockey surface.
Another thing to pay close attention to when evaluating your table options is the air hockey surface. No surface among those available on combo game tables receives more negative comments than the air hockey surface. This is understandable, considering that the air hockey part of a gaming table requires the most moving parts working in concert. More often than not, the issue is one of airflow. Some tables have weaker blowers than others, and some don’t utilize any airflow at all. The better the blower, the more fluidly your puck is going to glide, which makes for a faster, more exciting game. If the puck sticks on the table, you’ll probably never use the air hockey surface.
If you’re purchasing a gaming table because you love to play pool or table tennis, make sure there’s enough room around the model you like most to allow for the movement of players and cue sticks. Nothing can ruin a close game of pool like a wall or a support pillar right where your cue needs to be.
Some gaming tables also offer plain surfaces. If your gaming table needs to double as a dining space, these are ideal. Keep an eye out for tables that come with seating options, as well, as these can make the dining experience more uniform.
The final thing to consider before you make your purchase is the overall weight of the unit. A heavier unit may not only be more costly to ship, but it can also be more difficult to maneuver into place both before and after assembly. It also makes rearranging your rec room around a new acquisition more challenging. If you know you can't lift heavy boxes, or you know you want your table to move around the room now and again, you should opt for a lighter unit.
Other Accessories To Perfect Your Game Room
While a combo gaming table can go a long way toward creating the perfect rec room, there are a number of other purchases you can make that will take your space from a mere basement with a gaming table in it to a true sanctuary of good times. None of these are necessary for you to enjoy your gaming table, but they’ll encourage you to spend a lot more time around it.
Next, look for ways to spruce up the space around your gaming table.
For starters, see if there is anything about your gaming table you can upgrade. If you love the table tennis component, it might be worth investing in your very own blade. This can help elevate your game to a professional status. If your game table has a surface for playing cards, look for a clay chip set that can transport players to a casino atmosphere. You can also get your hands on your very own pool cue if that’s the sport you prefer. Like your own ping-pong blade, a pool cue can come with you to other friends’ game rooms or to the pool halls and rec centers in your area.
Next, look for ways to spruce up the space around your gaming table. This can by anything from a killer area rug to a comfy couch. Maintaining that area is important, as well, and if your game room is in the basement, it’d be wise to invest in a dehumidifier or even a sump pump system to ensure that your gear is safe in the event of heavy rains or flooding.
Finally, see what other games you can add to your space. A good dartboard is an excellent addition to a game room, as is a small basketball hoop with a light, inflatable ball. However you decide to trick out your space, with a high-quality combo game table at the center of it, you’re in for hours of fun.