It's become a top choice of Manchester experiences quicker than Joel Miller pulls the trigger on zombies in The Last Of Us. But what did we think of Point Blank Shooting? With Sunday bottomless brunches of unlimited pizza, prosecco and simulation range time on the cards, I was hoping for an afternoon activity that hit the mark.
Making our way underground from a busy Deansgate, we were greeted by a dimly-lit venue decked out with TVs for live sports at the bar and range screens serviced by gloriously comfy leather booths. It gives a mix of dive den and speakeasy-style vibes, walking a line between sophistication and effortless cool. The team promptly unlocked the weapons for our session, which included everything from pistols to the impressive assault rifles that you get by upgrading your guns on arrival. The latter were a tad too heavy for my feeble arms - pretty accurate replicas then, I'd imagine. Having booked for the 90-minute bottomless brunch (£35 per person), we got straight in ordering our first food and drinks of the day too.
Sol beers at the table and pizza on the way; it was time for the all-important shooting at Point Blank. We kicked things off with a team member demo on centring the gun using on-screen calibration and taking out stationary targets in Steel Challenge, before having a go ourselves. Severely embarrassed after spending pretty much double the time to complete it than my partner, I decided I was ready for the big guns regardless: trying to not killing hostages in a bullet-induced panic. One of my favourites, C.Q.C Alpha introduced bad guys ringed in red who would come out from behind things in derelict buildings, armed with firearms and knives. Bad news was that the innocent bystanders seemed to startle me in a similar fashion, so a fair few of them got a few shots to the head, shoulder or chest and earned me some penalties. Good job it's virtual, eh?
Next up, we tried a game that seemed more akin to the first-person shooters you get on consoles. Unlike in C.Q.C Alpha, the foes here actually do you damage, with futuristic-looking suits coming at you from all angles brandishing high-tech weaponry. We found this one especially fun in two-player mode - although watch out for arguments on whose turn it was to reload, since you'll be sharing ammo among your group here. Also worth an honourary mention? The simulation that's like a ramped-up version of that target game on Wii Play (although minus the flying ducks), with exploding versions, super-scorers and life-losing skulls popping up at different places on the screen. Clearly it's popular with other punters too, as we saw a table nearby spend near enough the whole 90 minutes trying (and failing) to beat its high score.
Throughout our thrilling time on the range, pizzas, fizz and beers from the Point Blank menu kept arriving at our sole-use booth - the team making sure we constantly had the refreshments of our choice within reach. While the American Hot (pepperoni and jalapeno) slices were a bit flat on the crusts, they did the job of providing us with the cheesy, tomatoey and carb-based goodness needed to soak up our booze. The cocktail list here is huge too, so we couldn't resist having a taste of For A Few Dollars More and From Dusk 'Til Dawn (£9 each, or two for £12 from Sunday to Friday). The former was a luxuriously dessert-like blend of amaretto, Mozart chocolate liqueur, hazelnut syrup, chocolate bitters, egg white and chocolate powder - swoon. The latter was tequila and mezcal-based with coconut rum, lime and pineapple for good measure, although it came out a little too soapy for my taste.
The DesignMyNight Digest
For a blast at brunch? This place has something a little different to the usual up its sleeve. When you consider everything you get from the bottomless offering, The Point Blank Shooting range price is also pretty reasonable. Overall, some very useful life lessons have been learnt too. Who would definitely die first in an apocalypse or horror movie? This girl.
💰 The damage: £70 for bottomless brunch between two, plus £12 for cocktails.
📍 The location: In the heart of Deansgate.
👌 Perfect for: Activity twists on bottomless brunch.
⭐ Need to know: An extra fiver per person will add on unlimited cocktails.
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