Now Play This 2018 © Tim Bowditch

Now Play This 2019

06 – 14 April 2019
£8.00 / £6.50 concessions
Family Ticket £25.00 (2 Adults & up to 3 Children)

Please select 2 Adults and up to 3 Children to book Family Ticket & discount will apply

Mon, Tue, Sat & Sun 10.00-18.00, Wed-Fri 11.00-20.00 (last entry 45 mins prior to closing time)

Telephone bookings 0333 320 2836

New Wing
Somerset House

Annual games festival Now Play This returns this April for its biggest edition ever, with even more exciting hands-on gameplay for all ages to enjoy. 

Part of the city-wide London Games Festival, Now Play This brings the latest in experimental game design from around the world, across an extended nine-day festival. This year’s extended festival focuses on the idea of community, exploring how dedicated communities formed amongst players and game-makers alike feed into the creative process behind some of the most inventive and thought-provoking games of today.

From solo games to multiplayer collaborative experiences, Now Play This presents numerous gaming installations from a host of multidisciplinary artists and creators, many of which premiere for the first time at the festival. This year’s festival also features two free outdoor games, open to all visitors of Somerset House.

Makers' Weekend Pass

For the opening weekend (06 & 07 April) visitors with a Makers’ Weekend Pass receive both unlimited entry to the festival across the two days as well as special access to the Makers’ Corner. This space provides pass holders with the unique opportunity to delve deeper into the game-making process through a series of insightful talks, workshops and activities with many of the designers and makers taking part in the festival. Please note that talks will be limited capacity so spaces will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. 


Somerset House Studios’ Makerversity resident Common Works present an immersive karaoke experience. Taking over its own room in Somerset House’s New Wing, Malapropic Karaoke resembles an 80s-style karaoke booth - complete with silver fringe foil curtains and a retro television. 

Crip Casino, a three-part work by interactive artist and writer Abi Palmer, premieres with a new instalment at Now Play This. The work draws upon Palmer’s personal experience of living with a disability and time spent in NHS rehabilitation centres to create three works which unpick the narratives constructed around ideas of wellness. 

crip casino 2.JPG

Crip Casino
Crip casino

Bringing visitors together in cooperative gameplay, Patrick LeMieux’s Octopad is a 1980s games console reimagined. Consisting of eight different controllers with just one button on each, Octopad transforms the common single-player experience into one of teamwork, where all eight players must work together to successfully navigate through classic gaming titles such as Super Mario Bros, The Legend of Zelda and Tetris.

Dutch Indie game collective sokpop serve their community of dedicated fans by creating and releasing two new quirky games every month. Encouraging visitors to give game-making a go themselves, sokpop have created an easy-to-use digital game-making tool specifically for Now Play This.

Voted by The Guardian as one the best video games of 2018, Florence, created by Mountains, is an award-winning interactive love story which follows the life of 25-year-old Florence Yeoh in a journey of blossoming romance and self-discovery.  Presented on a tablet as a one-player experience, individuals must complete a series of micro-tasks – from shaking a polaroid picture to unpacking belongings in a new flat - to reveal the next step in the quiet yet tender love-story.


We Throw Switches, a creative studio specialising in creating interactive games for social spaces, present one of their latest works at Now Play This.  Formed of a large table with ten in-built neon light-up surfaces, players must work together in this ultimate reaction test, pressing the panels which light up as quickly as possible as they increase in speed.

Wrong Box, a collaboration between new media artist and internet personality Molly Soda and indie game maker Aquma, invites players to explore the forgotten online worlds of the noughties, from glitter graphics and empty chat rooms to pop-up ads and virtual pets.

Since its launch in 2006, the online game Tale of TalesThe Endless Forest has formed a dedicated community of players and followers, who come together to feed its evolution through forums and suggestions with the developers to create a ‘living universe’.  Set in a peaceful enchanted forest, each player adopts the form of a deer which can only interact and communicate with other players through sounds and body language. Presented on a mounted screen, visitors can wander the idyllic setting, as well as engage with several activities, which range from picking flowers to shapeshifting.


Tale of Tales’ The Endless Forest
Tale of Tales’ The Endless Forest


Two free outdoor games take place on site for 2019, open to all visitors of Somerset House. Staged across the Edmond J. Safra Fountain Court, and produced especially for Now Play This, is New-York based games designer and conceptual artist Zach Gage’s ‘Labyrinth’. Gage leads visitors around the courtyard in a circular trail which leads to a central core, inspired by the systems of both winding church pathways and airport queues, which invites feelings of tranquillity juxtaposed with physical order and structure.

Interactive designer Viviane Schwarz and game designer Kevan Davis will lead visitors on an adventurous trail around Somerset House in an exciting newly commissioned work.

General Visitor Information

Your day ticket allows you up to three hours (two hours for the final session of the day) within Now Play This. To ensure you can take full advantage of the exhibits we advise that you arrive at the beginning of your timed session. You will be encouraged to leave at the end of your allocated time to allow space for the next sessions visitors.

Tickets will be available to purchase on the day, subject to availability.

Please note, whilst the majority of the exhibits are accessible to all a small number may not be suitable for children. These exhibits will be clearly signposted.