A cold breeze wafts out of the darkened shop house as you enter. In the gloom, you can make out a tall, stooped figure, holding its hand out. Is it someone working there, welcoming you in? No… it moves as you step closer – then it reaches out for you as you pass. It’s a Frankenstein’s monster!
You scramble past it and dash up the stairs. They are bleeding; blood dripping off each step onto the next. The only way up is into a room, and you hurtle in, only to step onto something soft. Whatever it is, it cries out, sounding like a newborn baby. Before you, a figure rises from a coffin.
Nope, a horror themed LAN shop.
Devilz Paradize is Singapore’s first themed LAN shop, and is decked out from first floor to third in props and decorations that could put the Sentosa Spooktacular to shame. Located in the heart of Clark Quay, it is run by a couple who wished to remain anonymous. Devilz Paradize is their first business venture together, and given the immense effort and investment you can see put into the shop, we’re sure it won’t be their last either.
Countless of props line the shop’s walls, with the highlights (or should we say, scariest) being located on the 2nd floor where their Alienware desktops are. Upon entering, visitors can see an opened coffin with a skeleton-in-agony. Beyond that is the aptly named corpse tree – with horrifying faces etched into its bark, and dismembered feet littering its roots. These props are changed every six to seven weeks, to keep the atmosphere freshly terrifying. Oh, and many of of them contain motion sensors, so…be wary!
“I wanted something very different, to the theme of the game [people] play,” the owner explained. He went on to describe how the eerie environment helped immerse customers into their game, especially when they were indulging in games like Diablo and the Left 4 Dead series. We visited before peak hour, so it was pretty quiet, but were told that when the place starts filling up, the lights are dimmed, the air conditioning gets chillier, and a frightening soundscape graces the shophouse.
We figure it must have cost a lot to fully furnish Devilz Paradize, but the owner was coy on the exact amount. He would only say that it was a “big time investment”, and that everything we saw had been imported. But was the cost and effort worth it, we wondered.
“If they’re getting scared, they go home and remember that,” his co-owner said, answering our question. And customers have been remembering their experience in Devilz Paradize. Though it has been opened for just seven months, things are picking up rapidly. Devilz Paradize – with its capacity of 40 computers – is packed on weekends, and sees a decent lunch crowd even on weekdays.
With its top of the line Alienware systems, it also attracts local gaming communities. Garena has already held Blackshot competitions within its premises, and with its immersive environment, we’re sure it won’t be long before other the other gaming communities start patronising it.
On top of its rigs, Devilz Paradize also boasts a VIP room on its third floor. The VIP room serves anyone from casual console gamers to corporate bigwigs looking for a themed venue to host their next company bonding session. Prices vary according to customers’ needs, but we’ve been promised they’re very affordable, especially considering how Devilz Paradize sits on prime real estate.
Check out our photos of Devilz Paradize above, or click here to look at their Facebook page. If your curiousity has been piqued, you can pay Devilz Paradize a visit at 12 Circular Road. A prepaid membership package is available for just $21, which we think might be worth it. In a community of mass marketed,ordinary LAN shops, Devilz Paradize certainly stands out as one worth spending time in.