Deep Ellum is in line for a buzzy entertainment venue from the United Kingdom: Called Electric Gamebox, it's an interactive high-tech amusement where you play games in a group, and it's opening at The Epic Dallas at 2525 Elm St.
According to a company representative, the timetable for opening is sometime this summer.
Electric Gamebox was founded in London in 2018 and made its U.S. debut at Grandscape, the mixed-use center in The Colony in 2020. They've since opened a location in San Antonio, with the usual big plans to open dozens more.
Despite opening during the height of COVID, the Grandscape location has been a big hit, serving more than 10,000 customers, according to company reports.
It's an immersive thing: Groups of two to six people work together to complete adventures, ranging from Pac Man-style challenges to more complex puzzles. Games run from 15 to 60 minutes and involve exploits such as collecting coins, mining for minerals on Mars, or battling ghosts for treasure.
Each room is called a gamebox, and has digital features such as touch screens, surround sound, and motion tracking technology, which players access by wearing a visor. The visor is a lighter, more flexible improvement over virtual reality games which require bulky headsets.
Each pod measures about 11 feet X 11 feet. Projectors cast images on the walls, while cameras track your body location and a sensor tracks your movements to determine when you've touched something.
Prices range from $25-$30 for 16 and up, and $20-$25 for 15 and under, depending on the day.
The concept was founded by Will Dean and David Spindler, who previously conceived and launched Tough Mudder. Their mission was to create a communal experience where the technology acts as a facilitator, forcing people to interact, versus conventional games where it's you versus the screen.
They also wanted an experience where the content could be updated, versus other group-centric activities such as escape rooms which, once solved, are less likely to draw return customers. Escape rooms also rely on physical objects while Electric Gamebox is all on screen, more like a movie.