Questomatica – Arcade Invasion [Review]

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Location: Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Date played: May 7, 2017

Team size: 2-4; we recommend 3

Duration: 60 minutes

Price: €105-140 per team

Questomatica was formerly known as Claustrophobia in Amsterdam. 

Story & setting

Our adventure began in the bar of a retired video game hero, the less renowned brother of a heroic duo. While visiting his bar, we uncovered a menace that needed to be stopped.

Arcade Invasion was an amalgamation of late 1970s and mid 1980s video games brought to life through oversized, interactive, tech-driven set pieces. We toggled between being “at the arcade” and “inside the arcade games” as Questomatica recreated iconic moments from iconic video games.

In-game: Close up of an old cash register with an arcade cabinet and a jukebox in the background.

Puzzles

Arcade Invasion was all about big moments and nostalgia.

Much of the challenge in Arcade Invasion was in figuring out how to elicit responses from the set. The puzzles weren’t too difficult once clues became available and we determined how the room would react to various actions.

Standouts

Arcade Invasion brought familiar games off the screen and into our hands. Questomatica did a good job of referencing the true icons. You won’t find yourself straining to get the references.

The set was fully interactive, incredibly sturdy, and adorably strange.

In some segments, the large set pieces forced collaboration, leading to a feeling of team accomplishment.

The technology driving Arcade Invasion was impressive. It was also beautifully hidden. No wear or exposed wiring gave away its secrets. This seamless implementation of technology gave the room escape a magical, fantastical feel.

Shortcomings

Arcade Invasion felt like cool tech on display. As impressive as it was, the technology didn’t seem to support a cohesive vision or narrative. The story was difficult to follow.

It wasn’t intuitive how to interact with the set. Because of this, and a lack of gating for the early puzzles, we spent a lot of time trying to solve things before we had all the appropriate information.

Looking back, the first puzzle felt strange and out of place.

Questomatica may need to adjust at least one camera angle. At one point, we received useless hints because our gamemaster was unaware of what was actually our point of failure.

The final challenge was an exciting interaction, but a weak puzzle.

Should I play Questomatica’s Arcade Invasion?

Arcade Invasion was an exciting, nostalgic, tech-driven, fantastical, and weird adventure. It was a lot of fun.

If you are interested in escape room technology, I highly recommend Arcade Invasion. Few escape rooms hide their magic like Questomatica.

Much of the puzzling was in interpreting how things would work: what action would elicit what response. If you prefer more traditional puzzles, you might be frustrated.

Arcade Invasion doesn’t follow a clear narrative. It doesn’t really make any sense. If you prefer a cohesive mission, this might not be your escape room.

If you grew up playing video games and you’re interested in a fun and slightly bizarre representation of an arcade, look no further. For that, Arcade Invasion is top notch.

Book your hour with Questomatica’s Arcade Invasion, and tell them that the Room Escape Artist sent you.

Full disclosure: Questomatica provided media discounted tickets for this game.

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