We were recently invited to check out Electric Gamebox Oak Brook and it was tons of fun! Located on the second level next to California Pizza Kitchen at Oakbrook Center, Electric Gamebox is an immersive video game experience.
Imagine a room where all four walls are touch screens, the surround sound adds to the experience of being in the game, and your motions are tracked as you play the game by moving around the room. We were impressed with the projection mapping, which was seamless, even in the corners!
What to Expect at Electric Gamebox Oak Brook
After checking in and stowing coats and personal belongings in a locker (they provide a lock with a key you can stash in your pocket), the staff shows you to your room, prompts you to put on a visor with the motion sensor on top, goes over the rules, and answers any questions your may have.
We booked the 60 minute game called, “Alien Aptitude Test: London ’84” because our group consisted mostly of junior high kids, so we were led through four 15 minute games. The games seemed to increase in difficulty so you could get used to the movement.
In general, if you move away from the screen, whatever you are controlling in the game moves down, and when you walk towards the screen, you move up.
Alien Aptitude Test consists of pong, dodge ball (which much be designed by a genius because we never bumped into each other), a matching game that used the touch screens, and pac man. However, there are many games to choose from, even some for ages 5-10 years old! Each game has a playing time clearly stated on the booking page so you know what to plan for.
Some of the games are 2v2 so you take turns and some you all play together, but all of them are cooperative, which means that you accumulate points as a team, not against each other in your group. Electric Gamebox has a scoreboard so you can see where your team placed overall.
At the end, the electronic game host asks you to head to the front of the room and face the door. A gif is made of your group and emailed to you afterwards. You can also see it on the screen above the check in desk up front when you exit.
The experience is definitely not like anything we have tried before! And with The District (Oakbrook mall food court) close by as well as many other restaurants, it’s great paired with a snack, meal, or dessert. We opted for milkshakes and had a great time.
Tips for Electric Gamebox
- When you are deciding what to wear, take into account that you will be moving around quite a bit and depending on how many people there are in your group, the room can heat up quite a bit. It was a chilly day when we went, so I was wearing a light sweater and jeans and I wished I had on a t-shirt. We would also recommend wearing shoes that you feel comfortable moving around in.
- You know what makes great conversation for the ride there? Deciding what you want your team name to be! We didn’t know that we needed to think of one, but it would have been more fun to have more time to come up with something creative or wacky before check in.
- There’s no need to slap the walls or even push hard on them; the walls sense your touch even when your hand is an inch away.
- You can change the volume in the room by touching the gear on the side wall and you can also turn the lights on if you would like, although it’s a little harder to see the projections.
- If you don’t understand the rules of the game, there is also an option in the settings to call a staff member. They can pop in and explain anything that isn’t clear.
There are different prices depending on the length of game, age, and day of the week. Off peak days (Monday-Thursday) for a 60 minute game is $14.95 for kids and $19.95 for adults and peak days (Friday-Sunday) are $29.95 and $34.95, respectively.
Electric Gamebox has a variety of games, starting at 5 years old. The 11-14 year olds in our group had a great time and I could see this also being fun for a group of adults that love games and want to try something different! Date night? Work group? Parents night out? All of the above.
Special Needs Accommodations
I have a feeling that those with sensory sensitivities would not enjoy Electric Gamebox because of the graphics, pace of the game, and music, but you can stop by and see what you think before booking a game. They have two rooms up front with glass walls so you can see what it’s like for yourself.
Electric Gamebox in Oak Brook is all on one level, so it’s wheelchair accessible, but the rooms are a bit small. I would recommend asking the staff what the recommended group size would be so you feel like you have enough space for everyone.
Here is the information they give: “Most disabilities and access requirements can be accommodated but we want to make sure the games are safe and enjoyable for everyone, so if you’re not sure, please get in touch before booking and we can help you figure it out. For any players with photosensitive conditions please be aware that our adventures contain digital projections that are a source of flickering light. Please contact us if you have any questions and we’ll be happy to discuss.”
545 Oakbrook Center
Oak Brook, IL 60523
Looking for more immersive experiences? Head to our roundup of all the new exhibits and immersive experiences in Chicagoland!