Arts & Culture News

The Interactive Game Room Experience Immersive Gamebox Will Be in Deep Ellum By December

Players compete in a round of Angry Birds at Immersive Gamebox, an interactive game attraction headed to Deep Ellum this year.
Players compete in a round of Angry Birds at Immersive Gamebox, an interactive game attraction headed to Deep Ellum this year. Courtesy of Immersive Gamebox
Deep Ellum's entertainment offerings continue to reshape and change the district, and one new experience from the United Kingdom will bring the storied Dallas neighborhood into the age of the touchscreen.

Immersive Gamebox, an interactive game experience that opened its first U.S. location two years ago in The Colony, announced it will be coming to Deep Ellum by the end of the year, according to the company's website.

The new location will open at 2525 Elm St. in The Hamilton at The Epic building sometime "before the December holidays," says Nettie Davis, the North America vice president of Immersive Gamebox.

The immersive entertainment venue originally known as Electric Gamebox puts groups of players in a four-walled room with projectors displaying interactive games that can track players' hand and body movements. Rooms can be booked by groups or individuals in a series of competitive and cooperative games that challenge their skills, such as puzzles, for points to compete against other teams on a running leaderboard.

Immersive Gamebox offers 11 interactive games for players of all ages and ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. They include games developed by the company's in-house game studios such as the intergalactic game show Trivia Mashup, the resource management game Ticket to Mars, the sci-fi '80s throwback Alien Aptitude Test and the fast-action adventure game Temple of Coins.

Recently, Immersive Gamebox has teamed up with outside studios to develop interactive games based on popular franchises such as the Aardman stop-motion animation studio's Shaun the Sheep, Rovio's hit mobile series Angry Birds and Netflix's wildly popular Squid Game The U.S.- and U.K.-based interactive game experience chain currently has seven location across England and at least one location in each of seven U.S. states, including Texas. Davis says Immersive Gamebox chose to open a new franchise in Deep Ellum because it's an area for socialization and has a deeply-rooted community.

"Our product is about being social and bringing people together — just like live music and art brings people together and acts as a backdrop for socialization," Davis says. "We see ourselves as fitting in with the diverse culture of Deep Ellum and being part of its revitalization as the neighborhood continues to evolve and recover from the pandemic."

Plenty of residents have voiced concerns online that the demographics and atmosphere of Deep Ellum has been gentrified as new venues move into the neighborhood, especially in the wake of places like Wits End being moved out by the building's developer Westdale Property Management.

Davis says Immersive Gamebox took great care in choosing a location that fit with its aesthetic and services in the Deep Ellum community.

"Deep Ellum has always been synonymous with entertainment for Dallas, and we see ourselves as the cutting edge of what entertainment is," Davis says. "The space is situated in what is an up-and-coming area and we hope to be part of the charge here alongside other new and innovative brands and local staples."

The Deep Ellum location could be one of three Immersive Gamebox franchises in DFW. The first location opened in 2020 in the Grandscape shopping and entertainment district in The Colony. The third possible location is The Galleria Mall in Dallas, which the company's website says is scheduled to open some time in 2023.
click to enlarge
A group of players work together to complete puzzles and skill challenges in Alien Aptitude Test, one of 11 games at the interactive game experience Immersive Gamebox.
Courtesy of Immersive Gamebox
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Danny Gallagher has been a regular contributor to the Dallas Observer since 2014. He has also written features, essays and stories for MTV, the Chicago Tribune, Maxim, Cracked, Mental_Floss, The Week, CNET and The Onion AV Club.