We like to draw inspiration from Alt games and strange old arcade machines. So, between publisher meetings, a visit to Novelty Automation seemed in order.
Found in a tiny shop down a backstreet of Holborn, this attraction is the creation of polymath engineer and cartoonist Tim Hunkin. Like its twin venue ‘Under the Pier’, the arcade is disconcerting and subversive – the machines are surreal, clunking, hand-made creations that satirise modern life.
Stealthily scoop up coins in ‘Money Laundering’, avoiding the gaze of regulators. ‘Divorce’ is a house tug-of-war to divide up your belongings. ‘Alien Probe’ has you operate on an alien specimen sitting in a petri dish. No spoilers but let’s just say that as with his other machines, there’s a twist in the tail. We left the arcade with unexpected suntans and extra dog drool. Recommended!