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DARKFIELD: Arcade - Norwich Theatre (05.06.2024)


If you were on the lookout for an interesting, immersive experience, the unassuming surroundings of a shipping container probably wouldn't be your first port of call. But that's where I found myself recently as DARKFIELD have returned to Norwich with two more audio experiences, Séance and Arcade, and it was the latter that I was sent along to try out.


The design upon entering the container suggests a visually appealing retro 8-bit arcade game, but once the experience begins, you're plunged into darkness - and I mean "can't-see-your-hand-in-front-of-your-face" type darkness. And that's when, with the aid of the 360 degree binaural sound and various sensory effects, you find yourself immersed in the action, which more takes the form of a first-person narrative adventure than a retro arcade game.



Throughout the experience, you meet a few other characters and have decisions to make along the way which determine the path you end up taking. It's difficult to say much more than that because of course, part of the appeal of the experience is that you don't know what's coming, and also your story is unique to you depending on how you answer various questions.


The binaural sounds which completely envelop you, along with the sensory effects, worked very well, creating a depth to the story and a certain intensity. Having experienced DARKFIELD's Eulogy in Norwich last year, I was anticipating a slightly more thrilling experience, but this was more intriguing instead of keeping me on the edge of my seat (besides which, I was standing throughout). Perhaps those looking for something to scare them might consider Séance instead, where the container is transformed into a Victorian séance room and is described as a terrifying experience.


The DARKFIELD experiences Arcade and Séance continue at Norwich Theatre, outside The Forum until 16 June. Tickets are available via norwichtheatre.org

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