This attraction promises an intoxicating mix of end-of-pier fun and eccentric artistry. Its owner, Tim Hunkin, makes coin-operated machines, some of which were once displayed in Covent Garden, others are still at his Southwold arcade The Under the Pier Show. Indeed, it's lack of space at the latter that has led him back to London.
At his new arcade you can see such machines as Is It Art? (an expert determines whether any presented object is art), Alien Probe ('Investigate the captive alien, but try not to annoy it'), the self-explanatory Autofrisk and, best of all, the regulator-evasion game of Money Laundering.
The recently introduced offer of a bucket of 50 tokens for £30 for families and groups of kids is worth bearing in mind if you're planning a summer-holiday excursion on a budget.
|Venue name:||Novelty Automation|
|Opening hours:||Wed, Fri, Sat 11am-6pm; Thur noon-8pm. Closed Mon, Tue, Sun|
|Transport:||Holborn or Chancery Lane tube|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
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Utterly wonderful, it doesn't get more British than is this, witty, subversive and quirky. Worth every penny.
If it hadn't been for the following experience, I would have given this 3 stars for a quirky way to spend 30 minutes in central London, but...
One machine is a frisking machine powered by compressed air. I thought it'd be a funny concept so I gave it a shot. It was funny, right up until the end, when the machine hit me in the crotch with a punch powered by compressed air. This quickly changed the experience from funny (and a bit uncomfortable) to downright painful (and it still hurts, even an hour later). I expressed my disappointment to the guy who was working there (short, black hair, dark glasses), and he smiled and laughed at me. When I asked for my money back, he kept laughing and grumbled a bit, but he eventually gave the pound back.
So while some of the other machines were entertaining and were worth a few minutes of time and a few pounds to "play", I wouldn't go back and will recommend that people avoid giving their money to someone who would laugh at a customer who experienced pain in their shop.
Amazing arcade with a great sense of humor. A collection of inventive ideas and games. It was a great surprise to find. I can't recommend it enough.
What a fantastic place! We've loved Tim Hunkin's 'Under the Pier Show' in Southwold for years, so were thrilled to hear about Novelty Automation. This is every bit as bonkers, and just as much fun! A highly recommended way to spend a couple of hours with children (or adults) of all ages. Good old fashioned entertainment, and worth the price of the tokens just to marvel at the ingenuity of the inventor. Properly eccentric British seaside fun in the centre of Kondon, love it!
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