Montreal's Casino Has A New High-Tech Arcade That's Like Stepping Into The Future
Two people play a human-sized version of Pong at the new ARcade by Moment Factory in the Montreal Casino.
The Montreal Casino is launching an avant-garde arcade experience that lets players become part of every game. Opening on November 9, ARcade by Moment Factory is a high-tech playground offering a futuristic fusion of augmented reality, physical activity, and social interaction.
Projecting games onto a vast expanse of floor, ARcade is an interactive arena where players' movements become the input device. It's a kinetic, visceral kind of play that leaves behind screens and VR headsets. It's also a workout that won't feel anything like work because it's so fun.
ARcade is situated on the spacious first level of the Montreal Casino's Pavillon du Québec. Catering exclusively to guests aged 18 and up, ARcade offers an immersive gaming experience where adulthood does not mean abandoning play. There's no gambling in the gaming space, but to get there visitors do have to pass through a section of slot machines. Look for the signage near the Casino entrance to guide you to the luminous escalator tunnel that takes you up to the vast play area.
The space is designed for groups with atmospheric neon lighting and a large open floor plan. Whether it's for a team-building exercise, a night out with friends, or a unique date idea, the venue can cater to those looking to share an energetic adventure.
There are six augmented reality games, each with three difficulty levels, that are designed for varying levels of skill and fitness. Starting levels have just the right amount of challenge to learn the rules without breaking a sweat. If you amp it up to the hardest difficulty, you'll definitely get your heart rate going.
One highlight is a modern, group version of PONG, where players use their feet to move virtual bars on the floor, keeping a digital ball in play. Miss the ball, and you lose a life, leading to an intense elimination until one victor remains.
Another game challenges players to memorize and navigate a projected "safe path" across the game board. Step correctly, and you accumulate points, aiming to outscore your competitors in a game that tests memory and agility. It's kind of like Squid Game meets Indiana Jones but without the high stakes or perilous heights.
The games are about quick reflexes as much as strategy and teamwork. Players can book their adventure for either 30- or 60-minute intervals, with the games allowing for teams of three to six at any one time.
DJ beats and AR feats
The experience is enhanced by the venue's lively atmosphere. There's a live DJ on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights to set the tone and provide an energetic soundtrack that pulses through the space.
Alongside the gaming area, the ARcade has a specialty bar serving a variety of refreshments like bubble tea ($5) and premium sodas in unusual flavours ($5).
You can also order food not available elsewhere in the Casino. There are full meals, like the General Tao pizza ($12) and tacos with beef chili ($12), along with snackier options, like pretzel bites ($8) and bags of funky candy or chips ($5 to $12). They cover everything from popcorn-flavoured jelly beans to rapper-inspired cheddar bbq chips.
Aside from the augmented reality games, there's a more traditional gaming space with an air hockey table, a ginormous version of Hungry, Hungry Hippos, and a vertical game of Twister, along with tons of other retro classics.
There are over 20 games to choose from, including an updated version of Space Invaders and newly released sit-down racer Need for Speed: Heat Takedown. The Casino is actually one of two places in all of Canada to try out the adrenaline-fueled experience.
You can purchase a $15, $25, or $35 card on‑site to try out the games. While there are no tickets to collect or prizes to be won, the real reward is the sheer enjoyment and the rush of nostalgia that comes with each play.
You can book a space for ARcade online with a minimum of four players. There are options for bigger group sizes and longer reservation times, as needed. There's even a private room to host special games with a host included. Upon arrival, teams will be welcomed by a guide, who will explain the rules of each game and demonstrate how the augmented reality system works.
Those who had a glimpse of ARcade at the Eaton Centre — or more likely weren't able to try it out because it was so popular — will find the Casino's version has extended hours and a wider selection of games.
For optimal enjoyment, you should wear sneakers and casual wear that lets you move around. But, for those looking to check out the space after a more formal Casino show, there are facilities to change clothes (if you bring them).
The shift from traditional gaming to this modern form of play is subtle yet impactful, offering a fresh take on entertainment that's as much about community and connection as it is about high scores and competition. Whether you're dodging virtual obstacles or teaming up for a group challenge, ARcade adds a new dimension to the classic arcade experience.
With cool tech, interesting eats, and an electric atmosphere from late afternoon to early morning, ARcade is a perfect destination for anyone looking to add some spark to their day or night out.
ARcade by Moment Factory
When: Opens November 9
Where: Montreal Casino, 1, ave du Casino
Cost: Starts at $15/person for half an hour of AR; or a pre-paid gaming card