'C'mon boys. We're going to Yorktown Shopping Center." "Hooray!
Let me get my wand." Yes, it's true. With the opening of MagiQuest,
an interactive live-action game center in a medieval setting, kids
will love a trip to the mall.
Facing more than 20 possible challenges,
kids can revel in medieval magic at Magiquest.
Denise Weston, one of the company's original founders, was
looking for a way to combine physical and computer play when the
idea for MagiQuest struck. Surrounded by medieval dungeons and
enchanted forests, players use verbal and written clues to run
through the 19,000-square-foot space as they face more than 20
possible quests, battles and challenges.
Best of all, they face these quests with their own magic wands.
At your first visit, you can choose and register your wand ($16.95,
one-time purchase) with a character name and choice of "clan."
These choices are basically embedded in your wand, which is
recognized at each subsequent visit. Small children, who might not
have the patience to follow through on a quest, can use their wands
to open treasure chests, light lanterns and unlock secrets.
But for kids interested in progressing through the game, the
wands are key to reaching the next level. Once my sons listened to
the tutorial and visited the game's Quest Stones, they were off and
running. In fact, they understood the progression of the game far
sooner than I did. Game time can be purchased in 30-minute blocks
($4.95 per child). Our first visit, we spent an hour, each boy
achieving 3 runes, becoming Junior Magi. They are already looking
forward to earning Master Magi status at their next visit.
Beyond the pure fun and excitement of the wands and setting, I
was impressed at the degree of reading and problem-solving skills
required for success. This is not thoughtless, repetitive play.
Costumed characters serve as the helpful staff in case you get
really stuck on a clue, which was great for my older sons, 8 and 9,
who basically played independently the entire time. They were also
thrilled that the fun continues at home where they can use their
identity codes from the "Ancient Book of Wisdom" to play portions
of the game online.
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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