If you are a fan of the Korean variety show ‘Running Man’, then you might have heard of the Running Man Thematic Experience Center. It is a place where you can play different games at various stations to earn what they call R points.
Currently, there are two centres in Korea: Seoul branch and Busan branch. We went to the one in Busan for this review.
By the way, grab your tickets online at a cheaper rate on Klook (You are welcome). Once you are at the ticketing area, you will be instructed to wear electronically-tagged rubber bands around your wrist. It’s easy to tell when you are there with so many Running Man signs around.
Before you enter the game zone, you will be asked to choose a difficulty: Easy, Normal, or Hard. We chose Hard for a little bit of challenge but in retrospect, it was too hard. I recommend going for Normal for adults and Easy for children.
The moment you tap your band on the ‘R’ sensor of your chosen difficulty, the door will open and a timer of 60 minutes will start.
Once inside the play area, you will be greeted by various game stations with some extravagant props. They have games with cycling machines, hang rings, basketball hoops etc. At first glance, they looked really fun so naturally, we jumped straight into the action to try to earn as many R points as possible.
I have to say, the games were fun. Most of the games were engaging with a lot of physical elements to them. They were definitely more fun than the usual arcade games. Since there was a lot of physical activity, I thought of it as a great way to work out.
Since the ultimate mission was to earn R points, it gave players a bit more motivation to do well for every game. I found myself wanting to get the best score for every game to put myself in the Hall of Fame.
They had a decent variety of about 15+ games as well so you most probably won’t feel bored throughout the one hour.
Be sure to take some videos of your friends playing the games! Some of the games make people look so silly, the videos will be great as keepsakes.
Some of the game machines were not working well. We were unable to play one of the games because of that, simply because people were queuing to use 1 of the only working game machine.
I felt that the Hard level was a little disproportionately difficult for some of the games. While I understand that some people may want a challenge, it felt like only less than 10% of those who chose hard can pass the games comfortably. (Or maybe I’m just bad at the games)
The 1 hour given to us that day felt insufficient, maybe because the place was quite crowded when we went there. They do not have a timeslot booking system which means people can start playing once they pay for their tickets.
Once the one hour is up, your tag will no longer work and that is your signal to leave. If you were like us, chose the Hard level, and sucked at the games, take comfort that you will still get a badge as a consolation prize.
Overall, the whole experience was enjoyable and fresh as a place to play various physically demanding games. It’s definitely more interesting compared to arcade shops.
One thing I noticed was that although it was named the ‘Running Man Experience Centre’, I barely saw anything related to the show, other than the mascots, logos, and colour scheme; No photos of the cast members etc.
I would go there once to experience the games and have fun but if you were to ask me to go again, I will probably decline politely. Going a second time might feel too repetitive, if I were to be honest.
Looking for more activities to do in Busan, check out this page for other recommendations!