Whilst looking for alternative things to do in Moscow we stumbled across the Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines. Just off the Red Square this was probably one of our highlights of Moscow. Simple fun in the form of old mechanical and digital toys.
When you arrive at the museum you pay 450RUB for access to the museum and you are given 15 old soviet coins to use in the machines. You also get given an information sheet (in English) which explains how each machine works and the story behind it (if there is one).
An English translation is very useful when everything is written in Russian, a language with uses the Cyrillic alphabet. A lot of the museums and attractions we visit don’t offer translations and this makes it very hard to understand what is going on. In the Cyrillic alphabet some letters are the same as the Latin alphabet we use which is great. For example T = T and A =A (makes sense). However some letters represent completely different sounds, such as H = N and P = R (confusing right). Finally you also get these brand new letters to learn; Ю = you, 3 = Z and Ф = F (ahh what’s happening).
The first game we tried was described as the following…
Репка Rерка The Giant Turnip
To get as many kg as possible by pulling the handle.
This is a strength testing machine. The game is based on the Russian fairytale ‘The Giant Turnip’, where a family tries to pull an enormous turnip from the ground. Pull on the handle as hard as you can perpendicularly to the machine’s face. If you need to push against the machine with your foot. You have 4 attempts to gather the maximum number of kg. You can pull it alone or in a team. After each attempt you are told which character you are depending on how many kgs you pull.
0-40kg – Mouse
41-80kg – Cat
81-120kg – Dog
121-160kg – Girl
161-200kg – Grandma
200kg – < – Grandpa
Rich and I teamed up and after our four attempts our top score was 156kg, which classes us as a girl!
Traditional Pinball was one of Rich’s favourite games.
We spent probably two hours here trying all the games. You can see from our photos above that the games varied from shooting, driving or joystick games to two player games like ice hockey or netball. This museum comes highly recommended by both of us and would be a must do in Moscow.