BoldMove’s mission is to ‘Create Happier Worlds’ that are infused with media attractions designed using proven technologies and compelling storytelling that deliver immersive and exhilarating experiences for visitors. Here, RLI sits down with Anja D’Hondt, Managing Partner & Queen of Happy Hearts at BoldMove Nation to discuss its latest concept Houba City and to learn more about the company.

Over the past two decades , BoldMove’s CEO and Captain of Creative Minds Benoit Cornet has been a pioneer in the entertainment industry, innovating concepts through his company and building numerous multi-award winning media-based rides. The idea behind BoldMove is to unite the best industry expertise and merge advanced technologies with design and storytelling and combine it all into exhilarating experiences.
“The creation of happy worlds starts with the visitor experience at heart so each project is unique and customised to the venue, local culture and philosophy,” explains Anja D’Hondt. “We hereby use components from our four expert areas: technology & media, dark rides, design services and IP/storytelling. Houba City is the latest solution we have launched as a Urban Experience Centre, following Houba World which is a larger family entertainment centre that includes traditional attractions. Our other products are Smash & Reload interactive dark rides and AR Hybrid Quest for indoor and outdoor transmedia experiences. The team also offers experience design and master planning up to implementation for tailor-made projects, integrating our products and technologies.”


Scalable and Modular POP-UP model
Due to the growth of e-commerce in recent years, many shopping malls and city centres have suffered from declining visitor number and empty spaces. BoldMove feels leisure activities are becoming a great trigger to reconnect people to physical locations and increase footfall.
With their Urban Experience Centre they developed a modular and scalable model with a selection of media-based attractions that can be easily built up and moved around. And thanks to a ‘pop-up’ approach to the attraction mix, real estate owners don’t even need to find all that space in one place. For example, a shopping mall operator may choose to spread attractions over different areas so that they can be experienced individually but also as part of an exciting adventure trail across the premises. After a certain period, these experiences can be replaced or moved to other locations, similar to a travelling exhibition, according to the needs of the mall. In case of Houba City all attractions are activating and built around Marsupilami’s Great Adventures in the Palombian jungle and city. They stimulate repeat visits by high scoring and creative workshops in Houba Academy that can be attended on weekly basis like ‘after school’ activities.
“Our cooperation with Mediatoon Licensing, who owns the Marsipulami IP, has evolved into a creative and inspiring partnership. They currently work on new animation series and digital games so we are joining forces in bringing the characters up to 3D-animation level. With our Houba Centres, BoldMove creates fun and action-based universes for all-family entertainment,” says D’Hondt.


The Houba City concept is fully scalable and most suitable for spaces of 1,200 – 1,500sq m and can accommodate a good mix of different experiences suitable for all ages and is aimed at enhancing creative and personal skills development.
Their anchor attraction is a hand-gesture based dark ride called Marsu’s Supply Chase where visitors catch food from their vehicle and bring it to the Nest. At the VR zone a motion-based raft takes players down a river to catch piranhas, whilst in the VR escape room they outrun wild animals.
Anja explains that the interactive climbing and jumping are great attractions with online high scoring, whilst sing and dance is their karaoke attraction with voice recognition and augmented dancing that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.
Finally, people can also relax on site at The Square, which contains a food stand and Marsu merchandising shop with a soft play area and Houba Academy.

Integrated Storytelling for Immersive Experiences
“I feel this Urban Experience Centre is set apart from others in the market because of the integrated storytelling across the entire premises and in every single attraction and its media content. We have created a special atmosphere and immersive environment that encourages social interaction and memory building with family and friends,” explains D’Hondt.
To make the site more engaging they make use of the latest technologies in virtual, mixed and augmented reality, interactivity, projection mapping, 3D animation and much more. “Together with our expert partners we know how to combine all components in a balanced way to obtain the best possible results for each individual project.”
When incorporating leisure into their premises, property owners must carefully consider their business model. In terms of BoldMove, they begin with a feasibility study and assess visitor capacity but also profiles and expectations. They feel complementing the physical space with digital and social tools can extend the experience, build and sustain a community.
“For example our AR Hybrid Quest is a mixed-reality game taking place in a physical location, using stations and virtual portals to navigate the visitor across the venue using their own device. This can optimise visitor flows and offers opportunities for loyalty and promotional programmes,” D’Hondt comments.
BoldMove feels digital technologies are rapidly evolving and in leisure and retail this will lead to new developments applications in augmented reality and artificial intelligence.
“Our deep human need for social interaction and sharing experiences will further drive the creation of multifunctional places to eat, play and partake in sport together. However these need to continuously innovate and inspire people, and appeal to individual preferences and that is what we will continue to strive for in our future.”