Putting on a virtual reality (VR) headset and going into the same realm as video games has been one of the best experiences I’ve been through as a gamer. Armed with two handsets as well, you’ll get to explore creepy landscapes filled with the undead, defuse bombs, take on escape rooms and… even flip burgers.
As anticlimactic as the last one sounds, it was actually quite fun. Even simple games can become twice as interesting when you’re able to engage in it upfront like never before.
If it’s your first time, you’ll have to go through a quick training tutorial to learn how to use the HTC Vive. There’s a one-off fee of S$5 for this and you’ll get a lifetime VRoom membership when you’ve completed it.
After you’re done with your training, step into a room and let the fun begin. One super thing about VRoom is that the charges apply per room, not per person.
That means that whether you visit alone or with friends, the cost per room remains the same. That’s a pretty sweet deal because playing with buddies is part of the fun and the cost gets cheaper when you do.
Check out some of the games we sampled to get an idea of what you’ll be in for when you visit.
Just like the popular game Guitar Hero, your aim in Audioshield is to match the colours flying towards you with the right button – or in this case, the correctly-coloured shield, wielded using your handsets.
Timing is crucial, especially if you choose a fast-paced song. Speaking of that, you can select songs straight off YouTube, which allows pretty much any kind of music to be used in the game; time to say goodbye to annoying restrictions usually faced in other song-based games!
Remember how I mentioned making burgers earlier? In VR The Diner Duo, you get to play the classic fast food-assembling employee and serve up customised orders before you run out of time.
You can even team up with a friend and enjoy battling through diner disorder together.
Meat patties need to be cooked before serving so I tried to be savvy by cooking a huge bunch and moving them off the stove.
Little did I know the game was ahead of me: cooked food left out too long will spoil and turn a rancid shade of green if not served. So much for that idea.
I’m not one for creepy undead coming at me but if that’s your thing, you’ll love The Brookhaven Experiment, where the suspense and action is doubled because you don’t have the safety of your computer screen and keyboard to hide behind.
Armed with a torch, knife, pistol and some grenades, you’ll find yourself on a creepy corridor straight from level one and, as usual with all horror games, every zombie knows where to find you and the fictional guy talking to you via radio is useless.
Okay, I’m kidding – he’s actually your guide who teaches you to use the game.
In any case, buckle down for an adrenaline rush, jumpy scares and panicky moments when you can’t reload in time.
Space Pirate Trainer will put your reflexes to the test as you swerve around, dodging space bullets while zapping enemy bots with your all-in-one pistols, which switch from regular bullets to laser beams, shotguns and three other amazing firearms.
It’s quite an experience to feel like Neo from The Matrix movie when you bend to avoid slow-motion bullets like a boss and take out the enemies. Forget regular workouts, this game can easily pass for an exercise routine on any given day.
Escape rooms take on a new twist with Belko VR, created to promote The Belko Experiment movie. Like the film, the setting takes place in an office where you’re trapped in a room and have to find a way to get out.
I found this game quite challenging because the 15 minutes allocated wasn’t sufficient to examine and figure out the place for first-timers. Nevertheless, it’s something that’ll get you hooked because you’ll want to keep trying until you get it.
The best game to go for with friends has to be the Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes; an apt name for a bomb defusing game, don’t you think?
The person wearing the headset has the daunting task of cutting wires, pressing buttons and describing what they see as best they can for their teammates, who have the bomb defusal manual but aren’t allowed to see the bomb.
You’ll have to employ teamwork and get each part of the bomb sorted out before time runs out and the inevitable explosion consumes all of you.
As a pretty good game-changer in the puzzle genre, you’ve got to try out this unique group game. It’s sure to either liven up the mood or ruin friendships but you can be sure it’ll end with a bang.
After reading about all this excitement, you should come on down to VRoom at JCube to try out the HTC Vive yourself – you’ll never want to go back to mundane reality again.
Prices: S$30/hour (Weekdays), S$36/hour (Weekends & Public Holidays)
Ages: 17 & above, participants younger than 17 must be accompanied by parent/guardian above 21 years old
Maximum participants per room: 3 (larger groups may book additional rooms and have them linked together).
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