Okay, let’s build a complete guide to virtual reality (VR) for a newcomer. First of all, let’s put aside any kind of home use. If you’re a newcomer, you want to try it, nothing more at this point, right? Then, you need a place to go. And there are VR parks, VR arcades, VR centres and VR rooms for you to choose. So where should you go?
Ask yourself these questions.
Did you try VR before?
If yes, hopefully, it wasn’t some low-quality rollercoaster at the mall.
If no, all the experiences in the market are accessible enough for a first-timer so keep calm about that.
Did you feel uncomfortable using VR or 3D-cinema?
You should know that it may happen when you’re in VR, especially if you have already experienced it before. Staff in good locations know what to do if it happens and will help you.
Are you an experienced videogame player?
If yes, ask for challenges because the entry-level experience may look too simple for you.
If no, it’s not a problem. Stick to attraction-like VR. Go to a VR escape room centre or VR theme park with a bunch of VR simulators.
What are your favourite genres?
If you like shooters then go warehouse-scale VR to shoot some zombies. If you’re into Dance Dance Revolution or Guitar Hero, then try a rhythm-based title like Beat Saber. If you are fond of adventures then go to a VR escape room centre.
If you don’t know just ask yourself what do you like to do, what movies are your favourite? And that would be the clue.
Single-player or multiplayer?
Do you want to go it alone? Then head to a VR arcade or VR park. Most will have a varied selection of videogames to suit most tastes and skill level.
If you want to go with company then choose VR escape centres, warehouse-scale VR or check if VR arcade or VR park does have a title that your group would like.
Whom are you gonna take with you?
This is the most important question on the list. Do you want to go with your friends? Will you bring the kids? Or your parents? Or co-workers?
If it’s a kids party, they will love theme parks and will easily adapt to VR in arcades. If you don’t want them to play anything violent then choose wisely. VR escape is a convenient solution since it’s a complete event and you can choose a theme in advance.
If you bring elders with you, choose the most accessible VR escape experience, the one which is more of an attraction than a videogame. Try VR park to see how your old folks will manage a VR swing or a flying simulator.
With colleagues, decide do you want to compete or to cooperate. VR escape is the perfect fit for team building. Some VR arcade games or warehouse-scale VR are good competition. Look at your group. Do your teammates have different videogame experience?
If you’re all experienced in videogames, then go to a VR arcade, and figure it out in the process. And if everyone likes to shoot then just go to warehouse-scale VR. If the diversity is high, either choose a VR park with a lot of attractions or universal experience for everyone which is VR escape game.
If all of you like the same movie may be The VOID will satisfy your needs with its experiences based on famous franchises.
Also, use this scale of action. It’s not universal, and there are exceptions. Start with this lense, try things and then create your own lenses.
|0 – A visual experience, less interaction||VR Cinema|
|1||VR rollercoasters, swings, bungee|
|2||Short VR experiences like The Void and Dreamscape|
|3 – Well-balanced||Seated VR escape rooms, VR flying simulators|
|4||Free-roam VR escape rooms, VR arcades, VR racing|
|5 – Plenty of interaction, less to experience||VR free-roam shooters|
Top locations across the globe
This is list doesn’t pretend to be full in any way. Here are some examples of perfect client management, diversity of content and unique audience appeal.
Torch VR in Prague, the Czech Republic is the best VR attraction in Prague according to TripAdvisor. The rating is 5 out of 5. You can play both seated and free-roam VR escape games there. If you’re looking for hand-tracking VR it’s the best place in Europe to try.
DNA VR in the first VR arcade in London, UK and it keeps the highest ratings on TripAdvisor. It’s a good choice if you want to try different experiences all in one place. Likewise, Vertigo VR in Milton Keynes, UK is another noteworthy arcade but it has VR escape games onboard. The location has 5 of 5 on TripAdvisor.
Virtual Room has high TripAdvisor ratings in a few VR escape room locations across the globe. One of them is in Paris. If you want to go to time-travelling with your team, it’s a perfect choice.
VR Games Zone in Oslo, Norway is the best VR centre in the country. You can play both seated and free-roam VR escapes there as well as warehouse-scale shooters.
VR Gamehouse is a VR arcade in Amsterdam with the highest TripAdvisor rating, offering VR racing simulators.
Zero Latency is the synonym for warehouse-scale VR, and its Madrid location has an enormous number of reviews. If you’re looking for zombies to shoot, it’s the place.
VR Star Park in China is the largest Virtual Reality theme park in the world recently featured at VRFocus. Check out Nathie’s video about it. You’ll find all kinds of VR experiences from rollercoasters to bumper cars, from swings to warehouse-scale VR shooters. Go there with teenager kids and elders, friends and colleagues.
Looking for VR escape rooms, check Virtual Room in Singapore.
Before getting $68 million from Andreessen Horowitz, Sandbox VR started its way as Glostation in Hong Kong. The location keeps its ratings high. The experience is a mix of free-roam VR, escape room and hyper-reality. The Singapore location has five stars as well.
Virtual Reality Rooms in Sydney, Australia is the first centre in the country dedicated to seated VR escape games. This one was the proof of concept for Entermission opening its locations across the USA right now. Also on the recommendation list is Sydney’s Virtual Room owns one of its best centers in Sydney.
Australia is also a homeland of Zero Latency, so go check its Melbourne location to know if there are any zombies left to be shot.
The biggest arcade in America is VR World, New York. It has all kinds of VR arcade games, plus some VR escapes and free-roam shooting titles. Virtual Room’s third-best VR escape centre is located in Los Angeles.
Avengers: Damage Control, Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire, Ghostbusters: Dimension, Ralph Breaks the Internet and Jumanji: Reverse the Curse. These are the franchises you can visit at The VOID facilities. Their locations are well spread across the USA. Visit them if you want a short experience in a well-known universe. And in Dreamscape, you can visit an alien zoo with exotic animals for 15 minutes. There are locations in Los Angeles and Dallas.
There is no point listing all the Hologate locations here. Plus it’s hard to understand what locations are actually good since there are no reviews at TripAdvisor or Yelp. But if you want to shoot with your pals at each other, try Tower Tag at one of those. There are accessible across the globe.