Virtual reality has never been more popular and accessible than now. And in terms of entertainment, a slew of games now have a virtual reality version, creating alternate worlds of family-friendly room-scale gaming.
It didn’t take long for VR Lab, the country’s first virtual reality specialists, to snag the attention of the public since opening in December 2016. Today, all seven branches see a steady stream of gamers, especially on the weekends. Eager to discover the hype, we hopped on the bandwagon and booked ourselves a session. The exhaustive games menu is split into categories ranging from Action and Sports to Arts, Design and Strategy.
These games will keep both kids and parents entertained with a few laughs thrown in for good measure.
Wield a pair of katanas to slice and dice as much fruit as possible within a certain time limit. Avoiding the passionfruit and blueberry bombs is all part of the fun. Initially developed for devices like tablets and smartphones, ‘Fruit Ninja’ is now available on VR and will also hit the cinemas as a live-action family comedy. Besides breaking a sweat, we found ourselves oddly craving fruit after.
If you were ever addicted to ‘Dance Dance Revolution’ in the ’90s, chances are you’ll like ‘Audio Shield’. A storm of fi reballs comes pelting from the sky and it’s your job to defl ect them using force fi eld shields. The best part is being able to choose your favourite songs off YouTube and working some dance moves into your defence strategy. We were pretty much out of breath by the end of Macklemore’s hit ‘Downtown’!
Calling itself a ‘virtual reality social club’, ‘Rec Room’ is unique in the sense that you can challenge active gamers from all around the globe to a game of dodgeball, disc golf, paintball, 3D charades and more. In the same vein as ‘The Sims’, you’ll get to customise and accessorise your character before entering the recreation room. The kids will get a giggle out of seeing themselves as animated characters.
Similar to ‘Rec Room’, ‘The Lab’ encompasses several games in one, but specialises in single-player experiences. Test your archery skills with ‘Longbow’, which requires shooting down angry stick men, or visit a new country via ‘Postcards’, which produces incredibly life-like environments. We were most taken by the virtual robot puppy, which loyally trails your every move and loves a good belly rub.
Artsy types could easily spend a whole day using ‘Tilt Brush’. The game allows you to create 3-D artworks, bringing true meaning to the saying ‘the world is your canvas’. Take full advantage of the wide variety of paint brushes and special eff ects to create a masterpiece and save the artwork in GIF format to show off to friends. Best of all, there is no mess to clean up!
If school assignments or work deadlines have lulled you into a jaded spell, virtual reality provides a welcome escape from reality and a fun means to bond with family and friends.