You don’t have to travel across the world to ride rollercoasters. Just invite a VR ride to your next event. Take a look at these virtual reality attractions coming to a town near you!
“Expect more from VR gaming” Now that’s a sentiment we can get behind. Actually, Arkave is far less high-tech than one would assume judging from the tagline. They design free-roam installations that are not only immersive, they are also affordable.
The experience is wireless, with co-op by syncing a VR headset and offers a room-scale experience for you and your friends. Unlike some competitors the actual headsets and controllers are not altered to look like something else, they look just like the Oculus Rift devices anyone could buy in stores. Arkave has created a complete package with minimal setup and maximum playing time. Even the popular Rift / Quest game Beat Saber has been turned into a coin-op machine.
2. Exit Reality X Hub
One disadvantage of many VR games is the solitary experience. You see players flailing around but the outside observer has no direct connection with the player. The X Hub by Exit Reality adds bluescreen technology to the mix so the crowd can enjoy watching the players in the game.
Beat Saber is a perfect example of a game that benefits greatly from the bluescreen approach. This game is physically intense and requires rapid movements. The observers will see the player standing in the actual game environment to provide context to the crowd. This is also a great attraction mode for new players which in turn leads to higher revenue.
“Small footprint enclosure VR”, that’s the term Forbes magazine used to describe the Hologate experience. Basically it means that the actual space is extended within the virtual realm. Just a couple of square meters turn into an unlimited playing area. Hologate takes the Arcade approach and updates it with virtual reality goggles. Instead of other VR Arcades there’s no need for a warehouse to accommodate the players. This saves space and money. One of the more interesting themes is definitely Angry Birds. The feathered friends we all know and love from the mobile video game appear right in front of you. Are you on the side of the birds or the pigs?
4. Hurricane 360
DOF robotics has taken the standard theme park rides and placed them in a mobile system that allows for a tactile ride at any location. The Hurricane 360 is the cream of the crop in this area, with 6 Axis Motion control and 360 degree rotation for a ride you will not soon forget! Instead of a few kilometers of steel you sit in chairs that sync perfectly with the video playing in the headsets. The syncing VR headset allows for up to four people at the same time.
5. Mario Kart VR
“You had me at Mario!” Everything Mario touches seems to turn into gold. The combination of cartoon racing with a first-person perspective seems too good to be true.
The Arcade cabinet is not made by Nintendo but by Bandai Namco, and features all the familiar characters gamers know and love. The control scheme has been simplified which takes away some of the depth of the original game series, but makes up for this with an immersive experience you will not soon forget. Slipping on a banana peel in VR is a completely different experience compared to sitting in front of a TV set. As a new property without the Mario license this ride would not have the same impact.
6. Virtuix Omni Arena
Professionals in the field certainly know Virtuix, the company behind a curious fitness device / VR machine that allows the player to walk freely without actually traveling any distance. The concept was great, but who would purchase such a device?
With the Virtuix Omni Arena the company has created a standalone booth that caters to 20 people each hour with just one attendant present. This allows for a great variety of purposes, events and fairs being the obvious examples. Just strap in, select your favorite program and start playing!
For many people the problem with skydiving is the jumping from a plane at high altitude. The most significant part of the experience… Indoor skydiving gives you the same feeling without the worries of the parachute not opening. But indoor skydiving can also feel a bit boring if you only see the wind machine below you. Enter Skydive VR, a company that uses Samsung VR headsets in conjunction with large wind blowers for a completely immersive experience. The thrill has remained, but without the danger. It’s also a cost effective solution with far less environmental impact because a plane is not required for this virtual trip. Still, the feeling of wind blowing towards you as you float in mid-air provides all the excitement a real descend would give the participant. All with the knowledge of a safe landing. Kids four and up can enjoy this ride making it a family friendly adventure.
8. Smaaash Labs Jurassic Escape
The people behind Smaaash Labs know that watching people experiencing VR can be just as entertaining as experiencing it yourself. That’s why they go beyond the visuals in the headset and create beautiful installations for everyone to enjoy.
Jurassic Escape is a two-player ride through a park that is in no way connected to the famous book series and movie franchise. The syncing VR headset option allows for two players to enjoy the same ride, the pneumatic installation shakes and moves with the video presentation.
9. The VOID
One of the pioneers in VR Arcades is The Void. At first they had to create their own virtual worlds from the ground up, now they can boast a number of official tie-ins with movie franchises like Jumanji, The Avengers, Star Wars and Wreck it Ralph. However, the most enticing adventure might be “Nicodemus: Demon of Evanishment”. This original adventure is scary and wholly original.
It allows syncing the VR headset with up to three other players as you travel back over 120 years in time. There’s a choice of six characters that are all chased by the evil Nicodemus. This title is based on a novella by Curtis and Tracy Hickman.
10. VR Ninja Dojo
Have you ever dreamed of becoming a real ninja? Now you can (kind of), at the Ninja Dojo in Tokyo. Learn four arts of the Ninja and test them in a VR environment. Just like the original Ninjas did hundreds of years ago. The training is not meant to be serious, and cheerfully plays with all the familiar tropes of the ‘ninja experience’. The field test in virtual reality is a fun way of incorporating VR technology in a complete attraction for tourists.