The holidays are here and it’s the perfect time to get together with your best girlies and gays and have fun. The question is, what should you do? You have been to brunch a hundred times, it’s time to try something new, maybe something a little more…interactive?
Escape rooms are still a thing – don’t get me wrong, they’re a lot of fun – but you have to admit they’ve lost a bit of their shine when it comes to group activities. They’ve apparently been supplanted, at least for a little while, by indoor ax throwing, but even that can get boring (wink!) after the first few times. So what are friends without fabulous vacation plans supposed to do for fun when it’s freezing and the same old indoor activities sound, well, the same and old? Sitting around playing video games together online or IRL is a choice, but PRIDE has literally taken it to the next level. It’s called VR sandbox and not even Avatar 2 with its 3D fancypants will impress you more.
If you own or have tried the Meta Quest or similar VR headsets that are not connected to a computer, you have a basic idea of what is possible with “room-scale” virtual reality. Sandbox VR takes things from there and to a level most people couldn’t reach at home. Its technology, designed with accessibility in mind, consists of a wireless VR headset, a haptic force feedback vest, and Velcro straps for your ankles and wrists that have rods that detach, at the top of which are small colored balls. These colors match your in-game player and the stripes are key to immersing the experience as they mean your arm and leg movements can be translated more accurately into the game.
Courtesy of Sandbox VR
So what does it look like once you’ve gotten past the clothing? You are in a video game. Well, it’s a play, but little by little, your “real world” helpers start bringing in the zombie-fighting weapons you chose during the pre-game briefing. Looks like they’re floating – and then they shoot you. It registers on the haptic vest, like being hit with a thrown golf ball. (This is the Sandbox VR team’s favorite part of every session, they told PRIDE.) Plus, these shot-and-saw tools produce tangible feedback when used, which which only adds to the overall effect. Finally, you are encouraged to help each other; if a player is killed, another must place a hand on their shoulder to revive them
One moment we’re in a nondescript room blasting our friends and laughing at the sensation, the next we’re on the main street of a decimated small town, we’re told we need to protect a scientist with a cure for the plague zombies at all costs. This means that, for the next half hour, we were mobbed by waves of the undead (including zombie dogs) – and if you think they’re surprising in the movies, you’ve got nothing seen (and felt) until they harass you in VR. Not just any VR, because while we were effectively in a high-tech shooting gallery, the production values, scale, and sheer immersion are on a level you could never realistically achieve at home. home.
NEW Deadwood Valley – Trailer | VR sandbox
Not to say too much, but let’s just say things went from bad to worse until our team came face to face with an epic final boss. Beating it together as a team really goes to the heart of the experience, which is about being transported to a fantastic place and working as a team. It’s a game, of course, so everyone is graded on their performance to determine an MVP. But before that, there’s a VR dance party where (dressed as your in-game character) you’re encouraged to show off your most sickening moves. These, along with the highlights of your gaming session, are turned into a video you can keep.
So if you’re near one of its locations and have a group of people willing to commit to becoming video game characters – with all the thrills that entails – Sandbox VR is definitely a must. not miss. Although you may miss a few zombies, and that’s okay.
How much does Sandbox VR cost?
Prices vary between $49.99 and $54.99 per person Monday through Sunday.
How long does Sandbox VR last?
About 45 mins.