Finishing off the latest wave of alien attackers, our band of robot soldiers took a moment to regroup. We’d been steadily ascending the space elevator over New Hong Kong, fending off insect-like enemies intent on stealing the precious cargo that could save the world. As we pierced the upper layers of earth’s atmosphere, a massive ship came into view, weapons alight. The final confrontation had begun, and the fate of all the world hung in the balance.
The reality, of course, was much less dire. We robot warriors were actually a group of journalists in a small green room, wearing virtual reality goggles and fighting fiercely against empty air. Our futuristic weapons were actually plastic toy rifles, and our feet remained firmly planted on the ground.
Ready Player One is closer to being a reality than you think. Thanks to Sandbox VR, gamers can now ditch the screens for a totally in-depth virtual reality experience. At locations throughout the country, Sandbox VR is using a mix of motion capture, body trackers, haptic suits and custom hardware to transport guests to the farthest reaches of the imagination.
To Explore New Worlds
Sandbox VR offers a selection of original VR games made by developers from EA, Sony, and UbiSoft. Experiences range from a haunted mansion to a futuristic fighting arena and even the world of Star Trek. Each program features a different story and setting, providing a variety of immersive gaming choices.
There’s the Unbound Fighting League (UFL), where players do battle as fighting robots with sword and shield weapons. For fans of horror, there’s Deadwood Mansion, which pits players against hordes of the undead, and the Curse of Davy Jones, where guests fend off ghostly pirate enemies in search of treasure. Sci-fi nerds will be pleased as well, with the inclusion of Star Trek Discovery: Away Mission, which lets players join the crew of the U.S.S. Discovery, and Amber Sky 2088, a thrilling ride on a space elevator above futuristic New Hong Kong.
Getting in the Game
Parentology got a chance to check out Amber Sky 2088, and it truly is a fully immersive, non-stop thrill ride. Bombarded by wave after wave of extraterrestrial terrors, our writers were transformed into unstoppable robo-warriors.
Guests wear sensors on their wrists and feet, as well as virtual reality goggles and vests. These special vests use vibrations known as “haptics” to simulate the sensation of interacting with the environment. If an enemy gets close enough to touch you, the haptic vest will make sure you know it.
Each player received different weapons and equipment, from machine guns to flamethrowers to shields we could throw, Captain America-style. The variety of equipment made each player’s role in the game unique, adding another level of excitement and engagement.
Haptic feedback from the vests and fans placed within the room made us feel truly present in the game, credibly simulating the motion of our rising elevator platform and the jostling of our alien enemies. Incredibly detailed graphics completed the sensation of soaring through the stratosphere in the battle of our lives.
Admission to the Sandbox VR experience is $39 per person. VR experiences are for groups of two to six players, all of whom must be 48” tall and up. Guests under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. To find your nearest Sandbox VR location, visit sandboxvr.com.