I was invited to a private event at The Rec Room last night for bloggers & members of the online community here in Edmonton. To be honest, I was already planning on going soon but with a full-time day job, the Nerd List and my wife & daughter; there’s not much free time these days. After last night, we’re going to have to find some more…
We had a room in the “Garages” overlooking the arcade area and getting there a bit early allowed me to play some games (of which there are plenty). I’m a big fan of the Star Wars Battle Pod & Time Crisis (celebrating 20 years of addiction to that game now)… though there were plenty of other games to choose from as well. It was also a nice feeling to walk through aisles of the latest arcade cabinets again.
I’m not going to skip mentioning the food (two words, doughnut tower) which was delicious but that’s probably not what you came here to read about. Plenty of options available at multiple locations throughout, however.
The Axe Throwing went about like you’d expect for a room full of bloggers who’ve never thrown an axe before… though I did manage to stick it in the wall. I wouldn’t call myself accurate but I’m all set if a wooden wall starts charging at me though.
The meat of my experience was definitely the VR arcade. I want to say there were eight spaces to play and I was given a half hour to try any of their games (six to eight different ones? I’m horrible with specifics). The machines themselves were pretty intuitive to use even though it was my first time using an HTC Vive (supplied by CTRL V). The arcade itself was standing-only so the choice of games reflects that. I played Space Pirate (think horde mode with flying drones to shoot down) & Brookhaven Experiment (a Zombie Survival game.
Of course I would take the shooting games but I had to see how it holds up. Space Pirate had me dodging out of the way of enemy fire (the slow-mo was a nice touch, though it probably there to help keep you from breaking things). It had a very retro feel to it (think VR version of an Atari shooter) and I was working up a sweat by the end of it from all of the dodging. I think I made it nine waves in…
Brookhaven Experiment was definitely a preview of why VR is not going away. You’re put into a town at night that’s overrun by zombies. You have a flashlight in one hand and a gun in your right (remember to buy ammo in between rounds if you’re playing survival mode…). I didn’t do as much exploring as I’d like to but thankfully the waves of zombies kept me entertained. Running out of ammo and having to turn off my flashlight to wave the knife to keep the zombies at bay was a blast. I did flinch a few times and I guess I have a ways to go if there’s a zombie apocalypse. Highly recommend it unless you have a fear of the dark (or zombies).
Overall, I had a great time at the Rec Room and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to get out for a night of fun. The VR technology is finally at a point where it feels like the future of gaming (though don’t expect the graphics you’re used to in current first-party titles at home) and you’re well-served to try it now. Can’t wait to get back out and try more!
(Oh Yeah! Did I mention they’re opening a second location in the old Target store at West Edmonton Mall? Here‘s more info)