Adrenaline junkies are thrill seekers who crave heart-pounding, hand trembling, blood-racing experiences that involve everything from flying through the air, plunging over waterfalls and cliffs, to the twists and dips of the rollercoaster experience. Then there are the folks who will happily step into the underworld and wrangle with a zombie or two, or do battle in a healthy way with friends. Personally, I prefer more gentle experiences which are not at all gut-wrenching.
At PlayCity, a virtual reality (VR) center, you can have experiences ranging from amusement park-styled rides to VR video gaming.
Games like Future City, a more technological experience due to its Star Trek vibe, allow you to take a tour of the future and marvel at the sights and sounds of what it may bring; embark on a bungee experience that will have you holding onto your seat for dear life and definitely leave you feeling queasy; or strap in and take a ride down MadRiver in a canoe in the turbulent waters of Mad River to see if you survive the dangers of this terrifying canyon – if you dare. You can also experience the twists and turns of a roller coaster ride.
I strapped on my VR googles for the MadRiver experience. Not being an adrenaline junkie, it was a harrowing experience that involved twists, turns and tips over a waterfall. I screamed my way through, but by the time the experience ended, it was so much fun, I decided to “strap on my big girl underwear” and brave my way through the bungee experience of New York City. I tapped out after that. (Going forward I’m sticking with the experiences that my five-year-old nephew, Justin, will enjoy.)
Sweety Coaster has my name written all over it. It’s essentially Candyland. With a gummy bear as a partner, you take a journey with ice cream and candy during this sweet little ride.
Or you can experience Castle Adventures with a guy who has his food stolen by a bird. He tracks the bird down, making his way through a town — which he wrecks — during his journey to find the bird. He ends up in a temple filled with dangerous obstacles, at the end of which he finds treasure.
At PlayCity’s computer-generated environment, a different reality can be enjoyed by children from as young as five to those who consider themselves young at heart.
A VR headset fits around your head and over your eyes, and visually separates you from whatever space you’re physically occupying. Images are fed to your eyes from two small lenses, which allow you to virtually experience anything. It is this experience that you’re in for at PlayCity, downtown at The Pointe.
Tanaz Deveaux, who describes himself as a passionate PlayCity sales representative, said there’s fun to be had for everyone at the entertainment center that’s approaching it’s one-year anniversary since opening its doors.
“When people hear about PlayCity usually they think about the kids, but adults will enjoy it as well, as we also have more fantasy-based rides for the elder set. We have different experiences for different people.”
Tower tag (laser tag) essentially involves towers on a map that you get to move toward or swing yourself on like spider man. It’s a competitive game, the objective being to eliminate your opponent in four minutes. The winner is the one with the best out of three games, with three rounds of four minutes.
Then there’s the holodeck — a reference from Star Trek — in which you can have a number of simulations from an apocalypse of zombies, to being on a battlefield filled with soldiers trying to attack you. You have to fight for your life in this standup interactive experience. The popular Fruit Ninja is also in the catalogue of holodeck offerings You’re a samurai on a journey with fruits flying in your direction, and it’s up to you to slice the fruit. The holodeck is often used to recreate familiar places, participate in interactive stories and practice a variety of sports and skills.
They also have more rhythm-based games, like Beat Saber, the gist of which is to slice the beats of the music into the direction they’re coming to you in. When you miss, it throws off the beat of the rhythm. It’s a game that requires some rhythm and you can choose between the easy or expert level.
At PlayCity 25 experiences are on offer in the amusement park section. You sit in the pods, pick your simulation or scenario and let the rides do their thing. They can accommodate eight persons in pods at the same time and four in the interactive holodeck and tower tag experiences at the same time
“We have over 25 different experiences that a person can undertake, and we offer variety to cater to everyone. For the arcade games, we have over 15 in the catalogue of racer games, shooter games and sports games, real life stimulation like you can go to the bottom of the ocean and experience sea life, the whales.
Software-based, Deveaux said they are constantly deleting and adding new experiences to keep their VR fresh for repeat clients.
PlayCity prices start at $15 for a single person for a single experience; $25 will get a single person two experiences or two people, one experience; $50 will get you six experiences overall; and $100 will get you 24 along with a subscription card, and you don’t have to do all the experiences in one day.
PlayCity hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.