Wear your VR glasses, and there you are, in an out-of-the-ordinary world, all set to kill, fly or ride your demons, as the high-tech gaming centre at Mall of India rolls out the VR carnival.
I wear my futuristic-looking Virtual Reality glasses and walk inside a dim room lit up only in blue. Except that the blue room, including the floor, disappears and I find my feet on a narrow wooden plank balanced on the rooftops of two skyscrapers. I look down only to shiver at the dizzying height I was at. Far down below I can see a narrow strip of a street with matchbox-sized cars. Oh my god! I can't do this, man! My legs begin to shiver as I take two steps forward on the plank. What if I fall! The sights I see through my VR glasses are all too real. "Sorry, I can't do this," I almost shout and take off my glasses.
Walk the Plank will make you feel like a tightrope walker
And there I am, back to the reassuring reality of the blue room, my heartbeat slowing back to normal.
"Daddy, why are you so scared?" my 9-year-old daughter says before she negotiates the plank with her little feet. Unlike me, she suffers no shivers, but when she takes her glasses off after returning to the start point, she has to admit, "Yes daddy, it was scary!"
Right, a virtual reality carnival is on at Smaaash, the high-tech gaming zone at DLF Mall of India, Noida, and it cannot get better than this. At Rs 999, you can play all VR games there, and that's not quite a bad deal for something so out of the world, so out of the ordinary.
Some VR games are for adults, others for kids only, while a few are meant for all
My virtual reality adventure continues as I next don the role of an armed-to-the-teeth commando. I am given two guns, and the moment I sport my VR glasses, the netted enclosure turns into an urban battle zone. I see streets and I see armed enemies lurking around buildings, all out to shoot me. If I don't kill them, they will kill me, which means with my life faced with such threats, I aim both my guns at whoever I spot and shoot like a maniac. One down, two down, three down... Ah, what a sense of triumph! The problem is there are far too many of these bad men. I kill one, and two appear from around a pillar. But then I am a Hollywood hero now and have a reputation to match. I am invincible.
Design your own rollercoaster ride by tracing your finger on a screen and then belt up for the ride
That's a violent game indeed and rightfully, meant only for adults. So my kiddo goes for the finger coaster. She touches a screen with her finger and designs her own ride. It can be a straight line if you want, or it can be zigzag. Hell, it can be an upside-down ride as well. Up to you. Then putting on her glasses, she sits on a hydraulic-assisted chair and goes on the ride of her life. Must be terrifying, for she and her co-passengers are screaming their lungs out.
Art of Attack, where you steer the SUV and your partner shoots the enemy on the battlefield
The Art of Attack is another immersive experience that can be played by two — one steering a battle-hardy SUV, the other holding a gun to shoot. Wear the VR glasses and you are immediately transferred to a rough and tough terrain where you are supposed to drive without falling into ditches and trenches, while your partner kills the bad guys. The SUV rocks left and right, up and down, and it isn't easy to avoid those huge gutters. In fact, I lose control and experience a big, physical jolt. What happens? Oh, our SUV hits a rock wall and tumbles sideways. We take our glasses off and pinch ourselves — yes, we are in one piece.
Glide through the skies with Fly Max, a favourite with the kids
My kiddo tries the Fly Max, where, apart from the glasses, you are supposed to wear a harness as well. There, in the middle of the clouds, she tells me later, she glides across the sky, the giant fan in front of her running in full speed to provide her the sensation of the windswept stratosphere.
These are just a few of the games. And believe me, no amount of words will replicate the real experience. Why not check these out for yourself this weekend? And don't tell us later we didn't warn you.