One of the best things about having children is learning and growing alongside them, and experiencing new things… like virtual reality!
As a parent from the crossover generation who has personally experienced the transition from landlines to mobile phones, and analogue devices like music and video cassette players to MP3 and content streaming devices, I am finding that there is so much to learn.
We’ve all heard about the metaverse, virtual and augmented reality. However, very few of us have actually tried it in person.
Always wanted to be a ninja?
You can now try these things first-hand at VAR Live, the largest Virtual Reality (VR) theme park in Malaysia located on the second floor MyTown Shopping Centre (take the escalator closest to Decathlon) in Cheras. It is a space where you can be a Ninja or a Viking fending off enemies, a detective to solve mysteries, search for hidden ancient treasures or (if you are older and taller) battle the undead in a zombie apocalypse.
There are a total of 13 exciting exclusively designed games set in different virtual worlds, complete with their own themes, settings and characters that you can experience through vibrating consoles, other special effects and props. The selections cater to families with younger children like mine, and also to thrill-seeking teens and adults. You can see the offerings on the display screens or ask the staff for a tour of the facility.
These are the best games
Here are our recommendations on the best games for under-13s (who meet the minimum height of 110cm):
- Super Ninja: choose a Samurai sword or a crossbow, put on your 3D goggles and find yourself transported to a richly designed Japanese village similar to that found in animes. I did not think I would be so immersed in the setting and fight sequences, but I soon found myself behaving like a ninja assassin, making slashing movements or shooting arrows at enemies that attacked our battle party from all directions. At times, I was compelled to hide behind large pillars from oncoming Pokémon-like creatures, as they seemed so real! I was also amazed how my 9-year-old son took to the game so naturally.
- Viking Craft: ride through a Viking village on a cart pulled by a giant Ram-like animal, as you defend yourself and your party against charging enemies and murderous birds.
- Crazy Rush: basically, a racing game that you play whilst seated in consoles fashioned like real car seats. You will need to clarify to your little ones though that driving a real car is not like this at all!
- Azuwa: unlike the other VAR Live games where you are either standing or seated in a fixed position to play, you will need to walk around, as you navigate the jungle-like world of the Azuwa game.
Do note than most of the games require a minimum number of at least three players, so you will need to come with other family members or friends. It is more fun playing in a group anyway! If you don’t have enough people to play, they may pair you up with other participants or have a member of staff to join you.
Entering the Zombie Jail…?
The games that cater for kids above 13 and adults like Zombie Jail, Zombie Jail 2, Zombie Jail: No Mercy, The Others and Horror Hospital look rather gory and violent. I am told the first three relate to being caught in the middle of a zombie apocalypse and feature things like vibrating platforms, artificial wind and scary sound effects.
So if you are a parent that is particular about not exposing your kids to these elements, then you might want to avoid these games. Whilst playing these games were definitely a lot more fun than I had expected it to be, they were also quite physically demanding. Do take care not to overexert yourselves.
How to get tickets?
Hopefully you’ll have a fun-filled session with the family whilst getting some first-hand exposure to future technology like infrared positioning equipment, vibrating consoles and other VR props, just like we did.