Recently, I made my way down to The Rec Room on 255 Bremner Boulevard in Toronto with a couple friends to experience The Void. There had been a lot of talk about how great it was, and I wanted to see for myself if it truly lived up to all the great reviews. I’m not certain if the games change often (or if ever) but the theme of the game we went to was Ghostbusters. As a huge fan of Ghostbusters, the excitement was building up.
When we arrived at The Rec Room there were lots of things going on. We went in and made our way around to the second booth we encountered to purchase our tickets. While we were waiting around we heard screams and shrieks (but loads of laughter) from over a tall black wall that read, “Please Play Again”. This got me a little nervous but eager to play. After we got tickets, we made our way through an arcade (they probably do this on purpose) and ended up on the other side to an entrance that read, “The Void”. We gave them our tickets and began with a touch screen email registration and selecting our virtual character. After reading safety protocols, we were immediately lead into a room with at least ten VR kits. There was no wait time which was great! The kit included a VR headset, an attached microphone/headphones, what I would assume to be a battery pack of some sort, and a vest loaded with vibration motors. They were a bit heavy, hence a reason why they suggest participants should be of at least 10 years of age and 4 feet tall. We weren’t about to just play the game, we were about to feel it too.
They strapped us up with the proper equipment, and after they put our headsets on, they sent us on our way. The entire experience was twelve minutes long but felt much shorter (probably because we were having fun!) In your headset you can see your fellow teammates/players and you can also hear them talking in your headphones which was a nice feature. However, it was difficult to hear the narrative being played over the voices of your team which I didn’t realize was crucial until the end, where we were ranked based on the tasks we achieved or didn’t achieve. We were ranked as rookies (sad face). The experience itself included sounds, motion, touch, and even smell! Without giving it away too much, there were times when we were under heavy wind, as well as times when we could smell something burning. This was such a cool idea! Including components to stimulate all the different senses were great additions! The entire game was fully immersive and well worth my time.
The Ghostbusters game was especially interesting and certainly took us for a thrill. As I said previously, the length was a bit short, but I would however, recommend it to anyone. Maybe one day they’ll choose to lengthen the games a bit more, or maybe there’s reasoning behind the short game play durations such as high demand on weekends as opposed to a Monday night (like when we went). Overall, a great service and and even better virtual experience that I’ll be sure to suggest to everyone I know. You can only reserve spots in person and not online but if you have questions, don’t hesitate to call them at (416) 815–0086.