On Sunday we took the train over to Liverpool and enjoyed a lovely family day out. We started our day with a trip to VR-here Liverpool, which is located just outside of the city center in an industrial area but is within walking distance, even for little legs like those of the tiddler.
We hadn’t told the boys where we were headed but as soon as they read the sign outside they were so excited to get in and have a go as both love gaming, especially the big’un.
VR-here Liverpool, as you might have guessed, is a virtual reality game center. It houses 4 separate booths each with an individual headset that can be used to play solo games, or that can be joined to other booths for multi player experiences. What I thought was really cool is that on the edge of each booth is a TV screen that allows the parents or friends to see what the player can see just without the 3D effects, for me this made it even more interactive as you could help guide them around, warn them of opponents coming their way or simply just laugh at them and understand what their weird movements are all about.
As it was the first time any of us had done any VR like this as apposed to the sit down VR experience at Legoland we started off with an under water experience just to get used to it. The boys went first and watching their reactions was hilarious, especially the tiddler who was to scared to move in case he fell off the rock and into the ocean and when a huge whale came and took the big’un by surprised his reaction was priceless and left me laughing for ages.
We must have sat laughing at the boys for a good 20 minutes before the tables were turned and we got a go and then realised just how realistic it was. Despite knowing full well I was in a booth with both feet firmly on the floor, part of me was convinced that I was walking under water with jelly fish passing by my face and a sheer drop to one side of me, as you can imagine it was soon time for the boys to laugh at us instead.
Once we had got to grips with the headsets and controllers, which are really easy to manage, we moved on to a few solo games. My favourite was a job game where I because a chef and I honestly felt like was cooking, turning knobs, pressing buttons and cooking up a storm – I must have looked ridiculous but it felt so right because I WAS in a kitchen, or so I thought. The boys both loved a basket ball game and soon started chasing those high scores and trying to complete different levels and Billy was lost in his own world of aliens.
For me the highlight of the visit was when we all joined together and played a multi player paint balling game where we had two to a team and things got very competitive but of course my team won!
It is hard to write a review that will do the VR-here Liverpool justice because there aren’t any words that can accurately articulate the reality of the games, and the ability they have to make you completely forget where you are, and that you may be being watched by others, as you immerse yourself in the experience or the game. All I can say is that this was without a doubt one of the best activities we have done and both boys are desperate to go back, so much so we are already looking into the party options for next month when the big’un turns 9!
If you can get to Liverpool then I would highly recommend you give this a try. Whether you have children or not, whether you like gaming or not, I don’t actually think there is a particular category of people that should try this I honestly think everyone should give it a go and experience VR-here Liverpool for themselves.
VR-here Liverpool is for children aged 8 and over due to the weight of the headsets and costs ? There is parking out front but it is within walking distance of the main train stations and the city center. There are only 4 booth available so although walk ins can some times be accommodated it is recommend that you book in advance to avoid disappointment. To hire a booth for 30 minutes for 1 person it costs £10.
(Our experience was complementary in exchange for a review but all opinions are our own).