Last week Joe and I got to spend the evening trying out the all new virtual reality centre at Hollywood Bowl in Leeds.
In case you haven’t heard of VR before, it is the latest thing in gaming entertainment. VR transports you inside of your favourite games such a Mario Kart.
For the time you have your VR headset on you truly believe you are living and breathing the virtual world you have been transported to. I thought the event would be fab, but I truly underestimated how much fun it would be.
The VR area is a small part of The Hollywood Bowl Complex
As soon as you enter this vast entertainment centre you really don’t know where to start first.
With the ever so stylish American drive-in style restaurant that is packed with cool American style features, including a car table and huge booths! Is it just our kids that always want to sit at a booth in a restaurant? If there is booth in the vicinity a table just won’t do!
The bowling alley is super cool, with the added benefit of table service for snacks and drinks and a VIP lanes area should you want to add a little luxury to your trip.
There is also a huge pool table area and bar making the Hollywood Bowl Leeds a destination rather than just somewhere you would nip in a game of bowling, its somewhere a family could spend an afternoon or evening.
Being the latest addition to Hollywood Bowl the VR area currently has 3 experiences you can book in for, 2 VR rides and a panic cube.
Panic cube sounds rather scary, but it really isn’t, and offers more of a challenge under pressure. The room has a balloon that blows up to fill the room. As the balloon expands you have to complete a series of puzzles, the longer you take the bigger the balloon gets until it bursts.
It’s funny, because as soon as you are working under that pressure you just can’t think straight, well I couldn’t, which caused lots of eye rolling on Joe’s part. But it was fab to work together to try to solved the puzzles. When you run out of time the timer starts to count down giving you the opportunity to put on goggles and earphones should you want to in preparation for the ballon bursting. I honestly can’t believe how seriously we took it, and also how much we laughed about it afterwards, it’s a really fun challenge.
Mario Kart VR takes you inside Mario Land where you take part in a race. It’s the oddest sensation, once you have your VR headset on you become totally engulfed in the fantasy world where you can even reach out and grab weapons to immobilise your opponents. And as such it has you frantically waving your arms, blissfully unaware of the people around you who are watching. You forget where you and totally believe you are in Mario Land!
And lastly my favourite experience was the Winged Bicycle, this is like the craziest spinning lesson I have even been on. You ride a bicycle in you VR headgear to make your pedal power glider fly and soar through mountains and raveens to finally reach and land safely in a castle in the clouds at the top of the mountain.
If you have a fear of heights this may be a challenge as you honestly feel as if you are flying it’s exhilarating. And I may have been a bit competitive with this one…..
The Hollywood Bowl Leeds is a great place to take the family, it offers a diversity of activities to keep everybody happy and you have to eat in that car table its so cool! But whilst there make sure you take the time to try out the VR, we absolutely loved it and can’t wait for our next VR experience.
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