iVR : Virtual Reality in Exeter
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So, you enter a lift, hit a button and the lift door opens 80 stories up. In front of you is the world and the traffic below. There is only one direction to walk in; a wooden plank connected to the building and branching over the traffic. Would you walk across it? What if there was cake at the end of it? Could that tempt you?

“I’m still shaking and my Vive’s still sweaty.” – the first line of a review on the Steam Store for Richie’s Plank Experience.

In this immersive, psychological experience, a real plank is measured in order for the virtual one to match it so when you’re wearing a headset and your foot feels like it’s slipping off, it more than likely it actually is! Partner that with a fan to mimic high-speed winds you feel when you’re up high and you’ve got yourself a true virtual reality experience.

You don’t just have the plank to deal with either, you’ve got the option to go on ‘rocket mode’, allowing you to go full Iron Man, flying around the city with powered rockets from your hands. Another mode is firefighter, use your rockets (yes, the same ones from rocket mode) to move around the city but switch them out for hoses to put the fires out as fast as possible.

For those of you who have no fear, try out spider pumpkin. This is what I did on my first EVER VR experience and I wasn’t even told about what was happening! Now heights I can deal with. It was a shock at first but once I composed myself, I realised I could walk onto the plank without too much trouble. Resting on the end of the plank was a pumpkin, and this is when I started to freak out. Upon picking the pumpkin up, house spiders began crawling over it, onto my hands and up my arms. I was absolutely freaking out. To my right, I saw a huge, Shelob-sized spider (Shelob is from Lord of the Rings if you wanted to Google her) crawling up the side of the building towards me.

I started walking backwards towards the lift, repeatedly saying, “No, no, no, no…” and the person with me took the headset off. I have to admit, I’ve not been back on it since.

Walking out onto the plank is an absolute must-do when you come to iVR. It’s a perfect introduction to virtual reality but it could also make a fantastic finale. Below you can see the Richie’s Plank Experience trailer.

 

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I’m sure most of us have experience with Google Maps – the go-to smartphone app to get from A to B, dragging yourself along roads in satellite mode, giving you a satellite image of the earth and its buildings. 

Well, the very smart people at Google have recreated every inch of the planet and given you the opportunity to go and see whatever place, city, mountain or landmark; whatever you want!

Using the controls, navigate yourself around the blue planet and see what the world has to offer without leaving the room. Visit Ayres Rock, Australia; the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco; Times Square, New York; and more.

One of the most bizarre things about Google Earth VR is the ability to put yourself into StreetView. While I have come across certain locations that are unavailable for it, such as some Greek Islands, the vast majority of locations do have it. When I booted up the experience for the first time, I stepped foot on Exeter High Street and despite it being 10 years in the past (Google need to update their photos), it was so realistic!

StreetView is great for viewing landmarks too. I mentioned Ayres Rock earlier, or Uluru as the aborigines would say. Get there immediately through the use of a menu or try to find it in Australia’s Northern Territory yourself. Behold the grand size of the 863m tall monolith! It will absolutely blow you away as you really are standing right next to it.

Another neat feature of Google Earth is the ability to change the time. While flying through the atmosphere, you can quite literally pull the Sun around the Earth, turning the day to night, and vice-versa. This has an effect on the world too as city lights switch on, giving you a whole other aspect to explore.

For those of you used to the way Google Maps navigates, you’ll pick up the controls and movements easily and will likely become second nature after a few minutes. However, for those of you not used to Google Maps’ navigation, you will find the controls awkward. It can take a little while to get used to how the buttons work. For example, the most effective way to move around the planet is to have the planet in front of you. However, to be able to move in closer to an area, you have to hit a button to tilt the Earth below you. You’ll get used to it, it’s just a little finicky to start.

If you’re not particularly interested in the fast-paced Beat Saber or the strategy of Superhot, I highly recommend you give Google Earth a go. If you’ve got a VR headset at home, the game is completely free, though you’ll require a headset tethered to a computer. There’s no objective to complete so you can take your time and have an awe-inspiring adventure around the planet we called home.

Check out the trailer below and book now!

 

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Scott Cawthon took the indie gaming world by storm in 2014 when he released Five Nights at Freddy’s. The game’s fanbase grew exponentially from exposure as YouTubers created content with the game. The simple gameplay, deep story and jump-scare nature caused the game and the YouTubers playing it to go extremely viral. 

The first FNAF features you, a security guard on your first night shift in a pizzeria, Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, based on the American pizza franchise, Chuck E. Cheese. Similar to Chuck E. Cheese, families would flock to the restaurant to enjoy their pizzas and the entertainment put on by animatronics, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Chick, Foxy the Pirate Fox and Freddy Fazbear. Through discovery, rumours and minigames, you piece together the dark, dark secrets of this pizza franchise from animatronic accidents to murderers stuffing children into the animatronics, causing the vengeful spirits of such animatronics to come to life and become murderous themselves…

Wow. That went from 0 to 100 real quick…

The gameplay was extremely simple. You’re stationary with electronic doors either side of you. You have a window to see out of your security room, even when the doors are shut. You have cameras scattered around the pizzeria with screens in your room so you can keep an eye on the locations on the animatronics. With the power low, you must be efficient. When the animatronics are near, shut the doors or be destroyed… Survive this for 5 nights and you win the game!

Every FNAF game since has been this concept and FNAF: Help Wanted VR is no different. In fact, you can play all the levels from previous FNAF games in VR! Rather than clicking buttons to open and close doors and change camera screens, you must physically push buttons and of course, the animatronics are far, far scarier and making the entire experience extremely immersive.

With Halloween fast approaching, check out the trailer below and book a session at iVR and give Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted a go!

 

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This VR experience will place you in the Star Wars universe, on the planet where we first meet Luke Skywalker in the films, Tatooine, and taking place just after the events of Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Receive instructions from Han Solo and Chewbacca and help R2D2 repair the Millennium Falcon, then defending it from Stormtroopers. 

Now I don’t want to spoil too much but when the Falcon lands, you really do have to take a step back to admire it. It feels as if it’s about to land on you. Next thing you know, you’re being fired at by TIE Fighters – enemy ships that belonged to the empire. Take a lightsaber and deflect blaster-fire back at enemy forces, ensuring the Falcon can make its getaway.

Start your Jedi training and book a VR session at iVR today.

9/10 – Steam

 

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Get your friends and family together, pick up a bow and quiver and take your positions. Defend your elven village from hordes of orcs and ogres.

Elven Assassin takes place in a fantasy world. You stand on an area of height as waves of orcs emerge from the unknown. Looking behind you, you have the village health bar. Each time a creature makes it through your defence, the village health will drop. Communicate with your friends, decide where each person will stand. Make spectacular shots and protect the settlement at all costs!

One controller will become your hand gripping the bow while your other hand holds an arrow. Line the controllers up properly, pull back your arrow-hand, aim and fire! Despite the fact you’ve just got a bow and arrow, you do have other tricks up your sleeve. You can decide if you want to play with spells or not, giving you different options in your arsenal like Fire Arrow and Freeze Arrow.

As for your targets, you have standard orcs and armoured orcs, the latter of which take 3 arrows to be destroyed. But be careful, they might react and throw their axe at you. You better duck to avoid it or you’ll be out until the next wave. When you think you’re comfortable with the orcs, all of a sudden, the ground shakes beneath you as a towering beast begins walking towards the village. These ogres take many arrows, leaving you with a tough decision to make. Do you attack the smaller orcs first or go after the hulking monster?

Death from above follows as wyverns take to the skies. These dragon-like creatures fly directly towards the village. Are you accurate enough to pick them off? Be wary of the large dragon though, it will cause no damage to the village, but it will pick every player off with its fire breathing. Fire arrows at it and send it back to its nest!

This game can be difficult at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of its mechanics. You can play this game single player but the experience absolutely amazing when you’re teaming up with other people. 

Try a few different maps, and even PvP mode and test who is the best marksman.

Watch the trailer and book today at iVR!

9/10 – Steam              4/5 – Oculus    

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What do you get if you cross Star Wars with Guitar Hero?

In this rhythm game, you stand on a platform, wielding 2 lightsabers of differing colours. As your chosen song begins, blocks fly towards you and you must slice blocks before they move past you. Miss too many blocks and you’ll fail the level.

Sound easy? The blocks will be one of 2 colours and you must smash them with the corresponding colours of your lightsabers and slash them in the direction of an arrow. 

 Beat Saber image

If that sounds difficult, you don’t have to worry as you can start off on a lower difficulty and build your way up. When you make it to the Hard and Expert levels, you’ll have to hit a torrent of blocks, avoiding bombs and while moving left, right and ducking to avoid the walls that will instantly end your song! Believe me, it’s exhilarating!

And to top it all off, there’s a point-scoring system. Hit the block through the middle, with a large slicing motion, following through the block to get the most points per slice. Your total points, providing you make it through the level, will give you a rank from F to SSS. Good luck getting SSS rank though as you’d need to secure the absolute maximum number of points to have it awarded to you.

One of the best things about this game is the ability to add custom-made levels, which means we can add those famous songs to further increase your immersion. Do you have what it takes to survive Expert mode? Watch the game trailer below and come down to iVR and have a go!

 

9.5 IGN – 10/10 Steam – 98% Google Reviews

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