Virtual Reality is beginning to make its impression on consumer entertainment experiences. VR lounges are beginning to emerge in various malls, and traditional arcades are even beginning to adopt the next generation of gaming. An exciting new addition to consumer VR experiences is Dave and Buster’s Jurassic World VR Expedition, which launched late June alongside the premiere of the blockbuster film.
For $5 a go, individuals can immerse themselves inside Jurassic World. Individuals strap into seats situated upon a moving platform, VR headset equipped and wand in hand.
Up to four players at a time compete to scan the most dinosaurs by tagging them as they emerge with their wand. Players are transported across the terrain for several minutes before being retrieved by a helicopter. At the end of the game, players can compare who tagged the most dinosaurs. There are 100 in total and each can only be tagged once.
By far the most enticing part about this attraction is the experience of the ride. Of course, VR is exciting, especially for those who have little prior experience. However, Jurassic World VR Expedition goes one step further by shaking and gyrating the platform to match the movements seen on the visor. Air is also blown to give the illusion of wind. It’s quite a unique experience.
This attraction is certainly marketed towards the general public. However, I found the gameplay somewhat clunky and even frustrating at points. There is no prior explanation as to which button triggers the scanner (only one button on the left side does), no indication as to cooldowns between tags, the length required to tag, or anything of that sort.
It’s not even made clear that dinosaurs may appear from any direction and that players should look in various directions at all times.
With all said, Jurassic World VR Expedition is certainly unique. However, for $5 per player, the game did feel quite short- it was likely no more than 3-5 minutes maximum. It’s more of an experience than an actual game.
Players should come in expecting an experience more akin to a ride than an arcade game. For beginners interested in trying out VR, or more experienced individuals looking for a somewhat different approach to VR, Dave and Buster’s attraction is worth a try. However, there doesn’t seem to be much incentive to give it a second or third try.