It’s all fun and games at Infinite Loop VR — even when the zombies show up.
An undead horde features prominently in the La Vista virtual reality arcade’s latest attraction, a “free roam” VR experience — the first of its kind in the metro area.
A group of up to four players, equipped with backpack PCs and state-of-the-art VR headsets, can freely wander a 30-by-20-foot room during game play, sharing a common space in both realities. The headsets are synchronized, so players can see each other (or their avatars, at least) in the virtual world.
“It’s the best VR experience around,” says owner Jeremiah Maddock.
The free-roam experience untethers the player, allowing them to physically walk around a VR environment unconstrained by the narrow spatial limits of most VR play styles, he says.
To celebrate Halloween season, the arcade’s first free-roam game is the zombie apocalypse shooter “LA Deadzone,” in which players work together to escape a virtual Los Angeles overrun with the undead.
Horror is a popular genre in VR gaming, Maddock says, calling it a smart, modern alternative to a haunted house.
Thrill-seekers might stand in line — typically outside (in the cold, rain or both) — for an hour or more at a traditional haunted house, all to be rushed through about 10 minutes of scares, he says. VR stations are scheduled in advance at Infinite Loop; no waiting required. Players choose the amount of playtime when they make reservations.
The fully immersive VR experience can be just as scary — or scarier — than a haunted house, Maddock says.
“Plus, if the kids chicken out at a haunted house, you’ve wasted your money,” he says. “If you chicken out here, you switch to a game that’s not scary.”
If zombies aren’t your thing, don’t worry. Other bumps in the virtual night are in store, including:
Affected: The Manor
Armed with only a flashlight, the player must wander a dark — and (just your luck) incredibly haunted — mansion in search of the exit. “All while a dead girl keeps popping out,” Maddock says. “You just have to get through without quitting.”
Escape Bloody Mary
Based on the urban legend, this escape-room-style game tasks the player with puzzling your way out of a locked bathroom after saying “Bloody Mary” three times while looking into the mirror. Is that just a shadow in the corner, or something more sinister?
Immersed in the world of HBO’s sci-fi-meets-western series “Westworld,” the player explores a dangerous world where nothing — and no one — is what it seems. Can you overcome an entire world designed to destroy and enslave you?
If the gloom and doom of horror gets overwhelming, there are plenty of other options at your fingertips at Infinite Loop.
The arcade holds nine standard VR stations with 60 different games on deck. In addition, specialized stations include sit-and-steer racing simulators and premium stations for group VR laser tag and multiplayer escape rooms designed by Ubisoft, creators of the “Assassin’s Creed” series.
“It’s just a lot of fun,” Maddock says. “It’s a social experience, just like arcades used to be.”