Nice and sunny weather isn’t a guarantee when visiting New York City, especially in winter. No worries though, here’s the perfect indoor activity for a rainy or cold day: playing virtual reality games at VR World. You’ll have a blast!
Psst, it doesn’t have to be raining for you to experience virtual reality in New York City. We won’t judge when you go to VR World on a sunny afternoon.
What is VR World in New York City?
VR is short for Virtual Reality. With the help of computer technology you can step into an artificial 3D world. A virtual reality headset will connect you with that world, making it possible to engage through vision, audio and movement.
VR World is the largest virtual reality experience center in America, for now. It’s an arcade hall if you will, where you can only play virtual reality games.
While playing, you can leave your coat in the unattended cloakroom at your own risk. Do take your valuables with you, there’s always room to put them near your feet at the games.
If you need a break from virtual reality, you can catch your breath (and a drink or snack) at the bar with adjoining seating area.
How do these virtual reality games at VR World work?
In order to play the virtual reality games at VR World you’ll be wearing an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, or Samsung Gear headset. Some of the games are handsfree, but most of them require handheld controls to track your movements and enable certain actions.
Upon arrival you have to buy a pass which will grant you access to over 50 virtual games. At each of those games a guide or attendant will help you put on the headset and explain the controls and goal of the game. Note that most likely not all of them are open due to maintenance or lack of personnel.
Together with your pass you get a mask to wear between your face and the VR headset. They do their best to try and keep things clean, but I guess it’s unavoidable your hair will be greasy when you leave VR World. After all, you’ll have been wearing a lot of VR headsets in a couple of hours, if everything went well.
When you want to play a virtual reality game at VR World, you have to scan your pass to enter the queue for that specific game. You can only be in 1 queue at a time. There’s no limit in the number of games you can play within the time frame you bought a ticket for.
What does it cost to experience virtual reality in New York City?
To experience virtual reality in New York City at VR World, you can buy one of two passes. We paid $39 per person for 2 hours of virtual reality fun. If you have more time to spend, you can buy an all day pass for $59 per person. These passes include over 50 virtual reality games.
However, there’s one virtual reality game that’s not included in these passes: the one with the Moveo unit. This free rotation VR simulator allows you to literally fly in the virtual 3D world of the VR game called Icaros. In order to play this game, you have to buy a separate flight pass for $25 per person. Do note there are height restrictions in place.
For up-to-date pricing information, check out the VR World website.
When to visit VR World in New York City
VR World is open 7 days a week, typically from 12:00 to 21:00. On Sunday and Monday they open 1 hour earlier, and on Friday and Saturday they close respectively 1 and 2 hours later. For up-to-date opening hours, check out the VR World website.
When you arrive at opening time, you’ll beat the crowds and waiting times will be more or less non-existent for the first hour or so. Keep reading for some tips on what games you should definitely try to squeeze in before the queues start filling up.
What are the best games at VR World in New York City?
There are over 50 of virtual reality games to choose from at VR World in New York City. From multiplayer shooting games to a solo rock climbing experience, there’s something for everyone. Unfortunately we weren’t able to try all of these games during our visit, but here are some of the coolest games at VR World we did try.
Richie’s Plank Experience
Richie’s Plank Experience is a great game for your first virtual reality experience. Walk out on a plank sitting 146 meter (~ 480 feet) above the busy streets of New York City, if you dare. You’ll be surprised how real this feels!
Tip: If you don’t start your visit to VR World with this very short experience, better skip it.
Raw Data is one of the few multiplayer games at VR World in New York City. It tends to be very popular, so get to this game early and team up to try and keep off the enemy robots in this sci-fi shooting game.
Tip: Only 1 player needs to enter the queue in order for 2 players to play this multiplayer VR game, so the other one can play a different game while waiting.
The Climb is the only VR game Brecht got a little nauseous in. This extreme free climbing game takes you to epic heights, feeling so real people actually screamed when virtually falling of the cliff.
Tip: Don’t look down!
Superhot is Brecht’s favourite game at VR World in New York City. In this virtual reality game time only moves when you do, giving you the impression you’re reacting to approaching enemies at superhuman speeds.
Tip: This game is pretty popular, so try it early on in your visit, when VR World isn’t that busy yet.
Elven Assassin is another cool VR game Brecht liked a lot. When putting on the VR headset, you become the Elven Assassin. Your goal is to defend your town from an endless stream of orcs and dragons by slaying them with a bow and arrow.
Warning: Your arm will get tired from carrying and shooting that virtual bow.
Fruit Ninja VR
Fruit Ninja is one of my favourite games on the iPad, so I was through the roof when finding out they had Fruit Ninja VR at VR World. Who knew slicing fruit with a katana would be so addictive?
Warning: Don’t get too enthusiastic or you might be hitting the attendant in the stomach.
Space Pirate Trainer
Space Pirate Trainer is another one of my favourite solo VR games at VR World. Use a range of different weapons to shoot down the relentless waves of space droids.
Tip: It’s not over when you’re out of lives. You can keep playing until one of the attendants shuts down the game.
Thrill of the Fight
Thrill of the Fight is a virtual boxing game. You’ll step in the ring and fight a virtual opponent. The game in itself is not that spectacular, just very exhausting.
Warning: You’ll definitely be sweating, this virtual boxing match is a true workout!
We’re not sure about the real name of this game, but Snowball Fight is a fun multiplayer game. Build your fort before you start throwing snowballs at one another and don’t forget to duck! It was fun, but not the coolest game at VR World.
Tip: If you’re short on time, don’t waste it by queueing for this virtual reality game. A fun one to do with kids though!
Another very popular game at VR World is the Racing Simulator. Slide in one of the racing seats and start your engines. You’ll be racing the people sitting next to you, so there’s real competition!
Tip: You don’t actually need to scan in your pass for this experience, so it’s a great one to do while in a (long) queue for another game.
If you have the time, do pay VR World a visit, it’s the best spot to experience virtual reality in New York City. Be warned though, you tend to forget you’re in VR World in New York City, wearing a VR headset. You get sucked into that fascinating virtual world of the game and live there for an exciting couple of minutes. Until your turn is over and the attendant shuts off the game.
Have you been to VR World or had a similar virtual reality experience in New York City? We’d love to read about your experience in the comments!
VR World in short
What? Virtual Reality Experience Centre
How much? $39 pp for 2 hour pass, $59 pp for all day pass
Where? Close to Empire State Building
Closest Metro Station? 34th Street - Herald Square or 33rd Street
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