The moment you walk into this virtual reality bar and kitchen, you’re greeted with screams of both fear and joy coming from the large immersion pods lining the walls.
It’s both unsettling and exhilarating at the same time. That’s what’s in store for you at Otherworld – a mixture of fear and fun. All within safe confines, of course.
But first, take a seat within the futuristic Black Mirror-esque bar located under some of the Overground arches in Haggerston. Everything here is white, from the pods and tables to the floor, ceiling and even air-conditioning units.
LED lights bring in some futuristic colourful feels, as do the staff who are dressed in white costumes. They’ve clearly focused on all details here. Even the way you order.
Select some food and drinks on the computer tablets which have been built into the tables. Pay with your contactless card and then wait for delicious treats to be brought your way.
Once your time slot comes up, you’re gently guided into your very own immersion pod and set up with all the high-tech VR equipment.
You get controllers, a headset, headphones and a microphone. This allows you to fully immerse yourself in a virtual world while chatting with your mates – guests can come here alone but it is just so much more fun with one-to-three other people.
Once you and your VR companions have been logged in, you’ll immediately be transported into the Otherworld.
Looking down, your hands holding remotes are now free-moving, digitally-created replicas. Dance around a little with your mates who all inhabit the same VR world (even though you’re in separate pods) before venturing onwards to the games.
Head to the land of winter to have a snowball fight with pals or pick up some penguins for even weirder throwing fights. And even though this part only links the different third-party games together, designers have big plans to grow it, so it will eventually become the main focus of the experience.
For now, players can walk into 16 different games; some single player and others multiplayer.
The zombie fighting simulator is the reason why most people are screaming and must be experienced firsthand. You and your fellow gamers will be transported into a desert camp in Arizona with a huge arsenal of weapons.
Working together, you’ll fight off the hoard, either letting your friends die or helping each other out (it’s clearly very good for team building). We let out plenty of yelps and a handful of belly rumbling screams in this one. There are also many more civilised games to try out. Paint in 3D, play an interactive version of fruit ninja (trying not to bash the padded walls too often), or swing through vines in a jungle while trying not to fall or get motion sickness.
Be sure to plan your visit, as there is only so much that can explored during a 45-minute slot. If you choose too many, you’ll just be rushing.
This means you’ll be coming back again and again until you’ve mastered your favourites. Because, once you’ve tried the Otherworld virtual reality experience, you’ll be desperate to get back in.
Otherworld, 336 Acton Mews E8 4EA