The best virtual reality experiences in Shanghai

Because sometimes you just can't take the real world

Time Out explores Shanghai's virtual reality playgrounds because sometimes you just can't take the real world.

Star Core VR

Owned by a film company, Star Core offers four different virtual reality (VR) experiences, a couple of which are inspired by storylines from forthcoming movies. In the first, VR Cinema, you enjoy a 360-degree view of three different lm clips. Next, you walk across a bridge (in reality) which suddenly breaks (virtually). The third room is a shooting game and in the fourth, you sit in pod that jerks in all directions at varying speeds while you take in an immersive view of outer space.

How are the staff? Staff give clear, simple instructions before each section to ensure we maximise our VR experience. When we have to wait for one of the rooms to be ready, a staff member takes us to play a quick VR game to fill the time.

And the venue quality? It’s clean, spacious and, well, a bit geeky, with several different brands of headsets available and high-tech equipment in every room.

How long am I going to spend there? 30 to 40 minutes.

How much is it? 80RMB on weekdays, 120RMB on weekends.

Verdict Most VR experiences are limited to a single seat, but here we could walk around and really get into the VR. Star Core is good for a first peek into what VR can be.

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457 Jumen Lu

Wasai VR

There are ten games to play at Wasai, which fall into two major categories. The first is experience-based – such as Happy Carnival, a game that features an amusement park setting and involves riding in a roller coaster and paragliding. The second is movement-based, further divided into two types: head movement and body movement. For head movement, there’s Dragon Valley, in which you move your head and neck to steer through caves to attack dragons. For body movement, try Bird Fly. It looks a whole lot like Angry Birds, but here you flap your arms repeatedly – like a bird, obviously – in order to y and retrieve gold coins.

How are the staff? On our visit, a staff member physically guides us to make sure we experience VR at its best. She positions our neck and tells us when to bend while we ride the roller coaster. This may be overwhelming for some, but ensures you experience the vertigo and other quirks that come with VR.

And the venue quality? It’s a small space in a hard-to-find corner of Tianzifang. There are only four VR consoles here, which means when it gets crowded there will be long wait times – that and the feeling of being judged when you flap your arms frantically attempting to fly.

How long am I going to spend there? 90 minutes for three games, including waiting time.

How much is it? 70RMB per game (though there’s a group-deal offer on Dianping, where you can play three games for 128RMB).

Verdict With ten games to choose from, it’s easy to nd something you want to immerse yourself in. The small space can restrict movement, but still offers a gaming experience that’s a break from the norm.

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Lane 274 Tianzifang, Taikang Lu