Virtual Reality arcade is Cornwall’s newest hidden gem
It's hidden behind a fairly inauspicious shop front on a Truro side street but step inside Player Ready and you enter another world.
Based on Charles Street (opposite ShelterBox's HQ), it's the city's first virtual Reality arcade, and it's amazing.
Player Ready is a state-of-the-art gaming experience and unlike anything else in Truro. The experience will appeal to people who have never played a game in their lives as well as hardcore gamers.
Open for two weeks, the facility features four VR racing simulators (with four more to come soon) as well as four VR headsets offering 150 different immersive experiences.
We paid them a visit this week and were blown away with what's on offer.
I tried three headset games – all totally different and all totally addictive and awe-inspiring.
The Plank Experience is a real test of nerve. You enter a lift and press a button and up you go.
The lift door opened and there I was on top of a skyscraper, the city below me, with a plank before me. As someone who doesn't like heights, this was a real test as it really feels like you could plummet to the pavement below even though your feet are planted on terra firma.
I won't tell you what happens if you fall off … but it's exhilarating to say the least!
Next up was Beat Saber – choose a dance track, take hold of a different virtual light saber in each hand and sever the objects flying towards you. Brilliant fun. You'll never want to go back to the Nintendo again.
Lastly, I dared to walk through a haunted house in Affected: The Manor. I won't spoil it but there are shocks and scares aplenty. It really does feel like you're inching your way through a spooky Victorian manor house … and it really does feel like the furniture is flying at you. And worse.
I didn't even have a go on one of the racing simulators. Strap on a headset, sit in the car and there you are on the race track.
You can choose from over 150 cars on 60 tracks. You'll even feel the wind blowing on your face and every bump through an integrated “butt kicker” system.
Player Ready is the brainchild of tech whizz Stephen Parkinson, who has already seen a pop-up VR arcade at Redruth's Roller Rink become a huge success.
He is planning further VR centres in St Ives, Plymouth, Exeter and beyond, and is also in talks with a Cornish theme park to provide a VR element this summer. Stephen's currently providing kit for Thorpe Park's GamerFX event too.
Chloe Woodrow, who works at the Truro “arcade”, said that it is already proving a huge hit, not just with kids but their parents and businesses who have had meetings while riding the racing simulators.
Her 78-year-old gran Shirley even braved The Plank. “It was one of the funniest things I've ever seen,” said Chloe.
There is even an educational element – schools recently visited as part of their studies into space and it also helps autistic children. A café will be added soon.
Sessions are £12.50 for 30 minutes, £20 for an hour and £27.50 for 90 minutes. There's even a VR escape room which costs £12.50 per player. You have 45 minutes to escape.
There are also bundle packages and discount for NHS workers and the military.
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