This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour was invited to OTHERWORLD by the PR and did not pay for any part of the visit.
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Experience: Otherworld VR Birmingham
I loved every second!
OTHERWORLD is a VR (Virtual Reality) experience that has opened on Bennetts Hill in central Birmingham. It’s in a space that many people will know as the short-lived Nocturnal Animals, but I previously knew as an employment agency office called Brook Street.
I’ve downloaded the app suggested in the email and so has my plus one. It is a map of an island with four areas, these are seasons! Each season contains four games, sixteen in total. These represent the games available in the VR experience downstairs.
There is plenty of theatrics during our visit, on arrival a friendly member of the team asks:
Are you travelling with us today?”
We were. Our booking was on the departure board above our heads with a 7.45pm start time. We are asked to sit at an empty semi-circular booth, there are plug sockets and USB ports behind the booth.
From LazerZone/Lazer Quest, video arcades to full headset-wearing experiences, many businesses over the years have attempted to emulate the futuristic experience, OTHERWORLD offers a fully white clinical bar on arrival in a space taller than it is wide (Though it looks pink on the photo above). This is a departure lounge. It has a self-serve bar at the rear, or should that be a semi-self-serve bar. As the staff are pretty quick at coming to assist. We enjoy a drink each that has been gifted as part of our experience today.
A team member shows me how to use the hand controllers, there’s one for each hand, plus headphones as well as the VR headset. I can’t quite remember what button does what, and my plus one and the team member realise despite telling me again, that I won’t remember.
Once in the pod (we have one per person), I’m placed into the hand controllers and given headphones and a headset. The team member says they will come and help if we get stuck or have any issues, this is pretty comforting to know.
The first part of the virtual world actually looks like the inside of the pod, and going too close to the pod walls causes a virtual net to appear on the screen, at first walking around the island proves tricky as I’m trying to gauge my movements.
After a few minutes I head to a game called Fruit Ninja, the controllers are now swords which chop fruit in half for points! More fun than I expected, if I’m honest. The second game I play is much more adventurous – Windlands 2. Using the controllers to make grapple guns, grab at the green catch points to swing through a forest. I felt like Spider-Man for a few magical minutes!
I loved every second of my actual game playing, though the arrival experience might be a bit too mainstream for the target geekdom in this environment. I’m sure it will do very well, however.
A 40-minute slot will cost anything from £10 per person to £25 depending on the time of day. While a 70-minute slot starts at £16 per person rising to £41 currently. I’d suggest beginning with 40-minutes if you’ve never tried something like this before, it left me a bit sweaty even though it was so much fun! Book here: other.world
OTHERWORLD is at 20 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham, B2 5QJ and is a two-minute walk from Birmingham New Street Station and about eight minutes from Birmingham Moor Street Station. The VR experience is on the lower level accessed by stairs. I didn’t spot a lift.