If you're sick of smashing buttons on your controller for hours while making an indent on your couch, head to Woburn this summer for a more active video game experience.
Mindtrek is set to debut a free-roaming, virtual reality arena on Aug. 1 that will fully immerse gamers into a digital playground of their choice. Billed as the largest VR arena in the country, the 4,000-square-foot space will allow up to eight players per game to shoot zombies, fight off an artificial intelligence uprising and even explore a magical maze.
"What we’re bringing is something unlike anything else in the country right now," says co-owner Brad Wurtz. "This takes it to the next level."
Unlike in-home, VR games that require cumbersome hardware, lots of wires and not much room for moving around, Mindtrek utilizes patent-pending, motion tracking technology from Australian company Zero Latency that allows large groups to play together in wide-open spaces. Before entering the arena, gamers gear up with headsets, headphones and military grade vests that house Alienware-powered computers which track players' movements sans physical tethers. Once participants are debriefed on the rules, they are sent off to roam the arena with their faux, video game guns to take on evil robots or kill the undead.
Mindtrek will initially offer three gaming choices when it debuts next month, highlighted by its intense shooter game "Zombie Survival." As the name suggests, players are stuck in a "Walking Dead"-style situation where they have to fend off hordes of zombies while waiting for a helicopter to rescue them.
"It’s a post-apocalyptic type of environment where you go in and try to stay alive until you’re rescued," Wurtz says. "It’s really neat and very competitive. Everyone’s trying to get the highest score and stay alive."
Other games include "Engineerium," a more whimsical and magical offering that will turn players' worlds upside down, as well as "Singularity," which pits gamers against "Terminator"-like killer robots.
After launching in Woburn this summer, Mindtrek plans to bring the VR fun to Marlborough in the fall before heading to New Jersey and the Philadelphia area in 2018.
"If you always wished you and your friends were in a movie, this is exactly what we’re doing," says Wurtz. "You are fully immersed and it’s a totally different experience that you can’t get anywhere else."
If you go:
Opens Aug. 1, 34 Cummings Park Dr., Woburn, $49 per player, mindtrekvr.com