Sunday, 12 November 2017

Virtual Room - Review of their Adventure room (Chapter I)

*****Quick Update - Virtual Rooms currently have a Groupon deal where you can get 36% to 39% off.  You can check it out here (but it's only for a limited time)*****

Hi everyone

This review will be a little different to my usual reviews, as this is a review of a virtual reality escape room, rather than a physical escape room.  It is the first time my team has tried a VR room.

I was contacted by Virtual Room and invited to come and try their room.  Virtual Room is one of 3 VR companies (that I am aware of) that have opened in Sydney recently.  I have been intrigued ever since I heard about VR rooms hitting Sydney – how would they compare to a real world experience?

Virtual Room is located on George Street in the city (in the same building as Escape Hunt Sydney).  We were unable to get a babysitter for this escape, so my wife sat this one out and it was the 3 remaining members of my usual escape room team that tried out their room.

This was our 48th room in Sydney and our 61st room in Australia. 

Here’s what I enjoyed most about the experience:

  • Virtual Room use HTC Vives for the experience.  I’m not really up to speed on the various virtual reality tech that currently exists, but I can say that the headsets were very comfortable.  When we each spoke I could easily hear my teammates.  And lastly, the quality of the graphics was excellent.  I wear glasses and I am happy to report that I wore my glasses during the experience without any issues;

  • Virtual Room have a dedicated room for each player.  I think our rooms were about 3m x 3m, with the headset being connected to the ceiling in the centre of the room;

  • the game masters at Virtual Room explained that their games are designed with a real focus on ensuring that players don’t feel nauseous or get headaches.  This is achieved through the design of the game and the fact that when you physically walk within the room, you also move in the VR space.  As Virtual Room explain on their website “Games are also played standing up so your brain and your body are always working together just as they would in the real world”;

  •  as a result, I’m pleased to report that nobody in our team felt nauseous at all, either during the experience of afterwards;

  • the game is towards the simple end of the spectrum when it comes to puzzle complexity.  Virtual Room have designed this room as more of a beginners’ room, to allow players to get to moving around and manipulating items in a VR world;

  • that being said, the game design was very clever.  I won’t go into any specific detail, but the design allows Virtual Room to display the various kinds of worlds that could be applied to an escape room in a VR experience;

  •  there were also a number of puzzles that could not be solved without working together as a team.  Each player is in their separate physical room, but can see and interact with each other in the VR world.  The puzzles were designed to require interaction (and they were also a lot of fun);

  • having not played a VR game before (but having certainly played my share of computer games growing up), the controls were all very intuitive.

I would describe this experience as being more of a multiplayer gaming experience than a true escape room experience.  That being said, there is no doubt that many people who enjoy escape rooms would also enjoy this kind of VR experience.

Virtual Room have opened with just the one room.  However, they have plans to open more rooms.  They told me that their second room, due early in 2018, will be more of a traditional escape room theme, with a lot more puzzles.

The biggest shame of course with a great (physical) escape room outfit is that they are limited in the amount of space that they have, so once you have tried all of their rooms, that’s it.  Given the cost of setting up a room, they generally don’t take them down and replace them with new ones (or at least very few have done that so far in the Sydney market over the past 3 years).  The allure of a VR experience is that they could have a large library of themes to pick from – there really is no limit given it’s as simple as running a different program on the computer system.

For the escape room enthusiasts out there, I would certainly recommend this experience as a nice twist on the more traditional escape room experience.  It was a lot of fun (all 3 of us really enjoyed ourselves).  I think their next room will be even more suited to escape room enthusiasts.  

Based on our experience at Virtual Room, I'm really excited to see what the future has in store for VR escape rooms.

Where:                   Level 5, 393 George Street, Sydney

Duration:               45 minutes

Themes:                 1

Cost:                       We played at the kind invitation of Virtual Room

Overall Rating:       A really fun and interactive VR take on an escape room experience

More details:


  1. Hey Scott
    Theres another virtual escape room which just opened up. Have you been there? Ive attached the link below for you.

    1. Hi Paulie

      Yes, I went there a few weeks ago. I felt nauseated during the experience and then the nausea continued for a few hours later, so I didn't enjoy the experience. Others in my team weren't so badly affected though.

      I think Virtual Room is the better of the two (from my perspective) - having your own dedicated room to move around in seems to cause less nausea than being strapped into a seat.


    2. To add onto Scott's comments, I'm no stranger to VR (have interacted with VR gaming, visual arts and urban planning spaces) but this was the first time I felt nauseous with a VR Headset in the Virtual Reality Rooms (specifically Cosmos).

      I agree that the Virtual Room is better, regardless of potential nausea.

  2. I see how that can be nauseating!
    Tganks so much for your advice on that!
    I might give this room a go then :)