Gobo VR is located at Guildford Town Centre. It’s near the Old Navy and Atmosphere stores. Access to the arcade is from the parking lot. Zero Latency, meanwhile, is in Kingsgate Mall at 370 East Broadway. We’ve been to the two places and had a blast at both!
In this article we describe the two venues. As you’ll see, they offer similar experiences, but are also actually quite different from one another.
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Virtual Reality Arcade Game Centres
Virtual reality games are becoming increasingly popular as technology continues to advance. Some companies sell personal VR headsets that are used in tandem with other electronic devices you own. There are also dedicated VR arcade centres that provide a platform for bigger experiences.
Two places that do just that in the Lower Mainland are Gobo VR and Zero Latency. Both of these companies offer games where you enter into an immersive, entirely computer-generated world for a set amount of time. Zero Latency is a franchise and Gobo VR is a small, locally-owned business.
The VR games offered are usually designed to accommodate multiple players at once. It can be a lot of fun to take part in these experiences with other people you know!
Gobo VR Arcade Centre in Surrey
Of the two VR centres listed, Gobo has a wider variety in terms of the types of experiences offered. The facility is divided into a few different areas as described below.
First, at the Surrey venue, there are about ten VR Booths which are small, individual stations. You can play single-player games by yourself, or play multi-player games with people in other booths. Despite being separated in real life, you can see and interact with your friends in the games.
Also at Gobo VR, there is the VR Arena. This section is a bit bigger and up to three players can be in the space at one time. The arena games are multi-player and usually shooter-style games. Zombies are common opponents. The booths, by contrast, have more options and more casual experiences as well.
There are also virtual escape room games that you can play with up to four people at a time. These are held in a section of the facility about the same size as the arena. They take around 30 to 45 minutes and their VR nature means there can be some very creative obstacles and challenges.
Finally, there is a VR car racing simulator. This uses one or two chairs with attached steering wheels and headsets that put you in the driver’s seat of a high-speed race. You can tackle this game solo or compete against one other person.
The cost of taking part in a VR experience at Gobo varies greatly depending on which one you’re doing and for how long. You can spend anywhere from around $20 to $70 per person on a single event, or you can buy different bundles of multiple games and styles.
For more information about this venue visit the Gobo VR website.
Gobo VR Virtual Reality Arena Games Video
Below is a video of our group playing a couple of the arena games at Gobo VR. You can see that there was space to move around (but not enough to go running!).
As you’ll notice in the video, the equipment at Gobo is limited to a headset and smaller handheld devices. None of it is heavy.
When we went we played Mission Critical and The Raft. Both were fun. Mission Critical had a science-fiction theme and involved a lot of shooting. The Raft was family-friendly and involved shooting, but not getting shot at. We were told that Dead Zone was one of the most popular games, but didn’t get a chance to play it.
The game scenes in the video below are of The Raft where your group floats down a river and gets to shoot things jumping out of the water and on the shore. With that game the devices you hold don’t look and feel like actual guns. In the scenes where it looks like we’re holding semi-automatic weapons, that’s when we were playing Mission Critical.
Gobo VR Virtual Reality Racing Game Video
This next video below shows two of us taking part in the VR racing game. This game is stationary with both participants sitting down the whole time. The seats shake, bounce around and lean from side to side a bit, but they don’t move around the room.
Note: Because of the intensity of the experience, it’s recommended that people do the car racing last (after playing the other kinds of virtual reality games first). Some people find they can get a bit dizzy, especially if they get on the grass or loose gravel, step hard on the gas by accident and start doing donuts! Try to avoid that if you can!
With the VR Racing, they have four different levels of difficulty. Unless you have done this before, we recommend starting on the easiest and working your way up as you get used to the game (and the intensity of the experience).
Zero Latency Game Centre in Vancouver
Unlike Gobo VR, Zero Latency has just one room in which they run all of their games. It’s not better or worse. It’s just different. The area is quite large! We’d guess that the Zero Latency facility is about the same size as that of Gobo VR. The venue in Surrey just divides up their space into more different areas.
Zero Latency focuses on team-based experiences with 2 to 8 people taking part in each of the games. The majority of the games are shooters, although there are a couple more family-friendly or casual options as well.
The equipment for Zero Latency is a little bit more than Gobo, as you have to wear a vest around your chest and waist that helps track where you go in the room. It’s a little bit heavy but still very manageable. Besides that, there is the standard headset and a handheld device that serves as a gun in most of the games.
The most popular game is Far Cry, which is a VR-specific experience set in the world of the video game Far Cry 3. Besides that, there are other classic co-operative shooters, a player vs player showdown where you can shoot at your opponent, and more puzzle-based games.
This centre has a similar price range compared to Gobo. You can expect to spend around $35 to $50 for each person at Zero Latency, depending on which experience you go with. Each one is about 30 minutes long, or a pair of 15-minute games.
How Do Gobo VR and Zero Latency Compare?
The main differences between the two places are described below.
The Layout and Game Areas are Different
- Gobo VR has multiple smaller stations in which to play your games. Games in the VR booths can be played with between one and ten players (with each person in their own booth). At Zero Latency, on the other hand, there is just one very large room where up to eight people play at the same time.
- Zero Latency offers a “free roam experience” where you actually do a fair bit of walking around a large room. At Gobo VR, on the other hand, you play in much smaller spaces. You hardly walk at all in the VR Booths, and just a little bit in the VR Arena and VR Escape Room areas.
The Variety and Types of Games are Different
- At Gobo VR, you play with just your friends and family. At Zero Latency, unless you go with a group of eight people, you might end up playing with people you don’t know (although at a safe distance).
- At both places you can play a variety of shooting-style games, like where you get to battle and shoot at zombies. Both venues also offer fairly violent and action-packed games that are appropriate for adults, but also tamer games that are suitable for young families and children. In addition to shooting games, Gobo VR offers quite sophisticated Escape Room games which are really cool.
The Equipment and Age Requirements are Different
- The equipment at Gobo VR consists of just the headgear and a couple of small handheld devices or a virtual gun. You also get a face mask for your eyes so the goggles on the headset doesn’t actually touch your skin. At Zero Latency, meanwhile, you wear a headset with goggles, but also a large backpack that you wear like a vest. You also get a larger gun.
- At Zero Latency the recommended minimum age is 11. You also have to be strong enough to carry the not-so-light gun in your hands and the pack on your back. At Gobo VR, the minimum age for the VR Booths is 7. For the Arena Games you have to be at least 10 year old, and for the VR Racing you need to be at least 5 foot 4 inches or 149 cm tall (which is about average for a 10 or 11-year-old child).
Tips and Advice
Below are some suggestions to help you make the most out of your VR gaming experience.
TIP #1: Both Gobo VR and Zero Latency are great and highly recommended. Go to whichever one is closer or more convenient. They offer pretty incredible experiences.
TIP #2: Even though they are indoor venues, neither place requires you wear a face mask while playing (or at least they didn’t when we went). If COVID is still a problem when you go, and you want to wear a mask, wear one that is really tight fitting, like a proper N95 mask. If your mask isn’t really tight-fitting your goggles will likely get fogged up.
TIP #3: Go with a group of friends. It’s more fun that way! And if you go with a group of eight at Zero Latency, then you’ll get the entire room to yourself and not have to play with strangers.
TIP #4: If you play at Gobo VR, definitely try one of the Escape Room games. Some people really like their VR Racing games too, but they weren’t our favourite. They were fun, but after 15 minutes we’d had enough. The VR Arena games we played, however, were a blast and comparable to what we played at Zero Latency.
TIP #5: Be careful what you say while playing the games. You have microphones and can hear your teammates. You can’t hear non-players, including strangers standing close by. They, however, might be able to hear you. Also, with Zero Latency, the company uploads a recording of your game to the Internet so you can see yourself in action later (but other people might be able to watch and hear you too).
Which game centre did we like best? That’s hard to say. Both were so much fun. We really enjoyed the shooting game we played at Zero Latency and the fact that we could walk around so much. At Gobo VR we also really liked the shooting games, but our favourite was the Escape Room. We found that really clever!
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