This week I bobbed down to Virtual Hideout with a plan of having a terrific time playing a few games. I didn't know the team had a horror game in store for me.
Now technically Virtual Hideout can’t put you in the horror game if you don’t know about it, so just before I put my glasses on I found out I was heading into a haunted house (AFFECTED: The Manor). Now, I am a wuss of the superior kind so I was absolutely petrified.
I won’t give too much away but a door opened with a loud bang and I cried.
There’s something about Virtual Hideout that really makes you think it’s really happening to you. It doesn’t matter if the game is a hand-drawn graphics either, the immersive experience tricks your tiny little brain into thinking it’s real.
Once that door is open, it means it’s time for you to head on in. Immediately I was screaming ‘SHIT’ because scaring myself isn’t my idea of fun normally. Yet there I was for the greater good of Manchester’s Finest.
Once you’re in, there’s a spine chilling child whispering in your ears. This is not so much a game and more of a nightmare.
At some points throughout The Manor, I decided I just had to shut my eyes because it made it not real again. I would recommend trying these if you think you’re hard enough. But I’m gonna say now, you’re not.
After I finished this I had to take a break so I opted for Beat Saber. Specifically, I opted for the happiest music on there, The Greatest Showman Soundtrack to really bring my heart rate back down after falling to the floor from a scare in the haunted house.
Beat Saber is harder than it looks, particularly if you have 0 rhythm like me. It’s a similar premise to Tap Tap Revenge if you ever played that on your iPhone 3 you’ll know what I’m talking about. Of course, you’re fully submerged into the game and it involves moving your entire arms, rather than just your thumbs and I was told it helps if you sway your hips to the beat (something I cannot physically do).
Following that, I thought I’d give walking the Plank another go. If you’ve been around Finest for a while you’ll know what this involves. If you’ve not, you’ll probably know too because it’s basically exactly what I just said.
It’s nowhere near as scary as The Manor but still, it’ll definitely get your heart racing.
Starting on the pavement of a busy city centre you enter a lift and go to what feels like the millionth floor. Realistically, it’s about the 46th. Even more realistically, you’ve not left the ground at all, you’ve not even left the room you entered to play the game.
Once you reach the millionth floor, the lift doors swing open and you’re greeted with about a 2 meter long plank, maybe there’s a birthday cake on the end too. All you have to do is walk out and get a slice of delicious cake. This game is that immersive you truly think you’re at a serious height. It is, hand on heart, terrifying. I cried, I laughed and I got stuck at the top with jelly legs.
Next up was some parkour. Now, this game involves jumping from blue blobs on the floor, walls, ceiling and even floating ones. You use the triggers on the remotes to grip, jump and fling yourself all over shop.
It pretty quickly made me feel queasy. At one point I nearly fell over in real life because I did in the game. It brought back memories of continuously playing the same room over and over again in Super Mario Kart 64 until you finally get the star. You’ve memorised the routes but you just. keep. dying. It’s infuriating, addictive but most of all a hell of a lot of fun.
The graphics of this game are quite clearly not the real world (you literally teleport at points) but I was still tricked into thinking I should grip really hard or fall to my death. I was even bending my knees to safely land from jumps. You can’t even see your feet in this game, I only know I was bracing myself for impact from watching a video of myself after.
Maybe I’m easily fooled. Or maybe Virtual Hideout is just that good. Go see for yourself.
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On 22nd November Virtual Hideout is MOVING to the Northern Quarter. The NEW address will be 51 Church Street M4 1PD.