Virtual reality arcade moves into Breckenridge
Game room opened by family that created Mountain Time Escape Rooms
The zombies at Breckenridge’s first virtual reality arcade are remarkably tame compared to anything on the hit TV series “The Walking Dead.” They aren’t gory. There’s no biting, blood spatter or severed limbs.
Even so, the spooky setting, glowing green eyes in the darkness and seemingly endless waves of attacks coming from all directions are reproduced in an immersive virtual environment that lets technology take over the senses. Needless to say, it all might be a little too much for the youngest of gamers.
Keeping zombies at bay with a bow and arrow — the arrows of which can be lit ablaze inside the game — is only one of 30 scenarios programmed into the hard drives at VR Arcade Breckenridge.
With so many to choose from, anyone who doesn’t want to take on the hoards of zombies might be better equipped for popping bottles off the bar of an old Western saloon with a pair of six-shooters or any one of the arcade’s other offerings.
Opened in late January by the same family that created Mountain Time Escape Rooms — Larry and Reba Martinez and their daughter Larissa Martinez — the virtual reality arcade has four stations, or pods, for gamers.
Larissa Martinez said they don’t have set age requirements for the arcade, but given the nature of the headsets, sound effects and necessary motor skills to play the games, she feels the VR Arcade is most appropriate for children starting around the age of 6 or 7.
Sensors track the gamers’ body movements and, once someone gets too close to the perimeter, a blue safety grid appears so that individual won’t crash into the wall.
Because each game is loaded onto the computers’ hard drives, the arcade doesn’t stream them from the internet. The owners say this cuts out lag time, eliminates glitching and reduces the motion sickness that some people experience wearing the virtual reality headsets.
Taking over one of the arcade’s pods will cost someone $20 for 15 minutes, $30 for a half-hour or $55 for a full hour. People can rent out more than one pod at a time or secure one for the full hour and then trade in and out.
The business owners have been quite busy since they started building their first escape room in Breckenridge — Boreas’ Revenge Avalanche Cabin — in October 2016.
In the last year, they’ve added The Search for Sasquatch and recently opened another escape room, Paranormal Mystery of Breckenridge, in December.
“If you’re quick enough, you can get his picture,” Reba Martinez said of searching for Sasquatch, adding that the escape rooms feature computer-aided visuals, holograms, animatronics, sound effects and multiple rooms for each theme.
Based on Gail Westwood’s ghost tours and book about Breckenridge hauntings, the Paranormal Mystery escape room asks people to “save the town” by sending the restless spirits back to the netherworld.
“I really love seeing how people have a great time trapping the spirits,” Larissa said, adding she loves the nod to Breckenridge history. “It’s a pretty unique experience, but I don’t want to give too much away.”
It takes an hour to get through any of the escape rooms, though not everyone completes the required tasks within the allotted timeframe. Still, there are hints to help any parties who get stuck.
As many as eight people may occupy one room at a time. The rooms run $35 per person, and someone can book a private room by buying out all eight slots for $280. For slightly larger groups, the owners said that the avalanche cabin and paranormal mystery escape rooms can usually squeeze in one or two more. All of the rooms are family friendly and players have been as young as 4.
With all its escape rooms and virtual reality arcade, Mountain Time Escape Rooms now has three locations spread across Breckenridge with escape rooms at 505 S. Main St. inside the Main Street Station and at 226 S. Main St. Meanwhile, the arcade sits beside the escape rooms inside Main Street Station.
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