We were able to test the new Sandbox VR at the pre-opening in the Swiss Life Arena. The conclusion: really worth a visit!
Sandbox VR is a franchise company from the USA. In Switzerland, further locations are planned after the opening of the first location on 1 December 2023 in Zurich in the Swiss Life Arena in Altstetten.
Sandbox VR offers various virtual reality (VR) experiences in which 2 to 6 players can play with and against each other. Thanks to former EA, Sony and Ubisoft developers, there are great graphics and lots of cool features to discover. Thanks to motion-capture cameras, 3D trackers, special hardware and, above all, the haptic waistcoats, you feel completely immersed in the experience.
The games range from the classic zombie shooter to Star Trek, the fighting game UFL, the pirate game Curse of Davy Jones and Squid Game virtual. There are currently eight titles to choose from, with more planned.
Our Sandbox VR test
We travelled by train for our test. Arriving at the Swiss Life Arena, we immediately spot the signposts directing us to Sandbox VR. However, we realise too late that P means the entrance at the car park and, engrossed in conversation, we don't see a sign there, so we walk past the entrance first. Janu! On our second attempt, it works for us too. We are immediately greeted by various members of staff at Sandbox VR. A friendly atmosphere. The interior design is relatively futuristic. The spherical windows of the Swiss Life Arena with a view of the slightly snow-covered railway tracks are also quite impressive.
Unfortunately, we still lack a smart wardrobe and, above all, a lockable box. We therefore take our valuables with us into our "box" after we have fed our personal data into the tablets arranged in a circle. Once at the back, we are greeted again by our "carers". They instruct us to put on the trackers and waistcoat in the correct order and position. Comfortable, without a backpack PC on your back! By the way, the VR experts only wear a T-shirt. Beginners and anyone who forgets will later regret playing with a jumper... During the safety instructions, which were given on a tablet, we couldn't understand a thing. It's pretty loud, as the other visitors shout wildly while playing: Must be evidence of fun.
Since we, like most visitors, don't have a great desire for zombies, we start with Squid Game. The title was developed in collaboration with Netflix. The gameplay is clear to anyone who knows the series: you compete against each other in several mini-games to win the main prize. The game is great fun. And the waistcoat, which also offers haptic feedback, is also really cool. However, the technology sometimes struggles. For example, the whole gameplay stutters from time to time and, at least for me, the motion sickness was there from time to time. All in all, however, it is easy to endure and the fun outweighs the drawbacks. Finally, there is a short dance session that is recorded.
As with all games, a video is cut together at the end in which you can see yourself in different scenes both in real life and as an avatar - really cool. The video is also sent to your e-mail address.
The second film we choose is Star Trek. At first we are a little disappointed because we were actually looking forward to laser swords (ok, fair enough, this is the wrong film...). But we also enjoy this game. I can imagine that the game is a unique experience, especially for Star Trek fans. Where else can you immerse yourself directly in your favourite series? Unfortunately, there are also technical difficulties here from time to time. We had to restart the game and in the second round, one player also had temporary transmission problems.
A nice idea is the credits at the end, where your own name is displayed. So everyone can become a "film or gaming star" once in their life.
We can definitely recommend Sandbox VR and are looking forward to going back to this VR arcade for another test.
More info: sandboxvr.com