If you’re old enough to remember when the first-generation PlayStation hit then you’ll only be too aware of the journey video games have gone through — from niche interest area to youthful cool to today’s mainstream media domination. Now the most valuable entertainment industry on the planet, as a result the number of arcades that have plugged into Manchester over the last few years is far from surprising. But while the majority look to recreate the so-called ‘golden age’ with classic coin-op machines, DNA VR positions itself at the cutting edge of what an arcade can be.
Not just a clever name, the business offers an immersive virtual reality experience smack bang in the city centre, a short walk from both Victoria and Piccadilly railway stations. Hosting events of up to 45 people, with 19 people playing simultaneously across the available experiences, visitors are allocated their own headset and booth on arrival and engage with a wide variety of scenarios and settings within a virtual world of their choosing. That could mean battling zombies, racing Viking ships, discovering Earth itself, or simply busting a few moves on the digitised dance floor.
DNA’s own VR Masters are on hand to guide visitors through their experience, which is open to anyone aged 7 and above, and regular sessions last 60 minutes. As do the on-site escape rooms, with VR and Ubisoft options to pick from — think prison breaks, cult investigations and more, for between 2 and 6 players depending on the room. Finally, a Premium Free Roaming Experience at DNA VR offers the ultimate in next-level gaming via state-of-the-art wireless headsets. This means you’re able to move physically around the room without any limitations, and get stuck into a bespoke Arizona Sunshine title, which sees groups of between 2 and 4 people go head-to-head with hordes of the undead for a 40 minute battle to the bitter end.