Have you ever walked through the calm, quiet streets of Ghost Town at Knotts Berry Farm and found yourself daydreaming of being part of the action? Well if you have, you are not alone. And now, Knotts has given you a way to experience that very thing first hand! With their all new Virtual reality experience, you will be right in the middle of a showdown on the streets of Calico! It will be up to you to help defeat the bad guys and save the town! Gabe and I got a chance to try out this brand new experience and are here to tell you all about it! So here it is, our review of Knotts Berry Farm’s brand new attraction: VR Showdown in Ghost Town!!
This Theme Park Duo was full of excitement as we made our way over to the arcade where VR Showdown in Ghost Town is located. It can be found right where the laser tag used to be, directly underneath the ride: Voyage to the Iron Reef.
We loaded up our game card with enough money for both of us to play ($6 a person and well worth it!), and got in the queue. The line is themed to look like a scientific laboratory called Welles Research and Development Labs. The queue is adorned with lots of steampunk looking gadgets and schematics. It tied in with the aesthetic of Iron Reef ride very well. There also seemed to be a nod/reference to Ghost Town Alive in the queue.
After swiping our game cards and getting the safety rundown, we were good to go! We were led down a corridor to a room where our VR experience would take place. The hallway leading to your pods is designed and themed perfectly to set the tone and mood for the experience. After stowing away our belongings, and getting one more tutorial on how everything would work, we started getting suited up for our adventure through Calico. After having such heavily themed entry room and hallways, the actual pods themselves leave something to be desired. Designers worked so hard to put guests into the world of Welles Research and Development Labs only to have a room with tarps be your final destination. Although you really do not see this room for long because you do put on your gear here, it did take a bit away from the experience. Maybe some simple walls would even suffice more than tarps. This is truly a minor complaint within the grand scheme of the attraction.
The VR gear includes a headset, headphones, and a ‘blaster’ that you hold in your hand.
As soon as you put on the headset you can see that you are in a virtual waiting room. Here you can see some recent scores and even do some target practice while you wait. Multiple players can play this game at once, so the person that you are playing with (in this case Gabe), will show up as an avatar right next to you. You can see every move they make in the virtual world. It’s really cool! As soon as we were both ready to go, the game started. We were instantly transported to the streets of Calico and were right smack dab in the middle of a shoot out! I don’t want to give too much away in regards to what you will experience, but I will give you a few Game play tips: make use of your surroundings and make sure to look all around you. Do a few 360 degree turns to make sure that you are seeing everything that is coming at you, and just keep shooting your blaster!
After the simulation ends, you are once again back in the virtual waiting room while you wait for the attendant to remove all the VR gear. In the waiting room, you can see your scores and the scores of the person you are playing with. I am happy to report that I beat Gabe’s score! That never happens! Now I definitely know he will want a rematch! It could have very well been the fact that it was our first time in this attraction, but we did not really understand the story line of the attraction. From what we understood, the robots had attacked Calico and we went back in time to save the day. Maybe it just means that the rematch needs to happen sooner rather than later!
As Gabe and I exited the Welles Research and Development Labs and stepped back into the relatively calm streets of Ghost town, we reflected back on the experience we just had. Without giving too much away, I will say that this was an absolutely fun and action-packed experience. It is well worth the small up charge and is something that we will be doing again.