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By Pamela Prado & Kristi Carbone, CertifiKID Subscribers
Posted Jan 06, 2020
Posted Jan 06, 2020
VR Head in the Cloud is a brand new Virtual Reality gaming center in Falls Church, Virginia with age-appropriate games for the whole family, including family titles suggested for younger kids and more mature games for tweens, teens and adults. VR Head in the Cloud prides themselves on offering individual attention to their guests to easily navigate through the VR world and ensure a great experience.
We sent two of our MOM Squad ambassadors and their families to VR Head in the Cloud. They received free admission in exchange for providing an honest review of their experience.
Kristi: VR is an immersive experience that uses specific technologies to bring the game user into a unique virtual world through motion controllers and headsets. My kids couldn't wait to try it out!
Kristi: The owner, Kenny Lee, welcomed us and got the kids signed in and ready for their VR session. He walked them through how to use the VR headsets and the different games available. He suggested specific games based on their age and was very attentive, helping the kids navigate through each part of the game's set up and throughout all of the games. He was super friendly and supported each kid as much as necessary.
Pamela: There were four stations reserved for the five people in my party, so my husband and I switched off sharing a station. We were each handed a sanitary mask to put on, then the VR headset was placed over that and we were each given two controllers. The owner set four of us up in a multiplayer game, Elven Assassin, which is based on the players using bow and arrows to shoot at "the bad guys." Multiplayer means you are all wearing headsets and can see each other's player in the same game.
Kristi: The minimum suggested age for VR is age 8, so my son was on the younger side but he picked it up right away and they BOTH had a blast. Their favorite game was Cowbots and Aliens where they worked together. They could walk around a play area in the real world and their actions are mirrored in the VR environment that we could see on the computer monitors in the room so we could see what they could see! There was another group there at the same time, but they were in a curtained off section so we didn't hear/see them or their activities.
Pamela: After that, we chose to play single player games. My 8-year old daughter enjoyed Job Simulator the best! It had her doing various jobs in a life-like office setting. My 11-year old son played a few shooting games and later joined a multiplayer dodgeball-type game with his 14-year old sister and my husband. My 14-year old daughter really enjoyed Ninja Legends, which had her jumping all around and breaking a sweat! My husband and oldest daughter played Creed Rise to Glory, a boxing game had them directly matched up against each other. It was hilarious to see them bobbing and weaving and throwing punches in the air! I really enjoyed Beat Saber, which had me swinging light sabers at objects flying towards me.
Pamela: The owner was very attentive and engaged the entire time, giving directions over a microphone that could be heard over the headsets, but also coming around and helping us switch games and assist if we couldn't figure out what buttons to push. We were booked for a 40-minute time slot and he gave us countdowns (e.g., 20 minutes left, 10 minutes left, etc). When the time was up, no one wanted to leave! It was a complete blast! If you've never played a Virtual Reality game, you literally feel like you are in the game! It's a totally unique experience!
Kristi: The owner told us that they have birthday parties and other events there as well. There is a back room with a table for parties and a TV where you can play OTHER video games as well during a party. You can also bring your own food and drinks.
Getting There and Getting In
Pamela: VR Head in the Cloud was very easy to find with the address provided on the website. There was ample free parking. The location is in a strip mall. It is not near a Metro or VRE station, but it is in the bustling area of the Seven Corners section of Falls Church and you could likely find a bus that can get you close to the location. My family and I had a reservation at a specific time. The location allows for walk-ins as well as reservations. The check-in process was easy and quick. The owner-operator greeted us as we walked in. I was asked to fill out simple release forms on an electronic device that took me just a few minutes. Then we were ready to get started!
Kristi: The location was in the Willston Centre in Falls Church. It's tucked away in a strip mall near Seven Corners, but the Google Maps directions were perfect. Parking is free and plentiful in a big parking lot. The location is not close to a Metro stop, but is accessible by bus. We had a reservation at VR Head in the Clouds and there was one other reservation there at the same time. We didn't have to wait AT ALL as the owner Kenny welcomed us right away and got the kids signed in. We went over the holiday break where walk-ins were not allowed; sessions were by reservation only.
What Did You Enjoy Most?
Pamela: I think the most enjoyable aspect was of course the awesome games! You are literally in the game! I also really like that we could go as a family, but yet also select games that catered to each person's individual interest.
Kristi: As a parent, I loved watching the kids have a blast in their virtual worlds. The kids loved the technology and playing new games in a way they have never seen before!
Recommended Age Range
Pamela: My children are 8, 11, and 14. It's a really fun place to go for kids and adults. You can select different games based on skill level and age, so there really is something for everyone. The owner was fantastic at suggesting games he thought each of us would like. It's important to note, 8 is the suggested minimum age for kids to get the most out of the more complex games.
Kristi: My kids are 8 and 10. I think any age over 8 would enjoy this. My husband and I want to go back and do the VR ourselves!
Time Recommended to Experience Activity
Pamela: You can book 30 minute ($30) or 60 minute ($45) timeslots. I think 60 minutes is good for the first visit because it takes a bit to be familiar with the game and the controller and you lose a few seconds here and there trying to figure out which button to press. (Note, the owner explains it clearly at the beginning, but when you're caught up in the frenzy of a game and you've never done VR before, it's easy to forget which button to press!) My kids definitely wanted to keep playing after our time was up.
Kristi: I'd say that 60 minutes is probably long enough for a VR session.
Tips for Families
Pamela: I think it's important that families read the website before going. It clearly explains the different options (solo, multiplayer), so you have a plan ahead of time and know how many stations you'd like to reserve. You can reserve a station with one headset, but have up to four people switch off and share the same headset. You can also reserve a station for one person only for the time duration. If you want to do multiplayer games (meaning you are in the game with another member of your party), you need to reserve more than one station. The website also has video clips that give an idea of some of the games the location offers, so it's helpful to get an idea of what you may like to try before you go. While you are there, it's also fun to watch others playing. You can see them playing on a TV screen and it's hilarious to see them wildly waving their arms shooting or punching at something! The location also offers parties and has a party room in the back (you are allowed to bring outside food/drink).
Kristi: I'd recommend wearing comfortable clothes and socks/shoes for maximum comfort and ease in moving around. There's a Cafe Rio across the street for tacos when you're done navigating your virtual world!
Would Your Family Visit Again?
Pamela: We would absolutely love to go to VR Head in the Cloud again! My kids were begging to go again before we left the parking lot! It was really fun. I think none of us (besides my 11-year old gamer son) really knew what to expect. It was such a fun and memorable family experience! The owner was extremely attentive, walking back and forth to everyone seeing if they needed help or had a question. If you've never done VR gaming, it is a unique and fun experience!
Kristi: Our family would definitely visit again. Kenny is super nice and the VR is top notch technology.
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