Nomadic is a location-based VR entertainment facility located at Pointe Orlando on I-Drive. Currently, they are beta-testing a new VR experience – Arizona Sunshine: Rampage. Rampage is a spin-off or “next-level” to Nomadic’s original co-op multiplayer shooter, Arizona Sunshine: Contagion Z. Both games are extensions of the Arizona Sunshine series by Vertigo Games for at-home play, and they are custom-built and designed specifically for Nomadic’s 1,200 sqft game space.
Once your guide gets the team settled into the briefing room and the door closes, you are left to your own collective efforts. Though the guide will be monitoring your mission, they’re not actively involved with your game play. I’m not sure if I’m just easily amused, but I have to admit that watching the briefing room go through a digital transformation around us was really cool – and nothing was even really happening at this point! Your inner-Trekkie will go giddy over this little stage-setting, holodeck-esque moment. After our mission instructions were detailed, the briefing room melted away, revealing a train we were to board to find our weapons and begin our adventure.
This is one of those experiences that doesn’t lend itself to a play-by-play review. Much like an escape game, too many reveals and in-depth detail would ruin the mystique – and that is the last thing we want to do here, because you deserve this experience! Here’s what we can tell you…
Contagion Z and Rampage are basically “siblings” to each other. Both are about 15 minutes to complete, but they’re essentially self-paced. In other words – much like a haunted house – if you freak out and run through, you may complete your experience quickly. If you linger around a bit and really take advantage of the experience, it can last longer.
Rampage is essentially a level-up version of Contagion Z. Much like Contagion, you are tasked with facing a refinery in the throes of a zombie takeover, but this time you’re entering through the sewer system, at night. As J.C. warned us, this level was more intense and certainly more challenging.
Both games offer a summary of accuracy, kills, and rank as you return to the briefing room at the mission’s end, so you just may walk away with bragging rights, and a certain spot as the leader of your own group in the event of a zombie apocalypse. What? It could happen… right?
The things you practically only realize on a subconscious level are the aspects that make Nomadic real. When you encounter certain scenes and situations, your brain expects certain elements to be present. When you’re near an explosion – you should feel the heat. When approaching a helicopter – you should be met with strong wind. If you’re walking across an unstable plank of wood, high in the air, you expect it to wobble. And THAT is where I realized that this was a convincing VR experience. I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but when we came to said plank, I froze. As my husband and son stood in front of me on the other side, I simply said, “I CAN’T”, with a nervous giggle – only making it across when my husband took my hand and I hugged the wall. Truth be told, I know this was just a little board on a flat floor in an open, empty room… but my brain didn’t want to convince my feet of that fact because all of my senses were totally immersed in a reality-contradiction that worked as it should…. as we have always wanted it to.
Something else that is worthy to note, at the risk of upsetting our own I-Drive-loving apple cart, so to speak… This may be one of the greatest values on International Drive. We are big fans of the collection of unique attractions on I-Drive, but truth be told, you’re generally paying $25+ for a 15-minute attraction anywhere you go for amusement on I-Drive, and this doesn’t always sit well with guests who feel short-changed as a result. Making it worse, most of these attractions suffer from one-trick pony syndrome – once you’ve seen/done it, you have no real reason to go back. Nomadic not only offers a higher quality experience than some of the less-interactive, exhibit-style attractions onI-Drive (for the same price), but they have great return potential as game experiences vary. In fact, you certainly can’t justify playing Contagion and not doubling-back for Rampage, and the more you play, the more you’ll notice, and naturally – the better you’ll get. Who only plays a game once, anyway?! When weighing your I-Drive options in that standard $20-$30 range, this one easily climbs the list to be your first choice. The Pointe Orlando location also affords the opportunity to make a day of it, with plenty of options to keep the fun, food, and drink going long into the evening!
Currently, Nomadic has one location here in Orlando, with plans in motion to open venues in California and Las Vegas soon, and additional locations to come. For more information on the Nomadic VR experience, or to book your visit, click here – or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.