Not that I have this escapist urge to exit reality but if a place is going to make that promise I ought to check-it out. So this was on my to-do list this past Chinese New Year long weekend. I made it to Midvalley Megamall to exit reality and enter THE RIFT.
This new generation Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) by Aquawalk – the team behind KLCC Aquaria – replaces what used to be MegaKidz and offers a variety of AR/VR-based experiences, mostly for our millennials.
Here staff members are called Rangers, the theming is industrial dark (maybe a bit too dark to my liking) and the music is pumping. Visitors are climbing up and down the two sets of stairs to explore this three-storey venue and participate in up to 20 attractions offering different levels of mix between physical activity and technology (AR/VR).
The layout is effective with a central hub immediately behind the ticketing counter and visible from the mall to attract people inside. The Aquawalk team thought of everything with a café, some lockers, The Rift Junior (simple play area for kids under 12yo) and some party/event rooms.
The Rift brings world-class technology and game-play with some much talked about experiences such as Zero Latency’ free roaming VR shooter, Terminator X laser battle, Trio-Tech’s 3D shooter and Polymorph’s VR Maze.
But what the Rift failed to bring me was joy and happiness. I know I am probably asking for too much but isn’t it why people go to amusement parks? I felt like the additional layer of lenses (cameras, projectors, etc) and gear (VR set, guns, harnesses, etc) kept me away from connecting with people and letting go. As I looked around fellow visitors were either waiting in lines, trapped in their gear or taking pictures of friends trapped in their gear! No one laughing. Few people screaming.
In short I would say the Rift is a very welcome attempt to bring a new generation of FEC and a well designed/operated venue with high quality experiences but maybe not for me. After all I did mention I didn’t feel the need to exit reality! But if you do, you should try it, it’s only RM68 (US$17.5)!