By Elijah Robinson
Let the games begin!
Vortex VR & Arcade, located in the One Niagara Welcome Center at 360 Rainbow Blvd., Niagara Falls, is a new arcade center, mixed in with traditional games, with a focus on the latest virtual reality games people can play – not only with their family and friends, but also with people around the country.
The arcade opened in July last year and has since been part of making the City of Niagara Falls a more fun hub for residents and tourists alike.
Among its attractions is the XD Dark Ride. Holding up to eight riders at a time, gamers become fully immersed in the game they’re playing through a rich, multisensory, interactive experience that uses cutting-edge technology and special effects to take gamers on a high-speed chase through a post-apocalyptic world full of aliens.
Gamers can also step into a world of ultra-virtual reality with Omni Arena. It is a state-of-the art, 360-degree virtual reality experience that creates the feeling of being inside the game.
OWatch is a virtual-reality experience, with a variety of games that bring gamers into the adventure. During the games, gamers can get footage of them in the middle of the fun, and share it with others.
The interior of the Dark Ride.
The venue also features a variety of arcade games that keep gamers playing for hours. Once they win, gamers can redeem their tickets at the redemption center to pick up the favorite item, or something new that they see after rounds of gaming.
Vortex VR & Arcade also offers food and drinks, so gamers can stay energized and be in it to win it.
Head of Marketing and graphic designer Joe Grenga said that, as the virtual reality games become increasingly more commonplace, this arcade center maintains an edge in the local sphere with its advanced technology and interconnectivity for gamers.
“It’s one of those few things in an arcade that you can literally take with you, because they send you the footage of your game,” he said. “You make the account once, you’re good to go on any unit in the country. It’s unreal.”
Whether it's fighting the apocalypse, shooting hoops, or running the arcade business, it all comes with a set of challenges, but Grenga said Vortex VR & Arcade approaches the task with a simple premise.
“Our job is just to make people happy. If that’s the core message, it’s a really easy job when you think about it,” he said.
Vortex VR Arcade is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily For more information on its various attractions, visit https://www.vortex-vr.com/.
A wide shot inside the Omni Arena.