From Virtual Reality rides to 360-degree Cricket to GoKarting, this state-of-the-art entertainment and gaming space will up your cool cred.
The sea shimmers on the right. A blimp flies overhead, casting a shadow on the sand dunes to my left. The vehicle clanks its way slowly and laboriously up the ramp. Up, up, up, until it’s crested and I can see far over the horizon. And then with a whoosh, it’s down, down, down all the way, as gravity takes over and the world speeds up and I can feel the wind in my face and a hollow buzz in my ears! Yes, you guessed right. I’m on a roller-coaster. But all its terrifying twists and turns? I can’t blame them on anyone else but myself. Because this is the Finger Coaster, a virtual reality experience where you design your own roller-coaster and then ride it in a mock-up seat wearing VR goggles. The ride may be virtual, but the thrills are real. I’m at Smaaash, the sprawling gaming and entertainment centre in Lower Parel, Mumbai, that offers so many ways to have fun, the time here just flies.
There are quite a few VR experiences, geared to cater to all tastes. Full-on action ones like Top Gun, which will appeal to adults, and rides for all ages like the very realistic journey back in time through Jurassic Escape and a fantasy world in Broom Witch.
The cool 360-degree cricket simulator is back too, where you don a visor and elect to bat and can choose the bowler you’ll play against and the speed of the ball.
It’s great to have the psychedelic 10-pin bowling, a cool mix of serious sport and a party atmosphere, where you can sip a Long Island Iced Tea and savour food from their cafe along with your game. Great for dates, and hanging out with friends, family or colleagues. Just be careful not to trip over the legs of the couches as everyone kept doing multiple times throughout our time in this section of Smaaash!
Speaking of good coordination, they now have a cool Dance Off, Foosball, and four-player Air Hockey. And a wide array of arcade games where you get to shoot scary dinosaurs and cute zombies, race cars and bikes, shoot hoops, and so much more.
Smaaash also has a pleasant outdoor area, which has a donut slide, bumper cars and a sophisticated jungle gym/climbing arena with all the right safety gear and precautions.
The very professional-looking go-karting track has also just opened. And lots more is planned over multiple phases. Avanish Agarwal, Head of Marketing at Smaaash, says, “Rides like Finger Coaster will change the way we look at VR. We have plenty of ideas and our in-house R&D team helps us to make them a reality!” Smaaaash, which has versions in 20 cities across India, is both, a hit with locals as well as a tourist attraction.