Nickelodeon’s signature green slime is getting a no-mess makeover in virtual reality. Its VR game SlimeZone is a social hub of family-friendly activities, and starting today, it’s in IMAX VR arcades in Los Angeles, New York City, and Toronto. It also rolls out later this year to locations in the Shanghai, Bangkok, and Manchester, U.K.
The entertainment company showcased SlimeZone at last year’s VidCon U.S., a yearly event for video content creators and broadcasters. It’s a multiplayer game that’s like Against Gravity’s Rec Room — but for kids. Up to six players can get together and customize their avatars, play sports like table tennis and basketball, work on arts and crafts, and watch Nickelodeon cartoons. Environments from popular shows like SpongeBob SquarePants are recreated in VR. And of course, kids can shoot each other with Super Soaker-esque guns filled with green slime.
“Our SlimeZone partnership with IMAX lets kids and families interact with Nickelodeon properties and characters by bringing them to life in new and innovative ways,” said Nickelodeon’s president Cyma Zarghami in a statement. “This new VR experience will also show the creative community how we are using technology to create unique forms of entertainment for all ages.”
IMAX’s flagship arcade is in Los Angeles, and it opened last January. Its current lineup of content includes VR staples like Survios’ Raw Data, Sprint Vector, and Red Storm Entertainment’s Star Trek: Bridge Crew. It also hosts experiences based on Hollywood movies like Justice League and the Star Wars series. SlimeZone seems to be the first VR experience there that specifically caters to younger players, perhaps alluding to the fact that IMAX is angling for folks to view its arcades as family-friendly destinations.
Even as some developers are focusing on single-player VR games with bespoke narratives — like Polyarc’s excellent fairy-tale adventure Moss — others are betting on location-based experiences. Minority Media, for instance, created its newest title Chaos Jump specifically for arcades.
HTC’s subscription service Viveport has an Arcade edition specifically for commercial VR entertainment centers, and a number of establishments have popped up in just the last year. VRstudios has opened up 55 arcades all over the world and the Emaar Entertainment’s 75,000-square-foot VR Park just opened its doors last week in Dubai.