Exclusive First Play: We plug in to VR gaming on steroids

Smaaash (Mumbai) has taken VR gaming to the next level. We sample its newest offerings...

Few games get inside your head as effectively as those designed around virtual reality headsets. 

Fewer still go even further, so as to completely immerse every sense of your body into the experience. The good folk at the perpetual gaming carnival better known as Smaaash are into just that kind of gaming. We go heads-on with three new titles available to play...


Flymax is one of many such games recently opened to the public at Smaaash and it’s hanggliding simulation taken to the next level. Once the harnesses are strapped on, you’re suspended by cables with nothing but a metal bar to hold on to. With the VR headset strapped onto your head, you’re ready for your very first simlulated flight. A fan placed front and centre simulates wind, and with everything working in perfect sync, the flight begins. Mind, controls are in the hands of the computers running the whole rig and you’re simply taken along for the ride. But what a ride it is. The journey begins at the edge of a cliff, off which you take a running leap just like you would in real life. A massive swoop follows, giving you a true sense of free-falling. The cables you’re suspended by move your entire body up/ down, the fan speed changes, the wind noise through the headphones varies and it all works together with the visuals to create a virtual environment like none other. The VR headset allows you to look around and relish the visual feast in 360º. All while you glide over wild horses and valleys. On the whole, it’s a flight you just can’t miss.

finger coaster

They could’ve just let you ride the virtual roller-coaster that is ‘Finger Coaster’ and most of us lesser mortals would lap it up, no questions asked. But at Smaaash, they present you with a touchscreen display, letting you design your own ride with a simple finger swipe. Feed it to the control centre, and the software makes a complete ride out of your very own design. And that just adds an element of fun that’s terribly addictive. You can feel the force of every rise and drop through the bucket seats you’re strapped to. Various environments add to the fun.

face ronaldo

If you’re more Mario Braganza than Messi, you’ll want to stick to FIFA to get your football fix. More serious devotees of the game can give Face Ronaldo a shot. Three components come into play for this one: a jacket and gloves sprinkled with sensors, partnered with the VR headset. Cristiano Ronaldo shoots penalty goals while you move around, blocking the goal. Haptic feedback lets you know when you’ve stopped a goal with your gloves / chest. Miss, and the virtual crowd ensures you feel the burn.

With a dedicated R&D centre in Mumbai, the VR gaming possibilities at Smaaash are virtually (no pun intended) endless. What new bonkers title is cooking in Smaaash's VR oven? We're just as eager to find out as you are. Hang in there...