New Leeds virtual reality experience is ‘industry game changer’

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A new virtual reality (VR) experience thought to be the first of its kind in the country will be unveiled in Leeds this weekend.

Tick Tock Unlock, a company which specialises in ‘escape’ games – where participants have to work together to break free from confinement – has set up the new feature at Trinity Leeds.

Founders Samrien Hussain, and Ali Khan, with game users Xander Hewitt, and Jordan Atkinson.

Founders Samrien Hussain, and Ali Khan, with game users Xander Hewitt, and Jordan Atkinson.

The Hyper Reality Experience, which will open tomorrow, combines the principles of VR and escape games so that people team up to tackle a mission seen through headsets.

Company director Ali Khan, 32, said: “People don’t just want to sit back and be spectators anymore. They want to create their own story, and the escape and VR games allow people to create their own story and make decisions.

“It’s pushing the boundaries of technology and applying it to entertainment.

He added that the feature is “a game changer for the tech industry in Leeds – you can’t get anything like this in the UK”.

Xander Hewitt, and Jordan Atkinson at Trinity Leeds.

Xander Hewitt, and Jordan Atkinson at Trinity Leeds.

Players might feel the heat from a virtual fire or the draft from a mineshaft, blurring the line between reality from virtual reality.

Keighley-born Samrien Hussain, 31, co-founded the company with Mr Ali in 2014.

She said: “For us it was about what’s the next thing from escape games. How can we entertain our customers?”

Eight people can play the game – opposite the Virgin Holidays store on the centre’s ground floor – at any one time from Saturday. Entrance costs £15, and participants have 15 minutes to complete the game.

It is being opened to coincide with the start of the Leeds International Festival.

The Hyper Reality Experience will open between 9am-8pm from Monday to Saturday and between 11am-5pm on Sundays. It is the first in a series of features by the company to be offered in British cities – ten are planned to be opened by 2019.

Book at www.ticktockunlock.com or on 0113 345 4567.

PIC: James Hardisty

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