Photos by Tin Sartorio
We’ve all had our fair share of wishing for a simpler life. It’s so tempting to just crawl back to the comfort of our home to have a snack and play the afternoon away just like the good old days, you know? Clearly, life isn’t the same anymore, but who says we can’t live that way every now and then?
Enter: The Garage at City of Dreams — home of the coolest food park (literally) and a first of its kind VR Zone in Manila.
It’s practically the clubhouse we always dreamed of having as a kid. The Garage is Bandai Namco Amusement’s first VR entertainment facility in Southeast Asia. If you’ve never tried VR before, this is where you go for an initiation. Bandai (of Pac-Man fame) already brought in three addicting games to this hub and they’re working on licensing more titles for our VR pleasure. The famous Mario Kart Arcade GP VR, developed by Bandai under license from Nintendo, is a three-minute race inside the action-packed Mario Kart universe. You can play as either Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach or Yoshi, and yes, there are multi-player options so you can challenge (read: crush) as many friends as you want to. Be ready to lose friendships over this one.
Level up: VR Zone at The Garage is Bandai Namco Amusement’s first entertainment facility in Southeast Asia.
City and color: Graffiti by local artists transforms what was once a carpark into a fun and cozy gaming and food lounge.
If you’re in the mood for something more, um, chill, Ski Rodeo might just be your thing. It’s a two-minute ski simulator that lets you explore a mountain course — but through some sharp slopes and occasional steep drops all while going at a fast speed. That’s pretty extreme IRL but this VR game makes the experience hyperreal, minus the injuries. The Hospital Escape Terror, on the other hand, offers a different kind of thrill by simulating an immersive horror room escape game. As to why people would want to put themselves through all that stress, I’m not sure. But this area of the VR zone always has the loudest screams, which also makes it a perfect spot for non-gamers to watch and cheer on. Oh, and remember Galaga? It’ll finally enter the world of virtual reality too, but we’ll just have to wait for The Garage’s next drop of VR games for a first look.
Food park at The Garage serves everything — from Japanese and American fare to desserts and cocktails.
Garage has also got our food cravings covered. Faves like El Chupacabra (tacos), Pink’s Hotdogs (hotdogs), Farmacy (ice cream) and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka (ramen) are serving the goods for that post-game refueling. (Trust us, you’ll need it.) City of Dreams’ very own food group also have some treats up their sleeves as they open new concepts like Chocol8 (which offers chocolates, duh), Juiced (for that daily dose of fresh squeeze), The Roaster (for a caffeine fix) and a bar that can make literally any beverage you want. The modern industrial space also features graffiti by artists DeeJae Paeste and Kookoo Ramos, transforming what was once a carpark (hence the name and the food truck concept) into a fun and cozy lounge to hang around in all day.
But the best part about this dream clubhouse is that it’s open for everyone to enjoy. See you around?