we scooted off to dubai mall, the biggest mall in the world. heard that there's a newly opened indoor theme park, the sega republic, made in colabo with the co which created iconic gaming figure like sonic the hedgehodge.
"Sega Corporation is the creator of numerous world-renowned video games such as the Sonic the Hedgehog series and is currently one of the global leaders in high-tech entertainment."
i thought it just features the usual arcade games, a couple of mini-rides and few games with different types for all ages - you know, from the 'picking up toys using the crane-thingy where you never can maneuvre to get the soft toys' to the 'racing car' arcade games.
turned out this indoor theme park is really the biggest in the middle east, just opened last month. so other than having everything completely brand new, it has 2 floors of roller coasters, simulators, rides and arcade games - altogether over 150 games!
describe as a "a new wave of high-adrenaline entertainment with SEGA Republic®, an indoor theme park featuring thrilling rides, motion-simulator adventures and cutting edge amusements" at the dubai mall website.
to play the games you need a sega republic card which looks like a credit card. you pay as low as 20 dirham, and can just swipe this card whenever you wanna play a certain game.
there are 5 zones which includes 'wild adventure zone', 'speed zone', and 'sports zone'.
the usual arcade games of race cars and rempit super bikes are here at the 'speed zone'. not only that, there's a game where you get in an actual car, which moves and bumps, swerve and jerk - (above picture) stimulating real experience of driving on a race track!
here is khaleef at the 'redemption zone' where all the cutesy games are. here you can play games for 'points' and when you have enough points, you can redeem it to get a whole lotta prizes!
then we went on to the 2nd floor. there's no lift to go up so the guard there actually helped us push kahfi's stroller up the escalator. here we can immediately see a mock rock climbing thingy, and this built that looks like a rumah berhantu. it's actually a shooting game, where you go in this little room, sit down and shoot down ghosts and goblins.
a sports fan? kick balls, shoot hoops and swing bats at the 'sports zone'! here there's every single sports imaginable. even a ski-board race! renang kuak lentang takde lah. but yes, most of the popular sports are here for your amusement.
khaleef was particularly attracted to the 'football' game, where you go into a square room with a big screen and holes on both sides of the screen where the ball would shoot out. when the ball comes out, all you gotta do is kick the ball towards the screen where a 'goalie' is waiting.
khaleef had a ball of a time! literally! only one person was supposed to be inside the room at any particular time when the game starts, but since khaleef is too young, mr. khairul was allowed inside with him as his 'coach'!
at the end of his game, the score was khaleef 4, the gamer 4. it's a tie!
khaleef had his fun, how bout kahfi and i? well, we tried the motion simulated ride (in which only two are allowed in, but kita masuk je 4-4 skali!) at the 'wild adventure zone' where most of the rides are. (the yellow helmet-shaped thingy in the picture above).
simulated ride ni is just like the 'back to the future' ride in universal studio (remember budak-budak busuk?) where there's a seat for two, complete with seatbelt. there's a huge screen right in front less then a meter away, playing a situation of our choice - haunted mine, jungle, or adventure on ice - then our seat moves vigorously according to the scene.
we experienced the thrill of being in a train plunging hundreds of feet down a haunted mine, banging into abandoned trams, through darken shafts. our seat moved and jerked, giving the sensation of being in the fast-moving train!
was kahfi scared? naah. he actually yawned. yup. rasenya mak bapak diorang lagi over menjerit. hihi.
* * *
well, we didn't spend much time (and money) as we plan to play all out after ramadhan. hey, if you're tired there's always a seat every other nook and corner which is really good. i can stop by and sit down with kahfi while waiting for khaleef (or bapak khaleef) main game!
if you're an arcade-game-nut, and one of those crazy peeps who enjoy going on roller coasters again and again - my advice is get the 'power pass' (which i hope is still available after ramadhan) which gives you an unlimited access to all the rides in all 5 zones. it's 100 dirham, and worth the money if you plan to spend the whole day at sega republic.
for more info on sega republic, visit its official website here!