Zombies on ICE! Luke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · February 8, 2018 at 3:30 pm One of the standouts amongst the many entertaining presentations at ICE London this year were the virtual reality slots on offer from JOIN, featuring some pretty legitimately scary zombies who you could actually take headshots at whilst simultaneously playing slots hung against the wall of a dark building in a deserted, seemingly post-apocalyptic alleyway. As far as this reporter could tell, getting those kills in did not actually influence the outcome of the game’s gambling component, so we cannot strictly call this a hybrid chance/skill game, but it certainly added to the overall immersive effect, and I’m sure would make a strong contribution to player retention. JOIN’s stall had eye-catching signs hung around the place which read “Apocalypse Now” in dripping red paint, or blood, for the more imaginative or morbid. Let’s just hope that’s not literally the case, or we won’t find time to play the damn thing! With narration by three difference voice artists, a compelling soundtrack, and gritty, realistic-looking zombies who stagger in from nowhere, the slots themselves can at times seem less than central to the whole affair, but a useful heads-up feature keeps the player oriented and aware of their current balance, time in game, etc. That said, it can be quite disorienting to switch back out from the dark, dystopian urban decay of the slot alleyway, having chosen and cocked your weapon – which is also used to select actions in the slot game – only to then put your gun down and return to the equally surreal and teeming world of gaming punters lurching around you in the “real” world of the ICE convention. The headset which JOIN decided to go with was the impressively immersive VR ONE from the German firm Zeiss, which was certainly a new experience for this reporter. These were only released in January of this year, and function using smartphone technology. Despite that, they were far more impressive than most smartphone-centered VR tech I’ve seen. The game also featured a second option on a further wall, VR Poker, though this one is still yet to be released. They have their rivals in that area though, as we’ll see in another article we’re running here at CDC Gaming Reports on BetConstruct’s new virtual poker and blackjack games, which feature live dealers. Still, in those games, there’s no (probably) risk of being eaten by the dealer – other than eaten alive financially, that is.