Climb into a real-life video game

The climbing world is abuzz with excitement about a new type of indoor rock wall that works like a giant gaming touchscreen, and now this state-of-the-art experience is coming to Watergardens Town Centre. Introducing Climb Time!

Make your way to our Climb Time zone outside Woolworths (located at the JB Hi-Fi end) during the April school holidays to tackle the four-metre augmented climbing wall, which uses motion-tracking sensors and projected neon graphics like those in Ready Player One to bring a mixture of one- and two-player games to life. Specially padded flooring around the wall ensures all ages and abilities are welcome, so the only question is whether you’ll let the kids have all the fun or get involved too.

Are you fast enough to stay within a flashing neon triangle that moves around the wall? Agile enough to bat a virtual ball back to a fellow climber on the other side of the vertical surface? Or can you beat the machine in a Whac-A-Mole-style game with the help of yelled instructions from spectators?

First developed in 2016 by a team of European climbers looking to develop their stamina and problem-solving skills, the digitally-enhanced wall has been hailed as the perfect combination of sensory stimulation and physical challenge for youngsters growing up in our screen-dominant era. As well as being a safe and engaging way for children to develop their strength, coordination and balance, augmented climbing is also a nostalgia trip for those who recall classic arcade games such as Pong and a perfect family photo opportunity.

Aspiring climbers are encouraged to develop their mental focus and dexterity further with a knot-tying lesson at the Climb Time crafting table. After all, you’ll need to know your way around a rope when you graduate to real rock faces. Participants receive an iron-on Climb Time patch to take home as proof of their new skills.

While there is no need to book your time on the wall, we recommend allowing enough time to line up for multiple turns since the confidence boost you get from climbing can be addictive. With sport climbing due to debut at the Olympic Games next year, this could be the ideal time to find out if there’s a future champion within your family.

Simply come past Climb Time between 10am and 2pm, Saturday 6 April to Sunday 21 April, to get moving and test your gaming prowess. For more details, visit the Climb Time page.