Walmart’s virtual reality training program has offered excellent use cases for education in the metaverse.
Now, the retail giant is expanding its metaverse efforts with their new Roblox experience, Walmart Land.
They’ve also partnered with other brands, including Netflix, to create unique-experiences in their physics-defying world. Read on to find out how they did.
Entering Walmart Land in Roblox
A popup immediately welcomes guests with promises of challenges, badges, and Easter eggs. Clearly, Journey (the firm that partnered with Walmart to build their metaverse presence) jumped right in common gamer lingo.
Unfortunately, I was also greeted with by a sound that can only be described as a kid trying to play a keyboard for the first time. I’m pretty sure it’s coming from a nearby mini-game or something, but it gets old and annoying very quickly. It’s also disproportionately loud compared to everything else.
Here’s a quick look at the initial badges offered in Walmart Land:
- Selfie Time badge: “Scramble your avatar’s fit with the Fashion Wheel & snap a selfie.”
- DJ Bronze badge: “Earn 500 points making beats in the DJ booth” (ah, that explains the off-key musicals scores nearby)
- Cossy Obby Bronze badge: “Complete the Oversized Cosmetics Obby in under 100 seconds”
All visitors are given the title “Top Talent,” one that certainly isn’t fitting of those jumping up and down on “Electric Island.”
Just past that, there’s a Ferris wheel offering a free jacket and gold coin – one of many that you’ll find scattered throughout Walmart land. It offers nice views of several other attractions.
From there, I ran over to the hub. It features as leaderboard showing the top scores of players completing challenges. Inside, players can redeem the gold tokens they’ve been collecting for verch (virtual merchandise). They can also find more information and teleport to new places.
The second floor showcases the “verch” outfits available to trade for tokens. The top floor features a ton of tokens up for grabs. After collecting them, I decided to take the tram.
Unfortunately, the tram isn’t very stable. I was standing in it one moment and fell out for no particular reason the next. Edit: it seems that you need to have and maintain just the right camera angle.
Also, if it randomly seems that something went wrong with your audio, don’t’ worry: it’s Walmart world, not you.
Shortly after falling out, I received the “chillin’ like a villain” award. Not sure why.
First Stop: House of Style
I had better luck with the tram on my second try. The first stop after was dubbed “house of style.” It’s…kind of all over the place.
Visitors are greeted by a Roller Runway at the bottom. Step inside the rink and you’ll immediately begin skating around with a pair of roller blades (undoubtedly available at Walmart).
I managed to maintain a score of 0 for quite a while as I tried to figure out what to do.
Next up: Electric Island. However, my avatar randomly shot through the air shortly after departing tram for no particular reason, so I ended up at the pool party.
It’s a place where fun techno music plays slowly as a massive water slide winds its way down to an intricate pool. Swim around for a bit, then head over to the stage…which remained empty during my visit.
The elevator promises Netflix Trivia on floor 3, which I was really hoping to check out. Unfortunately, the top two buttons are covered by Roblox’s UI.
I eventually made it to the Netflix Trivia area, but it took several random clicks until one apparently landed at just the right moment.
Netflix’s Roblox theater also marks their leap into the metaverse. It’s features an edgy design (for Roblox) and kicks off with an intro from Noah Shnapp, the actor who portrays “Will” in Stranger Things. Heads up: that intro will take over the screen.
From there, you can choose a show or a “Surprise Me” category with random trivia covering Netflix shows. Another heads up: when you try to switch from one category to another, it’ll play the intro again. Fortunately, you can skip it.
Visually, Walmart world seems to find the perfect balance between good graphics (better than most Roblox experiences) and impressive load times. Lag was rare, but not totally absent.
However, the experience still feels unfinished, as if they were in a rush to publish it. There are several pieces that still need to be improved:
- Consistent audio volume
- Tram that doesn’t kick you off for no reason
- Elevator buttons covered by the UI
- Entrances that randomly fling you into oblivion
And, an incredibly annoying keyboard “game” with off-tune keys that seem to carry just about everywhere.