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'Legends of the Hidden Temple' VR put me face-to-stony-face with Olmec

Wish you could have been on the '90s Nickelodeon game show? This virtual reality experience takes you inside the infamous temple.

Olmec is back, and you can come face-to-face with him.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

It took 20 years, but I finally got to play "Legends of the Hidden Temple."

Nickelodeon's popular game show from the 1990s has an appealing premise, testing players' ability to survive obstacles as well as their knowledge of mythology.

Hosted by Kirk Fogg and featuring a talking rock face named Olmec, six teams of players would battle to be the one to venture inside a temple to retrieve an artifact in the name of winning prizes.

The show is returning this fall in the form of a TV movie, and to promote it Nickelodeon is showing off a virtual reality experience that will take new players inside the temple, here at the San Diego Comic-Con.

My demo, which used a Samsung Gear VR headset, begins by meeting Fogg, who is now my guide. He explains the nature of the temple, and while looking around I see a yellow helmet on the ground -- the first of several nods to the original gameshow.

Shortly thereafter, I was in the hallowed presence of Olmec, who proclaims that I must complete a discovery game or else be trapped inside the temple for "eternity" (a point which is humorously, yet darkly, nailed with another nod to the original show that I don't want to spoil).

Jaime Dictenberg, senior vice president of consumer marketing for Nickelodeon, said creating the 360-degree video came about as a way to maximize the set they made for this fall's movie.

"For us it's just about making sure that new audiences are getting introduced to something they might not know and then jazzing you guys with one more temple run," Dictenberg said.

You can get a 30-second peek at the demo I had in the below embed, and Nickelodeon will be releasing the full version this Saturday.