This week’s top Oculus Rift and Gear VR choices tend toward the sporting life, whether that be the fine art of shooting sports to the classic foot-race or that questionable life-choice pinnacle of athleticism, the bank heist. If you prefer the laboratory to the athletic field, we have options there, too:
Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR
from 10Ants Hill
The idea itself is simplistic enough: a ping-pong game in VR. But there’s nothing quite like a simple idea done to perfection. Racket Fury: Table Tennis VR nails the details. In addition to developing their own physics system, the team at 10Ants Hill went so far as to use motion capture on real professional table tennis players.
All the more impressive is how well it works for Gear VR – this isn’t a stripped down down mobile version of a Rift game, but something built from the ground up to make best use of the Gear VR controller.
Plus, you get to play table tennis with space robots, so that’s pretty cool.
Gear VR | 1.3 GB | $9.99 from Oculus
The American Dream
from Samurai Punk
A darkly comedic take on the stereotypes of American gun culture, this game from Australian studio Samurai Punk posits a world in which guns are essential not only for hunting and self-defense, but also cooking, cleaning, medicine and every other aspect of modern life.
Amounting to a series of solidly delivered shooting mini-games, The American Dream stands out less for its action and mechanics than for its satire, but its parody of Norman Rockwell-inspired nostalgia is more than worth the asking price.
Payday 2 VR
from OVERKILL – A Starbreeze Studio
Popular co-op heist shooter Payday 2 makes its way to VR, which is exciting enough, but the really surprising part is that the VR implementation is free (though you have to own the game itself).
And thanks to cross-platform compatibility, VR and non-VR players alike can get their crime wave on in this game’s world of masked gunmen and bank robberies gone wrong. Many prefer the locomotion and weapon handling in Payday 2 VR over such dedicated offerings as Fallout 4 VR.
Oculus Rift | 31 GB | FREE from Steam (for owners of Payday 2)
Run Dorothy Run
from Virtro Entertainment
Classic children’s literature crossed with endless runner is an interesting juxtaposition, to say the least, but somehow Run Dorothy Run manages to work. It’s a fairly casual take on endless runners and a fairly irreverent take on L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, Emerald City, Flying Monkeys and all.
It depends on how well your vestibular system does with constant forward motion, but for those who don’t have sensitivity issues with such motion sickness, this is a fun way to experience a themed speed-run through a world of fantasy.
Oculus Rift | 1.3 MB | $14.99 from Steam
The Big Table
If your preferences tend more toward science class than physical education, The Big Table is your alternative to the rest of this week’s athletic excursions. A science fiction laboratory simulator, this game helps players of all ages learn about basic chemistry and the periodic table, though the cute robots and interesting puzzles are reason enough to play.