dreams of dali

Top 5 Oculus Releases – February 10th-16th 2018 – Unreal and Surreal, for Real!

The central thread connecting our top Oculus releases this year is realism – or rather the lack thereof. If you’re here for ultra-realistic combat or vehicle simulations, you’ve picked the wrong week. Instead, we offer you a handful of delightfully unrealistic offerings, ranging from cartoonish boxing to hot air balloon battles to realism’s very weird cousin, Surrealism:

Knockout League – Arcade VR Boxing

from Grab Games

Knockout League - screenshot courtesy Steam
Knockout League – screenshot courtesy Steam

Delivering exercise and amusement in a one-two punch, Knockout League – Arcade VR Boxing is virtual reality’s upgrade of NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, so expect campy, arcade-style boxing, not realistic pugilism. Your opponents might be cartoonish – our favourite being the moustachioed octopus, of course – but the work-out is real. And please, don’t play this around glass coffee tables or your prone grandma.

Knockout League is finally out of Early Access, complete with new opponents, new training mini-games and an additional difficulty mode.

Oculus Rift | 3.6 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Dreams of Dali

from Half Full Nelson, Goodby Silverstein and Partners

Dreams of Dali - screenshot courtesy Steam
Dreams of Dali – screenshot courtesy Steam

Originally featured at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dreams of Dali is more “walking simulator” than a proper game, but who wouldn’t jump at the chance to experience legendary surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s work from the inside?

Though based primarily on the lonely, looming towers of “Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus,’” this VR experience also includes visions of his spindly-legged, misshapen elephants.

Oculus Rift | 1.4 GB | FREE from Oculus or from Steam

Balloonatics

from BitCutter Studios, Inc.

Balloonatics - screenshot courtesy Steam
Balloonatics – screenshot courtesy Steam

Though still in Early Access, this game of hot air balloon combat is already getting rave reviews for its fast-paced, multi-player action – some have gone so far as to compare it to Rocket League – and its incredibly smooth locomotion and controls.

In a scenario that also summons up memories of Steampunk Zeppelin arena Guns of Icarus, players fly hot air balloons, using a massive slingshot to launch projectiles – ranging from rockets to boxes full of bees – at one another. And since it’s cross-platform compatible, you can even play Balloonatics with your VR-deficient friends!

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Brass Tactics: Arena

from Hidden Path Entertainment

Brass Tactics: Arena - screenshot courtesy Steam
Brass Tactics: Arena – screenshot courtesy Steam

Perhaps the most hyped release of 2018 so far, steampunk RTS game Brass Tactics isn’t out for another week, but as a teaser, Hidden Path Entertainment has released Brass Tactics: Arena, offering multi-player and AI matches on a single map.

It’s also totally free, so even if you’re one of the few VR players that hasn’t already heard about this game, it’s worth checking out before you make a decision on purchasing the full version.

Oculus Rift | 3.5 GB | FREE from Oculus

RPG Merchant

from Skyward Digital

RPG Merchant - screenshot courtesy Steam
RPG Merchant – screenshot courtesy Steam

A little like a cross between Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale and Job Simulator, this release from Skyward Digital offers a comedic take on the stereotypical fantasy RPG item shop, complete with shoplifters and angry customers.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Be sure to check back next week for the latest and best releases in Oculus-based virtual reality – and unreality.

OTHER NOTEWORTHY OCULUS RELEASES

The Cathedral: Allison’s Diary

from KR Games

The Cathedral: Allison's Diary - screenshot courtesy Steam
The Cathedral: Allison’s Diary – screenshot courtesy Steam

The follow-up to last year’s The Hospital: Allison’s Diary, the second game in the series takes place two years after the first and expands upon the original’s atmospheric horror.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $2.99 from Oculus or $5.99 from Steam

Verified on Po.et

February 20th 2018, 18:00

Sprint Vector from Survios

Top 5 Oculus Releases – February 3rd-9th – Learning to Walk, Run, Jump, Slash

From established, large scale developers like Survios to Digital Domain and more, locomotion itself is the mechanic du jour in this week’s selection of top five Oculus releases as the industry continues to learn about its medium: Whether it’s running, jumping, flipping, or spinning in 360 degrees, these Oculus-friendly games were the most notable in week two of February, 2018:

Sprint Vector

from Survios

Sprint Vector - screenshot courtesy Steam
Sprint Vector – screenshot courtesy Steam

The new game from Raw Data devs Survios – who opened their very own location VR arcade in Torrance this week – Sprint Vector combines a Tron-meets-Ancient Egypt cyberpunk aesthetic with futuristic sports. Essentially an obstacle race, Sprint Vector’s big innovation is the “Fluid Locomotion System” that lets players simulate high speed running…jumping…pretty much everything short of actual Parkour.

Adding to that, Sprint Vector’s core game experience is multi-player racing, complete with weaponry to take out fellow competitors. With multiple awards at last year’s GDC and E3 events, this is a must-have for hardcore VR gamers and hopefully not a barfbag for the rest.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Sairento VR

from Mixed Realms Pte Ltd

Sairenti VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Sairenti VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Want more cyberpunk running, jumping and flipping? Look no further than Sairento VR, a futuristic ninja simulator inspired by the likes of Shadowrun. Elevated above the typical wave shooter – or wave katana-slasher – by its high production values and storyline, this one also stands out from typical VR fighting experiences by providing an opportunity for martial arts acrobatics.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Esper: The Collection

from Coatsink

Esper: The Collection - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Esper: The Collection – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A package including both Esper games, The Collections adds Oculus Touch support for a more realistic (if that’s the appropriate word) depiction of telekinetic powers. The new release marks a perfect time for new VR enthusiasts to experience the games’ retro-inspired setting and a plot that’s a little bit Portal and a little bit The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $14.99 from Oculus

Digital Domain’s The Monkey King

from Digital Domain

Digital Domain's The Monkey King - screenshot courtesy Steam
Digital Domain’s The Monkey King – screenshot courtesy Steam

Previously released on Sony PSVR and now available for the Rift, this animated retelling of the famous Chinese myth makes it onto our list – despite being a VR film rather than a proper game – for its high production values, highlighting the potential for VR in animated storytelling. The reviews are mixed, so proceed through the trees with cautiun. Digital Domain is a major VFX company, but that doesn’t mean they are the ruler of VR development yet. Nonetheless, it is a notable entry into the field.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $4.99 from Steam

busuu – Learn Spanish

from busuu

busuu -  Learn Spanish - screenshot courtesy Oculus
busuu – Learn Spanish – screenshot courtesy Oculus

While it could have been a cheap Dora the Explorer rip-off, this Spanish tutorial adventure game – a free promotion for the busuu language-learning apps – is a surprisingly engaging Gear VR experience built around speech recognition software.

Gear VR | 420 MB | FREE from Oculus

Check back next week for more Oculus Rift and Gear VR releases and news! Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Top 5 Oculus Releases – Jan. 27th-February 2nd – Sails, Six-Guns and Steampunk

A little of everything this week, from third-person action to sailing sims. And instead of the usual generic wave shooters, fans of VR gun-play – and bow-play, for that matter – have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, with several new games arriving that actually manage to innovate with new approaches to storytelling, locomotion and the shooting itself:

VR Regatta – The Sailing Game

from MarineVerse

VR Regatta - The Sailing Game - screenshot courtesy Steam
VR Regatta – The Sailing Game – screenshot courtesy Steam

One of the things we love about VR is how it can let us experience things we might not otherwise have access to. For VR players without memberships at their local yacht clubs, there’s VR Regatta, a realistic sailing simulator that’s been garnering positive Steam reviews from both gamers and actual sailors.

The fact that this one isn’t recommended for players susceptible to motion sickness probably goes without saying.

Oculus Rift | $14.99 from Steam

Cold Iron

Catch & Release, LLC

Cold Iron game screenshot courtesy Steam
Cold Iron – screenshot courtesy Steam

The opposite side of the wave shooter coin, Cold Iron is a dueling game: instead of endless waves of enemies, players outdraw and gun down opponents one at a time.

While the drawing and shooting mechanics are garnering positive reviews, we’re also intrigued by the narrative thread and its “Weird West” setting – basically cowboy stuff with supernatural elements – which we’re betting has a good chance at overtaking steampunk as the fantasy setting du jour.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade

from GamestormVR

Seek & Destroy - Steampunk Arcade - screenshot courtesy Steam
Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade – screenshot courtesy Steam

And speaking of steampunk, Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade gives you all the brass robots, gear-driven mechanisms and Tesla-inspired lightning gloves you could possibly hope for, if you’re a fan of science fiction Victoriana. At heart it’s a wave shooter, but with level names like “Panic in the Streets of London” and “Kick in the Crown Jewels,” we like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It’s also compatible with the 3dRudder foot controller to make dodging steam-driven automatons all the more realistic.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $5.99 from Steam

KIN

from House of Secrets

KIN game screenshot courtesy official site
KIN – screenshot courtesy official site

Previously released on Gear VR, this overhead-view platformer set on an alien planet marks developers House of Secrets’ leap from VR music videos to games proper.

Both the combat and the 3D puzzle-solving in KIN look engaging, and we particularly like the contrast between the light, airy quality of the main character – and the enemies she encounters – and the clunky but colorful low-poly environments to explore.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $14.99 from Oculus

Down to Dungeon

from Far North Entertainment

Down to Dungeon game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Down to Dungeon – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Simple cartoonish graphics belie the depth of this fast-paced dungeon crawler for Gear VR. Played from a third-person overhead perspective, Down to Dungeon offers plenty of procedurally generated levels and hordes of enemies to dispatch – not to mention loads of loot – for discerning action RPG fans.

Gear VR | 205 MB | $2.99 from Oculus

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases

In Death

from Solfar Studios

In Death game screenshot courtesy Steam
In Death – screenshot courtesy Steam

This Early Access archery game interests us both with its innovative approach to VR locomotion in VR – involving teleportation arrows fired from the same bow used to dispatch enemies – and its gothic architecture.

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife

from Future Lighthouse

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife game screenshot courtesy Oculus
In the Cloud: VR Afterlife – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Somewhere between in interactive vignette and a short film, In the Cloud: VR Afterlife is an excursion into cyberpunk/transhumanist paranoia that will appeal to those of us who used to read Mondo 2000.

Gear VR | 65 MB | FREE from Oculus

Baby Hands

from Chicken Waffle

Baby Hands game screenshot courtesy Steam
Baby Hands – screenshot courtesy Steam

Almost literally a sandbox, Baby Hands lets you fill the shoes – and tiny, destructive hands – of a toddler. Family-friendly but legitimately funny, given all the options for mayhem available even now in Early Access.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $24.99 from Steam

Check back next week for more Oculus releases.