All posts by infinitywaltz

The Well game screenshot courtesy Oculus

Top Five Oculus Releases – October 7th-13th – and Other Big Oculus News

Our top five Oculus releases are quite the mix this week, ranging from epic fantasy to interactive murder mystery theater to comedic space engineering:

The Well

from Turtle Rock Studios

The Well game screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Well – screenshot courtesy Oculus

The Well is hardly what we would have expected from Turtle Rock Studios – the developers best known multi-player action games like Left 4 Dead and Evolve. This instead is an epic fantasy RPG with all that entails, including party recruitment and a quest to save the world.

It’s also totally gorgeous, with cartoon-inspired art that reminds us a bit of The Last Unicorn on DMT, not to mention recent game releases like The Banner Saga and Jotun.

Gear VR | 389 MB | $9.99 from Oculus

Elevator…to the Moon!

from ROCCAT Games Studio

Elevator...to the Moon! game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Elevator…to the Moon! – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Available for both the Rift and Gear VR, Elevator…to the Moon is what developers ROCCAT Games Studio call a “VR Space Repairman/Jerk President Simulator.” In layman’s terms, that means it’s a comedic first-person adventure in which players build a space elevator while being barked at by a commander-in-chief who sounds suspiciously like a certain Austrian bodybuilder…turned actor…turned politician.

With lots of hidden Easter eggs and plenty of interactive tools like electric screwdrivers and welding torches, this looks both fun and funny. And if you get sick of “President of the World Doug-Slater Roccmeier” ordering you around, you can always take a hammer or baseball bat to the innards of his precious lunar elevator and see what happens.

Oculus Rift | 953 MB | $7.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 798 MB | $4.99 from Oculus

The Invisible Hours

from Tequila Works

The Invisible Hours game screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Invisible Hours – screenshot courtesy Oculus

The Invisible Hours is an interactive theater piece and murder mystery that allows players – as invisible observers – to follow individual characters as the story plays out. The plot takes place in a Victorian mansion over the span of a single night, and players can trace the events from the perspective of each character, rewind time to catch missed clues, and explore the mansion for additional evidence.

Featuring history’s favorite rival inventors, Thomas Edison and Nicola Tesla, among other characters, this game reminds us of nothing so much as an Agatha Christie story – or a Masterpiece Theater episodes based on one – set in VR.

Oculus Rift | 9.3 GB | $29.99 from Oculus

ARKTIKA.1

from 4A Games

ARKTIKA.1 game screenshot courtesy Oculus
ARKTIKA.1 – screenshot courtesy Oculus

The big budget VR FPS of the week, ARKTIKA.1 features all of the tropes you’ve come to expect from the burgeoning genre: dual-wielded pistols, hideous monsters and waves of enemies punctuated by narrative cut scenes. In this instance, the action takes place in a frozen future dystopia.

What piques our interest is that this was developed by 4A Games, the studio behind the Metro series. If anyone knows grim, monster-infested, post-apocalyptic wastelands, it’s them.

Oculus Rift | 21.7 GB | $29.99 from Oculus

Space Pirate Trainer

from I-Illusions

Space Pirate Trainer game screenshot courtesy Steam
Space Pirate Trainer – screenshot courtesy Steam

Yes, it’s a wave shooter, but Space Pirate Trainer is maybe the ultimate wave shooter. Arriving in Early Access (and on the HTC Vive) before there was such a glut, it’s now out in full release, available for Oculus Rift and ready for full room-scale arcade action. It’s gotten overwhelmingly positive Stream reviews and won multiple categories in last year’s Proto Awards for VR.

Oculus Rift | 2.4 GB | $14.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Cat Sorter VR

from Pawmigo Games

Cat Sorter VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Cat Sorter VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Cat Sorter VR made waves in mainstream media last month when it came out for HTC Vive, and now Oculus Rift users can also experience the joy of assembling and disassembling cats in bizarre, adorable and/or disturbing combinations. Its fusion of adorable and horrifying – call it “adorifying” – imagery won it the IndieCade 2017 Aesthetic Award last weekend.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $12.99 from Steam

Star Shelter

from Overflow

Star Shelter game screenshot courtesy Steam
Star Shelter – screenshot courtesy Steam

Still in Early Access, Star Shelter boasts the distinction of being one of the first VR survival games. As one might expect from the genre, it requires lots of gathering supplies and crafting, with the added challenge of taking place in zero gravity.

Oculus Rift | 500 MB | $14.99 from Steam

Of course, the biggest Oculus news of the week is Facebook’s announcement of the Oculus Go, a stand-alone VR headset. Utilizing similar controllers to – and cross-compatible with – Gear VR, the new headset will offer a field of view as wide as the Oculus Rift and provide an easy entry level experience to VR newcomers without requiring an expensive smartphone. Oculus will begin shipping dev kits next month.

In another move slowly but surely pushing VR toward mainstream affordability, Oculus has also announced that the recent $399 sale on the Oculus Rift and Oculus Touch package will be a new standard price. Both announcements came at this year’s Oculus Connect conference in San Jose, California.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – September 30th-October 6th – Cartoon Cars & Underwater Adventures

This week’s new Oculus releases feature arcade racing for both Rift and Gear VR. There are also several high profile shooters making their way out of Early Access. Not in the mood for action? Take a deep dive into underwater exploration:

Water Planet

by The Revera Corporation

Water Planet game screenshot courtesy Steam
Water Planet – screenshot courtesy Steam

Far more than a VR music video, Water Planet is an otherworldly adventure set to the music of Elizabeth Ann Clark, a.k.a. ambient musician VIRGO. Set on a distant aquatic planet, the game tasks players with guiding a cybernetic jellyfish through the underwater ruins of vanished civilizations. Its ethereal seascapes and dreamy electronic soundtrack remind us a bit of a science fiction-oriented version of ABZU, and we’re dying to take a deep dive into this one.

Oculus Rift | 3.5 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Cargo Racing VR

by Virtual Arts Ltd.

Cargo Racing VR game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Cargo Racing VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A cartoonish-looking truck racing game, Cargo Racing VR is deceptively simple but designed for easy accessibility. Between its single-button control scheme and a third person perspective – a decision based on comfort testing and shown to be less likely to cause motion sickness – it’s meant to be a casual and easy entrance for VR newcomers. We also like that it looks like slot car racing, though without the ozone smell from burning engines.

Gear VR | 164 MB | $2.99 from the Oculus Store

Tractorball

by Ninja Whale Studios

Tractorball game screenshot courtesy Steam
Tractorball – screenshot courtesy Steam

An idea so brilliant in its simplicity we can’t believe we didn’t come up with it ourselves, Tractorball is more or less a VR take-off on the ever-popular Rocket League. As indicated by the title, players drive rocket-powered tractors rather than rocket-powered cars, but the general concept is the same: high speed vehicular soccer, complete with rocket boosts and power-ups.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $9.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Raw Data

by Survios

Raw Data game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Raw Data – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Probably the biggest release of the week, Raw Data – now out of Early Access – is a cyberpunk FPS with loads of features, multiple playable characters, cross-platform co-op and PVP modes, and a storyline straight out of an early Neil Stephenson novel. It’s also won loads of awards, including Best VR Game at the Game Developers Conference.

Oculus Rift | 9 GB | $39.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Sunken

by Tapps Games

Sunken game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Sunken – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Sunken is a simple hidden object game for mobile VR, but we love its setting and the concept of exploring a long-sunken ship. Between the sound effects – whale songs and SCUBA bubbles – and the setting, complete with sharks and cetaceans passing by the portholes of the rusted wreck, this packs a lot of atmosphere into a basic mobile hidden object game.

Gear VR | 540 MB | $1.99 from the Oculus Store

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Dead Effect 2 VR

by BadFly Interactive

Dead Effect 2 VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Dead Effect 2 VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another fairly high budget project just leaving Early Access, Dead Effect 2 VR is the latest game in a science fiction/horror series originally released for mobile. The premise is hardly original – zombies on a spaceship – but the slick graphics and RPG elements, like gear and skill upgrades, give this more depth than the typical VR shooter with a storyline that takes over 8 hours to complete.

Oculus Rift | 14 GB | $24.99 from Steam

Crowe: The Drowned Armory

by The Rogue Initiative

Crowe: The Drowned Armory game screenshot courtesy Steam
Crowe: The Drowned Armory – screenshot courtesy Steam

Originally released for HTC Vive and now making its way to the Rift, Crowe: The Drowned Armory is the first in an episodic series of action adventures set in a science/fantasy world that reminds us a bit of Avatar, complete with elfin aliens fighting off waves of mechanical enemies. Though criticized for its short length – a couple of puzzles and a shooting sequence – it does have some gorgeous visuals and a pure exploration mode for players looking to absorb some of the planet’s atmosphere (pun intended), as well as an arena battle mode if wave shooters are more your thing.

Oculus Rift | 12 GB | $8.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Be sure to check back next week for more Oculus releases and the latest news in avant-garde VR developments from this year’s IndieCade.

DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles game screenshot courtesy Steam

Top Five Oculus Releases – September 22rd-29th – Spaceships and Spells

Whether you dream of blasting off in a virtual outer space dogfight or wielding your wand in a battle of wizards, we’ve got you covered with this week’s new Oculus Games:

DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles

by Digital Domain

DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles game screenshot courtesy Steam
DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles – screenshot courtesy Steam

We’re pretty excited about this, and we think every fan of the Netflix series Voltron: Legendary Defender will be, too (not to mention those of us old enough to remember the original ‘80s cartoons). Featuring multiple locations, puzzles and the voice actors from the television series, DreamWorks Voltron VR Chronicles has a lot to offer fans of giant robots in general and the Voltron series in particular.

Much of the game consists of logic puzzles set between gorgeously animated cut scenes telling a new story within the Voltron universe. But the answer to the question we know you’re asking is yes: you do in fact get to pilot one of the legendary Lions.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $14.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone

by CCP

EVE: Valkyrie - Warzone game screenshot courtesy Steam
EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone – screenshot courtesy Steam

Technically, this isn’t a new release, as EVE: Valkyrie – the VR space dogfight sim based on EVE Online – has been out for some time, but the Warzone expansion and update is major enough that it’s practically a new game.

In terms of content, there are new maps, a new progression system and a new ship, but more importantly, EVE: Valkyrie – Warzone is now a cross-platform game, meaning that VR and non-VR players can blast each other within the same space (pun intended).

Oculus Rift | 29 GB | $29.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Wands

by Cortopia Studios

Wands game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Wands – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Once again, not a brand new game, but Wands, originally released for Gear VR and winner of the VR Game of the Year at the International Mobile Gaming Awards, is out now for Oculus Rift. The game of wand-wielding, dueling sorcerers has been completely overhauled to take advantage of PC graphics, and it was pretty impressive-looking to begin with.

Like the EVE: Valkyrie update, the new version of Wands offers cross-platform support, so mobile and Oculus Rift players can compete against each other. As one of mobile VR’s early break-out hits, Wands has already built itself a solid little community with regularly scheduled tournaments, complete with spectators. With the addition of Rift support, we expect that community to grow exponentially.

Oculus Rift | 812 MB | $14.99 from the Oculus Store

RuneSage

by George Gilbert

RuneSage game screenshot courtesy Steam
RuneSage – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another game about wizards, wands and whatnot, RuneSage takes a different approach, eschewing violence – despite the fact that the NPCs look like the magicians from the explosively madcap Magicka series – in favor of what the developer describes as a “magical scavenger hunt.” You still get to wave your controllers around to cast spells, though, which is the important thing.

With 20 different areas to explore, multiple NPCs, puzzles to solve, spells to learn and loads of quests to complete, RuneSage boasts at least 10 hours of gameplay. We could get lost in this one for a while.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $9.99 from Steam

Dimension Hunter

by Pocket Money Games

Dimension Hunter game screenshot courtesy Steam
Dimension Hunter – screenshot courtesy Steam

It wouldn’t be a week of new VR releases without at least a handful of shooters, and Dimension Hunter is definitely the standout this time around. In addition to both free-roaming and on-rails mode, it’s got a pulpy, over-the-top style inspired by vintage horror comics. We don’t always prefer shooters, but when we do, we like them with tongue firmly in cheek.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $18.99 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Bending the Light

by Deeperbeige Games

Bendng the Light game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Bendng the Light – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Bending the Light brings the venerable laser logic puzzle genre to VR. Besides the added challenge of manipulating lasers via mirrors and prisms and three dimensions instead of two, we also enjoy the game’s visual approach, which combines eye-scorching neon beams with ominous-looking scientific implements.

Oculus Rift | 611 MB | $9.99 from the Oculus Store

2MD VR Football

by Truant Pixel LLC

2MD VR Football game screenshot courtesy Steam
2MD VR Football – screenshot courtesy Steam

A two-minute drill quarterback game, 2MD VR Football is more arcade action than ultra-realistic football simulation – don’t expect a VR version of the Madden NFL series – but aspiring Peyton Manning types will enjoy the virtual pigskin-tossing as well as a virtual whiteboard that lets them draw and run their own plays.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $12.99 from Steam

Apart from this week’s forays into space piloting and magic, Oculus also announced a new refund policy. Taking a page from Steam, the policy lets Oculus Rift owners return any interactive downloads within a two-week period, so long as they played for less than two hours (the policy for Gear VR is a bit more time-limited: three days and 30 minutes or less of play time). The policy doesn’t extend to films or in-game purchases.

While we are impressed with the new Oculus return policy, it’s our goal to cover only the best new Oculus releases, so be sure to check back next week for more games that won’t make you ask for your money back.