Our top five Oculus releases are quite the mix this week, ranging from epic fantasy to interactive murder mystery theater to comedic space engineering:
from Turtle Rock Studios
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.
Gear VR | 389 MB | $9.99 from Oculus
Elevator…to the Moon!
from ROCCAT Games Studio
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.
The Invisible Hours
from Tequila Works
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
from 4A Games
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
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.
Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:
Cat Sorter VR
from Pawmigo Games
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
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.