Category Archives: Best Oculus Games

Top 5 Oculus Releases – April 14th-20th – Meditate or Get Mental

This week’s top Oculus releases focus more on mind than reflexes, literally and figuratively. Twist your brain in the VR sequel to one of the greatest comedic adventures of all time, set your brain to work as a virtual city planner, or just relax with some paper airplanes:

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin

from Double Fine Productions and React Games

Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin - screenshot courtesy Steam
Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin – screenshot courtesy Steam

The beloved team of youthful psychics is back with an all-new adventure, initially released as a PSVR exclusive and now available for the Rift. Exclusive to VR and serving as a bridge between the original classic and its forthcoming sequel, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin picks up right where the first Psychonauts game left off.

Featuring some interesting control choices – like using your head to pick up and manipulate objects instead of your hands, in a simulation of telekinesis – this abounds with tricky puzzles that will push both your logic and your psychic abilities to their limits.

More importantly, it’s got the signature writing and twisted humor we’ve come to expect from Double Fine Productions in general and this series in particular.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Block’hood VR

from Plethora-Project and General Arcade

Block'hood VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Block’hood VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another expansion of an existing – and award-winning – game concept into virtual space, Block’hood VR puts a 3D spin on the original game’s ecologically-focused, voxel-based approach to the city-building sim.

Players will still build neighborhoods using a block-based system that requires careful thought not only of each section’s own qualities but those of surrounding blocks, and the use of VR space gives each choice and combination even more impact.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $14.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Paper Valley

from Vitei Backroom

Paper Valley - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Paper Valley – screenshot courtesy Oculus

If psychic puzzles and ecological urban planning is making your head hurt, why not relax by tossing some paper airplanes in an idyllic wooded vale? Paper Valley is a meditative experience that still offers puzzles as tossed paper airplanes help to reveal a lost civilization – a bit like Myst gone papercraft.

Its combination of simple mechanics and tranquil environments netted developers Vitei Backroom a Famitsu Media Highlight Award at last year’s BitSummit in Japan.

Oculus Rift | 657 MB | $19.99 from Oculus

Fibre

from konzeptzwei

Fibre - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Fibre – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Not all this week’s releases are slow-paced – Fibre is far from it, in fact – but this combination of rail shooter and endless runner for Gear VR is incredibly meditative once you get into the rhythm of it. Stark, abstract graphics inspired by data packets on a network also make this a far different experience than the robot and zombie games more typical of the genre.

Gear VR | 130 MB | $2.99 from Oculus

3D Mahjong Worlds

from PixelBrain Studio

3D Mahjong Worlds - screenshot courtesy Steam
3D Mahjong Worlds – screenshot courtesy Steam

A favorite casual game genre – the venerable Mahjong solitaire tile game – makes its way to the Oculus. UK developer PixelBrain Studio previously released a similar game for mobile VR, and the experience served them well. This is a simple idea executed extremely well, bringing the relaxing puzzle-solving and hypnotic tile-clicks into a more immersive space.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – April 7th-13th – Boss Raids and Bombs

If you’re not still lost exploring the wilderness of Skyrim from last week, this week’s new Oculus and Gear VR releases offer some new twists on popular genres, like MMORPG boss raids, escape rooms and wave shooters:

Nemesis Realms

from Evocat Games

Nemesis Realms - screenshot courtesy Steam
Nemesis Realms – screenshot courtesy Steam

Inspired by end-game raid bosses in MMORPGs, Nemesis Realms takes that concept and turns it into a smaller scale local multi-player affair. One player controls the raid boss, while up to four additional players attempt to take him out in the arena.

While there are only three bosses available so far, they include a multi-headed dragon, which is more than enough to generate our interest.

And Evocat Games has done a wonderful job distilling the asymmetric action of boss raids into something simple enough that anyone can pick it up while still retaining the manic fun and nerve-wracking tension of large-scale multi-player battles against massive enemies.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $14.99 on Steam

The Ship

from VR Escape Adventures

The Ship - screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Ship – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Escape room games are a popular VR genre, arguably second only to wave shooters in terms of sheer numbers, so it takes something fairly special in the genre to get our attention. The Ship stands out for its story-driven setting – a historic pirate ship – and for its cleverly designed puzzles, which were put together by a real escape room company.

The end result is an experience that, despite comparatively simple graphics, feels a lot less like a video game and a lot more like a real-world escape room.

Gear VR | 539 MB | $3.99 from Oculus

Zombie Grenade Practice

from ARVI LLC

Zombie Grenades Practice - screenshot courtesy Steam
Zombie Grenades Practice – screenshot courtesy Steam

Speaking of wave shooters doing something special, Zombie Grenade Practice offers a new take on zombie-killing mayhem: no guns or melee weapons, just an arsenal of grenades for taking out the shambling corpses.

Careful attention to level design and additional modifiers to the usual formula – like improving your score by maximizing zombie deaths and minimizing human ones – add touches of puzzle and strategy, resulting in a much more thoughtful game than a typical wave shooter, despite the seemingly comedic premise.

Oculus Rift | 16 GB | $12.99 from Steam

No Horizon

from Virtro Entertainment

No Horizon - screenshot courtesy Oculus
No Horizon – screenshot courtesy Oculus

There aren’t loads of space pilot simulators for Gear VR, and No Horizon adds to the mix with an approach that’s a little more free-flowing and sandbox-oriented than the excellent but more linear End Space.

Gear VR | 120 MB | FREE from Oculus

The Road to Hades

from AUTOSAVE

The Road to Hades - screenshot courtesy Steam
The Road to Hades – screenshot courtesy Steam

Though some players have reported clipping issues and a few other performance issues that are still being worked out, the unique Asian horror setting and gorgeous imagery of The Road to Hades make this experience more than worth checking out.

Oculus Rift | 7 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Top 5 Oculus Releases – March 10th-16th – The Sporting Life

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

Racket Fury - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Racket Fury – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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

The American Dream - screenshot courtesy Steam
The American Dream – screenshot courtesy Steam

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.

Oculus Rift | 2.7 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Payday 2 VR

from OVERKILL – A Starbreeze Studio

Payday 2: VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Payday 2: VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

Run, Dorothy, Run - screenshot courtesy Steam
Run, Dorothy, Run – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

from Prologue

The Big Table - screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Big Table – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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.

Oculus Rift | 507 MB | $2.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 543 MB | $2.99 from Oculus