Category Archives: Best Oculus Games

Top 5 Oculus Releases – March 2nd-9th – Clouds of Black and Blue

Well, it was a weird week for our friends at Oculus after a bad security certificate basically soft-bricked every single Oculus in the world. For a period of 24 hours. Of course, people highlighted that this shows the dangers of a closed system, and rightfully so. The good news (now that it is in the rear view mirror) is that a patch was released. The company also granted a $15 credit for purchases in the Oculus store.

So here are some ways to spend it!

This week’s top five releases for Oculus systems tend toward the atmospheric and story-driven, with a hint of the tragic. Don’t worry, though – if shooters or rhythm games are more your thing, there are some new offerings in that realm, as well.

Cloudborn

from Logtown Studios AB

Cloudborn - screenshot courtesy Steam
Cloudborn – screenshot courtesy Steam

Now out of Early Access, Cloudborn is essentially a straightforward climbing game in the vein of To the Top, but its graphics and unique fantasy setting – think the abandoned civilization of Myst combined with the floating worlds of Bastion – make this a game worth exploring.

Some players have reported motion sickness due to smooth rotation and automatic perspective shifts, so climb carefully – and maybe avoid swinging on vines – if you’re sensitive to that. Otherwise, a mostly relaxing and wonderfully atmospheric experience.

Oculus Rift | 7 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Big Blue – Memory

from Studio RO

Big Blue - Memory - screenshot courtesy Steam
Big Blue – Memory – screenshot courtesy Steam

Inspired by the Sewol Ferry disaster – a Korean maritime incident in 2014 that resulted in 304 deaths – Big Blue – Memory could very well have been in a preachy disaster of a VR game in its own right.

Instead, thanks to a visually psychedelic approach to its oceanic themes and artistic inspirations that include the likes of French auteur Jean Cocteau, it’s a beautiful and mesmerizing experience that’s been featured at independent game festivals throughout Asia.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $11.99 from Steam

A Thin Black Line

from VRTOV and SBS Australia

A Thin Black Line - screenshot courtesy Oculus
A Thin Black Line – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Another VR experience drawing from historical tragedy, A Thin Black Line tells the story of the evacuation and bombing of Darwin, Australia during World War II from the viewpoint of a child.

Aboriginal artist Vernon Ah Kee’s mostly static and mostly monochromatic visuals – accompanied by a constant motif of windblown ash – creates a sense of immersion in a way that’s more expressionist than realistic, while also making smart use of mobile VR’s more limited graphics capabilities.

Gear VR | 224 MB | FREE from Oculus

The Wizards

from Carbon Studio

The Wizards - screenshot courtesy Steam
The Wizards – screenshot courtesy Steam

This week’s biggest budget release – and its most hyped – innovates on the VR shooter formula with gesture-based wizards. It’s not enough to point and shoot; in The Wizards, you’ll need to master specific gestures with your controller in order to to fling lightning and fire at your foes.

A campaign mode complete with time travel and dragons makes for a more interesting experience than a standard wave shooter, while a “Fate Card” system that modifies certain game mechanics keeps subsequent replays from getting stale.

Gear VR | 5.3 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Hatsune Miku VR

from Crypton Future Media

Hatsune Miku VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Hatsune Miku VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

It’s a given that fans of the Japanese vocaloid sensation Hatsune Miku who also happen to be Oculus Rift owners will buy this based on the character alone. Thankfully, Hatsune Miku VR is also a solid rhythm game with multiple difficulty modes and some VR-specific innovations, like songs that require dodging projectiles and score-enhancing moves like crossing your controllers as you catch musical notes.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – February 24th-March 1st – Scary Monsters and Super Creeps

We know that the expression is “Christmas in July,” but it might as well be “Halloween in March” with this early spring collection of new Oculus releases. From murder mysteries to madness to ravening dinosaurs, this week’s top five Oculus Rift and Gear VR games may well require a change of underwear.

Island 359

from CloudGate Studio, Inc.

Island 359 - screenshot courtesy Steam
Island 359 – screenshot courtesy Steam

A number of games, including the maligned ARK: Survival Evolved, have attempted to bring the Jurassic Park milieu into the VR survival game. So far, Island 359 comes the closest.

Beyond the obvious – beautiful graphics, immersive tropical jungle environments, and freakin’ dinosaurs – this release from CloudGate Studio brings some additional innovations, including “Virtual Self,” a new solution for full-body view in VR, as well as multiple movement and interaction mechanics for a more accessible overall experience.

Oculus Rift | 11 GB | $24.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Galaxy Race

from Magic VR

Galaxy Race - screenshot courtesy Steam
Galaxy Race – screenshot courtesy Steam

With Sprint Vector getting so much attention, this other futuristic racing game fell beneath the radar, but Galaxy Race combines hoverboard racing at breakneck speed with a unique, head-driven motion control mechanic that many players have described as hard to pick up at first but extremely satisfying with a bit of practice.

We also enjoy the cartoon-inspired character designs and the fact that you can throw discs – we call them “death Frisbees,” though that’s probably not their official title – to take out competitors.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $14.99 from Steam

A Most Curious Murder

from Simon Hultgren

A Most Curious Murder - screenshot courtesy Oculus
A Most Curious Murder – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A bit like Her Story in VR, A Most Curious Murder is a VR experience within a VR experience, encouraging the player to explore a police station – and the station computer’s VR video recordings – to solve a murder.

The motion detection for locomotion is an interesting idea – it detects head motion from walking in place – that didn’t entirely work for us in practice, but this is still a well-designed free experience for mobile VR users.

Gear VR | 567 MB | FREE from Oculus

Rise of Insanity

from Red Limb Studio

Rise of Insanity - screenshot courtesy Steam
Rise of Insanity – screenshot courtesy Steam

This horror experience from Red Limb Studio was already scaring the pants off of people in Early Access. Set in the ‘70s, Rise of Insanity garners high praise for its VR implementation, well-realized setting, and especially its atmospheric sound design.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $9.99 from Steam

Speak of the Devil

from Light Sail VR, LLC

Speak of the Devil - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Speak of the Devil – screenshot courtesy Oculus

An interactive movie with 13 possible endings, Speak of the Devil reminds us of a cross between The Blair Witch Project and the original Evil Dead, which is to say its deliciously frightening in spite of its occasional campy moments.

Gear VR | 1.2 GB | $2.99 from Oculus

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