Tag Archives: best Oculus games

Primordian game screenshot courtesy Steam

Top 5 Oculus Releases – Jan. 20th-26th – Other Worlds

After a few slow weeks, the post-holiday dry spell is over. This week’s new Oculus releases are Rift-heavy – sorry, Gear VR players – but offer a variety of out-of-this-world exploration opportunities, from deep space dog fights to underwater base-building:

End Space

from Orange Bridge Studios

End Space game screenshot courtesy Oculus
End Space – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Having started as an arcade shooter for Google Cardboard and then making it to Gear VR, End Space finally makes its way to the Rift. It’s a match made in heaven, and even Gear VR users that have already played it will want this version, since the Rift’s expanded processing power is perfect for rendering the game’s awe-inspiring visions of dazzling deep space battles and awe-inspiring star-scapes.

Essentially a VR expansion into the venerable genre of outer space dog fight simulator, End Space has an advantage over EVE: Valkyrie – the game it most closely resembles – in that it’s a story-driven, single-player campaign, so player-matching and server support won’t arise as potential issues to the immersion factor.

Oculus Rift | 1.6 GB | $19.99 from Oculus

Subnautica

from Unknown Worlds Entertainment

Subnautica game screenshot courtesy Steam
Subnautica – screenshot courtesy Steam

Perhaps this week’s most expansive offering, Subnautica finally swims its way out of Early Access with loads of aquatic environments to explore on an alien water planet. Combining exploration with crafting, you’ll need to keep on your toes – or swim fins, rather – gathering parts and crafting equipment for your undersea station while avoiding the massive predators that hunt beneath the waves.

Though it’s not an exclusively VR-based game, its undersea world really does seem ideal for the medium…though perhaps not for the claustrophobic.

Oculus Rift | 20 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or $24.99 from Steam

Primordian

from Stonepunk Studios

Primordian game screenshot courtesy Steam
Primordian – screenshot courtesy Steam

Still in Early Access, this ambitious story-driven action game is already getting loads of positive press and Steam reviews. A big part of that is its setting: an intriguing hybrid of science fiction and fantasy with a hint of psychedelia, it looks like the more interesting bits of Avatar with maybe just a touch of Zeno Clash and Frank Frazetta in the mix.

With a single-player campaign already playable and loads more levels on the way, Primordian already looks like a must-have for hardcore VR gamers.

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $24.99 from Steam

A Handful of Keflings

from NinjaBee

A Handful of Keflings game screenshot courtesy Steam
A Handful of Keflings – screenshot courtesy Steam

The third in a series of casual, family-friendly city-building sims from NinjaBee, this marks the first foray into VR for Kefling-kind. While the titular little creatures themselves might be a little too cloyingly cute for some – they look a bit like garden gnomes – A Handful of Keflings looks like a pleasant and relaxing diversion for VR players needing a break from high-speed space battles, bloody monster-bashing or underwater exploration.

And the perspective – players don’t enter the village directly, but hover over it like a tabletop game – ensures a comfortable experience unlikely to provoke motion sickness even among the most sensitive.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

The Perfect Sniper

from Sinn Studio Inc.

The Perfect Sniper game screenshot courtesy Steam
The Perfect Sniper – screenshot courtesy Steam

Inspired by old school cop vs. gangster movies, The Perfect Sniper tasks players with finding and assassinating mob targets in an attempt to take back the streets by any means necessary. Its release has been marred by delays – it was initially pushed back a week, then launched with part of the story campaign missing – but we love the way this looks, combining slightly campy Mafia motifs and frantic car chase scenes with low-poly character models.

Oculus Rift | 15 GB | $16.99 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases

BattleSky VR

from Oh!WHATif Inc.

BattleSky VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
BattleSky VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

BattleSky VR is a multi-player aerial combat game. Just released in Early Access, it only has two characters to choose from, but given that they’re a dragon and a futuristic flying armor suit in the vein of Iron Man…there’s really no way to make a wrong choice. And the flying mechanic is already quite solid, so this is worth picking up even in its current state.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $4.99 from Steam

Be sure to check back next week for more news about the latest and greatest Oculus Rift and Gear VR games.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – Jan. 6th-12th – Finding Lost Toys and Punching Robots

Now that the holidays are over – and we highlighted a few of our favorite Oculus releases of 2017 – we’re back to our regular routines, and it’s a little bit of a light week as far as Oculus Rift and Gear VR releases are concerned. Nonetheless, we managed to find a few interesting games and experiences for you to check out as we wait for the first quarter of 2018 to really get started in earnest.

The Lost Bear

from Fabrik Games and Odd Bug Studio

The Lost Bear game screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Lost Bear – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Previously available for Sony PlayStation VR and now making its way to the Rift, The Lost Bear combines tried-and-true 2D platforming with hand-drawn forest landscapes. We’re really impressed by the way the art evokes classic fairy tales – the woods as a place of danger, rather than Disney-style singing animals – but we’re a little worried that its story of a child in search of a lost teddy bear (and pursued by vicious hounds, no less) might be more of a tear-jerker than we can handle.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $7.99 from the Oculus Store

Mech League Boxing

from VRGEN

Mech League Boxing game screenshot courtesy Steam
Mech League Boxing – screenshot courtesy Steam

Now out of Early Access, this is Rock ‘em Sock ‘em Robots gone VR. Beyond the obvious appeal of punching robots in a boxing ring, Mech League Boxing is also quite the physical work-out, and developers VRGEN have leaned into that had, complete with warm-up routines to really get your blood flowing before each match.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $9.99 from Steam

The Glen

from Lucid Dreams VR

The Glen game screenshot courtesy WEARVR
The Glen – screenshot courtesy WEARVR

VR meets techno-shamanism in this dreamlike experience driven by the music of Celtic-flavored world music duo Cu Dubh. Dance to the music of drums and bagpipes around a bonfire in a recreated imagining of an ancient ritual.

Oculus Rift | FREE from WEAREVR

EvilCorp Hackball

from Konrad Kowalski

EvilCorp Hackball game screenshot courtesy Oculus
EvilCorp Hackball – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Despite a flimsy premise about hacking into an evil corporation’s database to save the world, EvilCorp Hackball is essentially Marble Madness done as a VR endless runner, and that’s good enough for us!

Oculus Rift | 109 MB | $3.99 from the Oculus Store

Dinosaur Island

from Snatch Game Studios

Dinosaur Island VR game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Dinosaur Island VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Yes, it’s a bit of a Jurassic Park rip-off, but we’re legitimately impressed by how good the dinosaurs look, especially for such a small mobile VR game. The shooting looks solid as well, even though – truth be told – we’d rather be shooting dinosaurs with cameras than sniper rifles.

Gear VR | 320 MB | $2.99 from the Oculus Store

Other Oculus News

In other Oculus Rift news, Home users will soon be able to personalize the music playing in the background. Michael Bross – best known for his work on the Oddworld and Ratchet and Clank series soundtracks – has composed nearly an hour of exclusive tracks for Home 2.0.

Also exciting news for Rift gamers: award-winning cyberpunk shooter Raw Data is free to play this weekend, so be sure to check that out.

Be sure to check back next week for the latest Oculus news – the Consumer Electronics Show is taking place this week, and there are sure to be plenty of exciting developments.

Google Earth VR - screenshot courtesy Steam

Best Oculus Experiences of 2017

2017 was far closer to the “Year of VR” that everyone promised a year earlier – new head-mounted displays from Microsoft’s spec (Acer, Lenovo, Hewlett-Packard, Samsung), peripheral updates – HTC Vive Tracker, and major permanent price cuts across all platforms meant higher adoption. Games and apps improved beyond being mere demo-grade downstream shovel-ware as the early developers matured into major players. 2018 will advance all of these elements substantially, and as arcades evolve and Spielberg enters the fray with the spring release of Ready Player One, mainstream awareness will start to trickle in.

Among the offerings that came out in 2017, here are those experiences we found most succinct and worth of your time.

Cat Sorter VR

from Pawmigo Games

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

Despite the goofy premise, this game about taking apart cats and putting them back together again as a worker on an assembly line in some feline equivalent to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory captured the public imagination – and mainstream media attention – in ways that few other VR releases did this year. Helping elevate Cat Sorter VR from a novelty game are the cats themselves, which feature mutations like extra eyes or scorpion tales, making the whole process all the more addictive. This fusion of cute and creepy were enough to garner the Aesthetic Award at IndieCade 2017.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $12.99 from Steam

Gorn

from Free Lives

Gorn game screenshot courtesy Steam
Gorn – screenshot courtesy Steam

Though it’s technically still in Early Access, everyone we know has been playing Gorn nonstop this year. Created by the team responsible for indie PC hit BroForce, this gladiatorial combat game provides a sense of gleeful, cartoonish violence that’s so over-the-top it’s somehow almost innocent. Gore plus porn – get it?

Instead of destructible environments and explosions, the theme this time around is spiked clubs and fisticuffs – not to mention ludicrously huge blood droplets spattering everywhere each time a swing connects with a face.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Bigscreen

from Bigscreen, Inc.

bigscreen vr screenshot

Bigscreen is a recently socialized virtual desktop app for Vive and Oculus Rift that lets you echo your desktop in virtual space. You can play games, scribble, throw a LAN party – we have yet to figure out how to not spill Mountain Dew in our lap while doing so – and most obviously, watch movies with others in a virtual theater. Spatialized voice chat ensures you can echolocate your buddies in the metaverse.

You can also manipulate screens with controllers or even Leap Motion‘s IR-based input method. They recently hosted an online viewing party of Top Gun in 3D. Now VR starts to demonstrate how it is unlike any other medium.

Oculus Rift | 1.5 GB | FREE from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Star Trek Bridge Crew

from Ubisoft

Star Trek Bridge Simulator game screenshot courtesy Steam
Star Trek Bridge Simulator – screenshot courtesy Steam

VR’s strength is its use of space to create experience, and what science fiction fan wouldn’t want to visit location as iconic as the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise? Star Trek Bridge Crew gives players the chance to not only explore the bridge but also team up with friends online “to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $49.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Lone Echo

from Ready at Dawn

Lone Echo  screenshot courtesy Oculus
Lone Echo – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Lone Echo draws on hard science fiction, both classic (Arthur C. Clarke) and modern (The Expanse), setting players to work investigating weird goings-on aboard a space station orbiting Saturn. Apart from its puzzles and evocative renditions of believable technology as well as the awe-inspiring feeling of space, the game excels at locomotion, giving players an experience of zero gravity without the attendant expense of training at NASA or chartering a reduced-gravity aircraft.

If that all sounds too esoteric and thought-provoking, there’s also the included Echo Arena spin-off, a multi-player zero gravity sports game a bit like Ultimate Frisbee.

Oculus Rift | 17 GB | $39.99 from the Oculus Store

Luna

from Funomena

Luna game screenshot courtesy Steam
Luna – screenshot courtesy Steam

An interactive fairy tale from Funomena (best known for such acclaimed works as Journey and Flower), our favorite VR game of the year is so perfect because of its use of space to both tell a story and offer up gaming elements in a space-based diorama filled with wonderful nature pastiches. Its puzzles are fairly easy, but are fun and addictive enough to keep us pulling at spiderwebs not to progress in the game, but just because we enjoyed the sensation so much. Delightful art and a score by Austin Wintory made Luna a memorable and joyous experience.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $16.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Other Major Releases of Interest

Rift Core 2.0 update

from Oculus

Rift Core 2.0  screenshot courtesy Oculus
Rift Core 2.0 – screenshot courtesy Oculus

This is no mere update but a sea change, catching up to Steam and Windows MR to allow you to build your own crib the way you like it. The Rift 2.0 Core update adds so many features it becomes an experience all unto itself. Allowing you to bring your own Medium creations into your animated, customized home base adds to the joy. Socialized features and virtual desktops via the new Dash interface make it harder than ever to leave once you’re in. The first steps towards the universe envisioned in Ready Player One.

Oculus Rift | FREE from the Oculus Store (Beta Opt-In Required)

VRChat

from VRChat Inc.

VRChat is STILL technically in Early Access – and even while AltSpace died and cried and then Palmer Luckey considered buying it with cash and then Microsoft actually did and while High Fidelity looks amazing but no one is there and it takes FOREVER to load and while Project Sansar looks even BETTER than that and has cryptocurrency but no one uses it yet – VRChat crept up and grabbed society by the jugular, and now grandmas and kids and drunk uncles all can’t get enough of it. Amazing to see a sleeper pop like this and restore hope for us all.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | FREE from Steam

Google Earth VR

from Google

Google Earth VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Google Earth VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Although VR implementation for Google Earth actually arrived in 2016, this year has seen major updates to the project, including faster load times and – more significantly – direct integration with Google Street View. A terrific travelers’ pre-visit tool and surprisingly emotional.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | FREE from the Oculus Store or from Steam

As VR games and experiences continue to progress, we’re more than a little excited to see what 2018 has to offer, but in the meantime, what were your favorite Oculus offerings of the past year?