Tag Archives: best Oculus games

Top 5 Oculus Releases – July 29th-August 10th – Megastars and Mental Health

Another couple of weeks’ worth of top Oculus releases! This time around, we’ve got larger than life experiences about saving the world (or just saving a music festival’s vibe with some sick beats) sandwiched between more contemplative meditations on love and mental illness.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice

from Ninja Theory

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice game screenshot courtesy Steam
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – screenshot courtesy Steam

A thoughtful and intense exploration of mental illness by way of a hack-and-slash adventure set in the Norse underworld, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was one of our sister site’s Top Indie Games of 2017.

Both its brooding atmosphere and its use of multi-layered narration – representing the auditory hallucinations and self-doubt of a psychotic episode – coupled with an notably excellent motion and facial capture animation process, helped make this a moody work of genius.

Adding VR implementation is the perfect enhancement of its themes and one of the rare times that speaking of VR as a means of guiding players toward embodied understanding actually makes sense.

A warning, though: just with headphones on, this game was intense to the point of disturbing. The added experience of playing it in VR may be too much for some players.

Oculus Rift | 30 GB | $29.99 from Steam

Electronauts

from Survios

Electronauts game screenshot courtesy Steam
Electronauts – screenshot courtesy Steam

A hyper-designed DJ simulation for electronic dance enthusiasts, Electronauts thinks of everything.

More a musical tool than a game, this experience offers easy song transitions (no worries of beat-matching train wrecks here), remixing and VR-exlusive digital instruments to let aspiring stars create their own arrangements. If you’ve always thought that people like Tiesto and Steve Aoki had a much easier job than they let on, now’s your chance to prove it.

And while the graphics are decidedly vaporwave – not that we have a problem with neon, mind you – the included music is definitely modern, including the likes of The Chainsmokers and DJ Shadow. What Electronauts gets right is that that if favors energy and and flow over literalism. An excellent immersive offering.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Pixel Ripped 1989

from ARVORE Immersive Games, Inc.

Pixel Ripped 1989 game screenshot courtesy Steam
Pixel Ripped 1989 – screenshot courtesy Steam

If our previous game borrowed a bit from the ‘80s with its look, Pixel Ripped 1989 embraces that decade wholeheartedly. Rubik’s Cubes and Nintendo nostalgia abound in this paean to an earlier era of games.

Its central concept, however, is cutting edge: it’s AR completely within VR, putting players in the role of a little girl with a portable video game device (it’s not quite a Nintendo Gameboy). As the reality from the game she’s playing spills out into her own, she’ll team up with her own game’s protagonist to save both worlds.

It’s a unique and clever use of VR that manages to be self-referential and meta without bashing you over the head about how smart it thinks it is. The setting is just the cherry on top of the sundae, presuming Ready Player One and Stranger Things haven’t burnt you out on ‘80s references by now.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $24.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Megaton Rainfall

from Pentadimensional Games, SL

Megaton Rainfall game screenshot courtesy Steam
Megaton Rainfall – screenshot courtesy Steam

Starting with a gloriously over the top premise – you’re playing as a superhero who lobs bombs at giant Independence Day-inspired flying saucers – Megaton Rainfall excels at its sense of scale and detail.

Despite a comparatively short story-driven campaign, there’s as much fun to be had here simply flying off into the wild blue yonder and exploring the universe as there is in defending earthly cities from space invaders.

Oculus Rift | 1.6 MB | $14.99 from Oculus or $15.99 from Steam

Anamorphine

from Artifact 5

Anamorphine game screenshot courtesy Steam
Anamorphine – screenshot courtesy Steam

Bringing things in a more earthly direction, Anamorphine isn’t about saving the world, just about dealing with depression and guilt.

The approach to story that the Artifact 5 team has taken, however – wordless narrative comprised of dreamlike and surrealist images to represent the memories of the game’s protagonist – have garnered this release numerous awards, and it’s been a featured selection at IndieCade, E3 and PAX East.

Oculus Rift | 10.4 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Soviet Lunapark game featured image courtesy of Steam

Top 5 Oculus Releases – July 21st-28th – Wave Your Hands

VR is wonderful at expanding minds and creating experimental and avant-garde experiences that make us view the world in new ways.

It’s also good for simple fun, and is at happens, this week’s top Oculus Rift releases tend toward the latter rather than the former, taking fairly simple premises – the wave shooter, for example, or simply grabbing and throwing things – and doing interesting things with them.

Soviet Lunapark VR

from Mundfish

Soviet Lunapark game screenshot courtesy Steam
Soviet Lunapark – screenshot courtesy Steam

Yes, it’s a fairly standard wave shooter, but Soviet Lunapark stands out for its attention to detail and unique setting – an alternate history Soviet amusement park overrun by zombies and killer robots.

With cooperative multi-player, dual locomotion modes and four different character classes to try out, it’s also got a lot more interesting game elements than your typical wave shooter.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $18.99 from Steam

Marvel Powers United VR

from Sanzaru

Marvel Powers United VR game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Marvel Powers United VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

The biggest hyped release of the week, Marvel Powers United VR is a wave-based combat game, but with its wide variety of character choices and emphasis on cooperative multi-player, it does an excellent job creating the feeling of the giant battles in movies like The Avengers.

Oculus Rift | 54 GB | $39.99 from Oculus

Baby Hands

from Chicken Waffle

Baby Hands game screenshot courtesy Steam
Baby Hands – screenshot courtesy Steam

One thing VR excels at is offering participants a different perspective, and SXSW Indie Game Award-winning Baby Hands, now out of Early Access, does just that, putting players into the body of a comically destructive toddler.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Throw Anything

from Visual Light

Throw Anything game screenshot courtesy Steam
Throw Anything – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another recent graduate from Early Access, Throw Anything is another simple wave-based game – with zombies, no less! – but its central conceit of throwing whatever you can get your hands on at the undead hordes makes it irresistibly charming. So do its flat-shaded approach to graphics.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $11.99 from Steam

Gray

from LightnGames

Gray game screenshot courtesy Steam
Gray – screenshot courtesy Steam

This free horror experience is short but makes up for its brief length with tons of atmosphere and horrors. Think Silent Hill, or better – scarier – yet, Clive Barker’s Nightbreed by way of the Saw films.

Oculus Rift | 2.3 GB | FREE from Oculus

Order Up game screenshot courtesy Steam

Top 5 Oculus Releases – July 6th-20th – From Whimsical to Scary and In-Between

Another two-week list, our top Oculus releases from mid-July include a variety of games for all platforms, from innovative horror games to whimsical puzzles.

GNOG

from KO_OP

GNOG game screenshot courtesy Oculus
GNOG – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Originally released on mobile platforms but now optimized for VR, GNOG is a whimsical and award-winning puzzle game inspired by real-world toy designs.

Combining the surreal playfulness of games like Machinarium – each of its nine levels involves solving puzzles within a giant toy head – with an art style that evokes Loot Rascals as well as contemporary design brands like GAMAGO, this release is tactile enough to feel “real” but so kooky that virtual space is its perfect delivery mechanism.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $9.99 from Oculus or from Steam
Oculus Go | 1.03 GB | $4.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 1.03 GB | $4.99 from Oculus

Stifled

from Gattai Games

Stifled game screenshot courtesy Steam
Stifled – screenshot courtesy Steam

Winning multiple awards at game shows in Asia, Stifled is a stealth horror game that relies on a fairly unique echolocation mechanic: in order to discover your surroundings, you need to make sound using your microphone. The more noise you make, though, the more you broadcast your location to unseen horrors stalking you in the darkness…

This is a cross-platform game that doesn’t have to be played in VR, but the extra immersion makes things all the more terrifying.

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism

from Hyphen-Labs

NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism game screenshot courtesy Oculus
NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism – screenshot courtesy Oculus

An interactive film combining cyberpunk science fiction with commentary on the African-American experience – and in particular the connection between hair and identity – NeuroSpeculative AfroFeminism has been featured at the likes of the Sundance Film Festival, SXSW and the Tribeca Film Festival.

It’s also free on all Oculus platforms, so even if you don’t have an immediate personal connection to the subject matter, there’s no excuse not to check this out.

Oculus Rift | 1.6 GB | FREE from Oculus
Oculus Go | 452 MB | FREE from Oculus
Gear VR | 452 MB | FREE from Oculus

Bring to Light

from Red Meat Games

Bring to Light game screen shot courtesy Steam
Bring to Light – screen shot courtesy Steam

Solve 3D light puzzles a la The Talos Principle as hideous monstrosities stalk you through abandoned subway tunnels in a game that will stress both your brain and your heart rate.

That last bit is literal, by the way – if you’ve got a compatible heart rate monitor, Bring to Light can actually use your heart rate data to adjust the intensity of its scares!

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Order Up

from Gambit Games Studio, LLC

Order Up game screenshot courtesy Steam
Order Up – screenshot courtesy Steam

If you’re a fan of the frantic multi-tasking of restaurant simulators and cooking games, Order Up should tickle your taste buds, so to speak.

Adding to the stress of getting your meals put together right and keeping your diners happy, this designed for room scale, so make sure to put on your hairnet – all that running around will have you sweating.

Oculus Rift | $11.99 from Steam