Tag Archives: Gear VR games

The Well game screenshot courtesy Oculus

Top Five Oculus Releases – October 7th-13th – and Other Big Oculus News

Our top five Oculus releases are quite the mix this week, ranging from epic fantasy to interactive murder mystery theater to comedic space engineering:

The Well

from Turtle Rock Studios

The Well game screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Well – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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.

It’s also totally gorgeous, with cartoon-inspired art that reminds us a bit of The Last Unicorn on DMT, not to mention recent game releases like The Banner Saga and Jotun.

Gear VR | 389 MB | $9.99 from Oculus

Elevator…to the Moon!

from ROCCAT Games Studio

Elevator...to the Moon! game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Elevator…to the Moon! – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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.

Oculus Rift | 953 MB | $7.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 798 MB | $4.99 from Oculus

The Invisible Hours

from Tequila Works

The Invisible Hours game screenshot courtesy Oculus
The Invisible Hours – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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

ARKTIKA.1

from 4A Games

ARKTIKA.1 game screenshot courtesy Oculus
ARKTIKA.1 – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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

from I-Illusions

Space Pirate Trainer game screenshot courtesy Steam
Space Pirate Trainer – screenshot courtesy Steam

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.

Oculus Rift | 2.4 GB | $14.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Cat Sorter VR

from Pawmigo Games

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

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

Star Shelter

from Overflow

Star Shelter game screenshot courtesy Steam
Star Shelter – screenshot courtesy 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.

Top 5 Oculus Releases – September 30th-October 6th – Cartoon Cars & Underwater Adventures

This week’s new Oculus releases feature arcade racing for both Rift and Gear VR. There are also several high profile shooters making their way out of Early Access. Not in the mood for action? Take a deep dive into underwater exploration:

Water Planet

by The Revera Corporation

Water Planet game screenshot courtesy Steam
Water Planet – screenshot courtesy Steam

Far more than a VR music video, Water Planet is an otherworldly adventure set to the music of Elizabeth Ann Clark, a.k.a. ambient musician VIRGO. Set on a distant aquatic planet, the game tasks players with guiding a cybernetic jellyfish through the underwater ruins of vanished civilizations. Its ethereal seascapes and dreamy electronic soundtrack remind us a bit of a science fiction-oriented version of ABZU, and we’re dying to take a deep dive into this one.

Oculus Rift | 3.5 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Cargo Racing VR

by Virtual Arts Ltd.

Cargo Racing VR game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Cargo Racing VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A cartoonish-looking truck racing game, Cargo Racing VR is deceptively simple but designed for easy accessibility. Between its single-button control scheme and a third person perspective – a decision based on comfort testing and shown to be less likely to cause motion sickness – it’s meant to be a casual and easy entrance for VR newcomers. We also like that it looks like slot car racing, though without the ozone smell from burning engines.

Gear VR | 164 MB | $2.99 from the Oculus Store

Tractorball

by Ninja Whale Studios

Tractorball game screenshot courtesy Steam
Tractorball – screenshot courtesy Steam

An idea so brilliant in its simplicity we can’t believe we didn’t come up with it ourselves, Tractorball is more or less a VR take-off on the ever-popular Rocket League. As indicated by the title, players drive rocket-powered tractors rather than rocket-powered cars, but the general concept is the same: high speed vehicular soccer, complete with rocket boosts and power-ups.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $9.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Raw Data

by Survios

Raw Data game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Raw Data – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Probably the biggest release of the week, Raw Data – now out of Early Access – is a cyberpunk FPS with loads of features, multiple playable characters, cross-platform co-op and PVP modes, and a storyline straight out of an early Neil Stephenson novel. It’s also won loads of awards, including Best VR Game at the Game Developers Conference.

Oculus Rift | 9 GB | $39.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Sunken

by Tapps Games

Sunken game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Sunken – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Sunken is a simple hidden object game for mobile VR, but we love its setting and the concept of exploring a long-sunken ship. Between the sound effects – whale songs and SCUBA bubbles – and the setting, complete with sharks and cetaceans passing by the portholes of the rusted wreck, this packs a lot of atmosphere into a basic mobile hidden object game.

Gear VR | 540 MB | $1.99 from the Oculus Store

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Dead Effect 2 VR

by BadFly Interactive

Dead Effect 2 VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Dead Effect 2 VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Another fairly high budget project just leaving Early Access, Dead Effect 2 VR is the latest game in a science fiction/horror series originally released for mobile. The premise is hardly original – zombies on a spaceship – but the slick graphics and RPG elements, like gear and skill upgrades, give this more depth than the typical VR shooter with a storyline that takes over 8 hours to complete.

Oculus Rift | 14 GB | $24.99 from Steam

Crowe: The Drowned Armory

by The Rogue Initiative

Crowe: The Drowned Armory game screenshot courtesy Steam
Crowe: The Drowned Armory – screenshot courtesy Steam

Originally released for HTC Vive and now making its way to the Rift, Crowe: The Drowned Armory is the first in an episodic series of action adventures set in a science/fantasy world that reminds us a bit of Avatar, complete with elfin aliens fighting off waves of mechanical enemies. Though criticized for its short length – a couple of puzzles and a shooting sequence – it does have some gorgeous visuals and a pure exploration mode for players looking to absorb some of the planet’s atmosphere (pun intended), as well as an arena battle mode if wave shooters are more your thing.

Oculus Rift | 12 GB | $8.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Be sure to check back next week for more Oculus releases and the latest news in avant-garde VR developments from this year’s IndieCade.

XING: The Land Beyond game screenshot courtesy Steam

Top Five Oculus Releases – September 16th-22nd – Bang on the Drum All Day

Loads of VR drum offerings are coming out all at once for some reason, and we picked a couple of the most interesting to feature in this week’s new Oculus releases. Don’t fancy picking up the sticks? Get behind the wheel of a race car. Or you could try falling in love…

Into the Rhythm VR

by NTWO Studio Co., Ltd.

Into the Rhythm VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Into the Rhythm VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Into the Rhythm VR is a drumming rhythm game in the vein of the Rock Band series (or at least the drummer’s part in the Rock Band series). Use your Oculus Touch Controllers as your sticks and bash along to the rhythm; you probably shouldn’t do that thing where you twirl them into the air, though.

What impresses us isn’t so much the game concept, but the level of customization and editing available. Players not only can adjust and customize game difficulty, drum placement and stages, but the program comes with two editors for inserting your own music and even creating your own drum patterns. It’s probably not going to turn you into Neil Peart, but the composition options in place are a lot more than we’d expect from a typical rhythm game.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Fall in Love

by Moth + Flame

Fall in Love game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Fall in Love – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Designed by Moth + Flame, the studio responsible the VR music video for Taylor Swift’s “Style,” Fall in Love is based on “The 36 Questions that Lead to Love,” an essay by Mandy Len Catron – itself based on a psychological study by SUNY Stony Brook professor Arthur Aron – about a series of questions designed to lead to the sensation of falling in love.

We’re not entirely sure that either AI or VR is quite ready to lead to a Her scenario, but the concept – in which players choose an actor and then experience the 36 questions using voice recognition software – is a fascinating experiment in simulated intimacy.

Oculus Rift | 7.5 GB | FREE from the Oculus Store

Tombé Drums VR

by Chroma Coda

Tombé Drums game screenshot courtesy Steam
Tombé Drums – screenshot courtesy Steam

Yes, it’s another drum simulator! Tombé Drums, though, seems more oriented toward people that already have some musical experience – it’s a drums-only offshoot of The Music Room, developer Chroma Coda’s VR MIDI controller.

This program won’t interface directly with a digital audio workstation the way The Music Room does, but it will let players bang virtually on dozens of accurately scanned drums and cymbals in such locations as Australia’s famed Bakehouse Studio.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $19.99 from Steam

Project CARS 2

by Slightly Mad Studios

Project CARS 2 game screenshot courtesy Steam
Project CARS 2 – screenshot courtesy Steam

The sequel to the popular auto racing sim, Project CARS 2 features more cars, more racing styles – like rallycross and IndyCar – plus a complete 24-hour day and night cycle and weather effects. Given that the first game was praised for its realism – not to mention the fact that this is shipping VR-ready right out of the gate – this could be the most immersive motorsport game ever released.

That said, the VR version of the original was a little strange to handle, and we missed having the proper steering wheel and accelerator/brake peripherals, though having them would make this that much more immersive.

Oculus Rift | 50 GB | $59.99 from Steam

XING: The Land Beyond

by White Lotus Interactive

XING: The Land Beyond game screenshot courtesy Steam
XING: The Land Beyond – screenshot courtesy Steam

A deliberately slow-paced and atmospheric puzzle game, XING: The Land Beyond is a contemplative journey into the afterlife. With its ethereal environments inspired by both real-world locations and games like the Myst series, this offering highlights the imaginative beauty VR can provide.

Oculus Rift | 9 GB | $19.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Where’s Om Nom?

by Zeptolab

Where's Om Nom? game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Where’s Om Nom? – screenshot courtesy Oculus

The colorful mascot from the popular Cut the Rope series of mostly-mobile puzzle games makes his way to mobile VR. Where’s Om Nom? is more of a hidden objects game than its physics puzzle predecessors, but it retains the candy-feeding mechanic and the almost unbearable cuteness of previous entries in the series.

Gear VR | 411 MB | $4.99 from the Oculus Store

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope

by Croteam VR

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope game screenshot courtesy Steam
Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope – screenshot courtesy Steam

Serious Sam series developers Croteam have been at this for a long time, first designing their own engines for the classic FPS games, and then moving to VR early this year. We know that there are a lot of shooters coming out for VR and that few of them are particularly noteworthy, but the HD VR ports of the original games released earlier this year were well reviewed, so we think this is worth a look.

Serious Sam VR: The Last Hope is an original game, rather than an adaptation, and it’s a standing wave shooter, but if anyone’s going to make that genre worth playing, it’s the people at Croteam.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $39.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Eternity Warriors VR

by Vanimals

Eternity Warriors VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Eternity Warriors VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Given that it’s a standing wave shooter adaptation of a free-to-play mobile RPG series, we didn’t have high expectations for Eternity Warriors VR, but this game has already won numerous awards for its graphics. We have to admit, even in Early Access, its monsters are awfully impressive.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Aside from drum simulators and the ever-present wave shooters, there are also a few new noteworthy educational experiences out this week. Virry Safari is a 45-minute exploration of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya for both Oculus Rift and Gear VR that includes close-up encounters with lions, baboons, elephants and more; all that’s missing are the smells.

If you prefer art and architecture to wild animals, two new offerings for Gear VR may be of interest. Wonders of the World allows players to explore the Colossus of Rhodes, the Taj Mahal and the Incan city of Machu Picchu, while Meeting Rembrandt: Master of Reality offers a free encounter with the Dutch master.

Several new workspace platforms also came out for Oculus this week, with Cisco Systems releasing the beta version of Spark in VR and newcomer mindmeld.io releasing their Holomeld platform. There’s also Neutrans, a more playful-looking shared space from Dopamine developers Synamon, Inc. that has the advantage of being free to use.

Be sure to check back next week for more exciting Oculus news and a curated selection of recent games and experiences.