Tag Archives: oculus rift news

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.

Sprint Vector from Survios

Top 5 Oculus Releases – February 3rd-9th – Learning to Walk, Run, Jump, Slash

From established, large scale developers like Survios to Digital Domain and more, locomotion itself is the mechanic du jour in this week’s selection of top five Oculus releases as the industry continues to learn about its medium: Whether it’s running, jumping, flipping, or spinning in 360 degrees, these Oculus-friendly games were the most notable in week two of February, 2018:

Sprint Vector

from Survios

Sprint Vector - screenshot courtesy Steam
Sprint Vector – screenshot courtesy Steam

The new game from Raw Data devs Survios – who opened their very own location VR arcade in Torrance this week – Sprint Vector combines a Tron-meets-Ancient Egypt cyberpunk aesthetic with futuristic sports. Essentially an obstacle race, Sprint Vector’s big innovation is the “Fluid Locomotion System” that lets players simulate high speed running…jumping…pretty much everything short of actual Parkour.

Adding to that, Sprint Vector’s core game experience is multi-player racing, complete with weaponry to take out fellow competitors. With multiple awards at last year’s GDC and E3 events, this is a must-have for hardcore VR gamers and hopefully not a barfbag for the rest.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Sairento VR

from Mixed Realms Pte Ltd

Sairenti VR - screenshot courtesy Steam
Sairenti VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Want more cyberpunk running, jumping and flipping? Look no further than Sairento VR, a futuristic ninja simulator inspired by the likes of Shadowrun. Elevated above the typical wave shooter – or wave katana-slasher – by its high production values and storyline, this one also stands out from typical VR fighting experiences by providing an opportunity for martial arts acrobatics.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Esper: The Collection

from Coatsink

Esper: The Collection - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Esper: The Collection – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A package including both Esper games, The Collections adds Oculus Touch support for a more realistic (if that’s the appropriate word) depiction of telekinetic powers. The new release marks a perfect time for new VR enthusiasts to experience the games’ retro-inspired setting and a plot that’s a little bit Portal and a little bit The Men Who Stare at Goats.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $14.99 from Oculus

Digital Domain’s The Monkey King

from Digital Domain

Digital Domain's The Monkey King - screenshot courtesy Steam
Digital Domain’s The Monkey King – screenshot courtesy Steam

Previously released on Sony PSVR and now available for the Rift, this animated retelling of the famous Chinese myth makes it onto our list – despite being a VR film rather than a proper game – for its high production values, highlighting the potential for VR in animated storytelling. The reviews are mixed, so proceed through the trees with cautiun. Digital Domain is a major VFX company, but that doesn’t mean they are the ruler of VR development yet. Nonetheless, it is a notable entry into the field.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $4.99 from Steam

busuu – Learn Spanish

from busuu

busuu -  Learn Spanish - screenshot courtesy Oculus
busuu – Learn Spanish – screenshot courtesy Oculus

While it could have been a cheap Dora the Explorer rip-off, this Spanish tutorial adventure game – a free promotion for the busuu language-learning apps – is a surprisingly engaging Gear VR experience built around speech recognition software.

Gear VR | 420 MB | FREE from Oculus

Check back next week for more Oculus Rift and Gear VR releases and news! Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments!

Top 5 Oculus Releases – Jan. 27th-February 2nd – Sails, Six-Guns and Steampunk

A little of everything this week, from third-person action to sailing sims. And instead of the usual generic wave shooters, fans of VR gun-play – and bow-play, for that matter – have an embarrassment of riches to choose from, with several new games arriving that actually manage to innovate with new approaches to storytelling, locomotion and the shooting itself:

VR Regatta – The Sailing Game

from MarineVerse

VR Regatta - The Sailing Game - screenshot courtesy Steam
VR Regatta – The Sailing Game – screenshot courtesy Steam

One of the things we love about VR is how it can let us experience things we might not otherwise have access to. For VR players without memberships at their local yacht clubs, there’s VR Regatta, a realistic sailing simulator that’s been garnering positive Steam reviews from both gamers and actual sailors.

The fact that this one isn’t recommended for players susceptible to motion sickness probably goes without saying.

Oculus Rift | $14.99 from Steam

Cold Iron

Catch & Release, LLC

Cold Iron game screenshot courtesy Steam
Cold Iron – screenshot courtesy Steam

The opposite side of the wave shooter coin, Cold Iron is a dueling game: instead of endless waves of enemies, players outdraw and gun down opponents one at a time.

While the drawing and shooting mechanics are garnering positive reviews, we’re also intrigued by the narrative thread and its “Weird West” setting – basically cowboy stuff with supernatural elements – which we’re betting has a good chance at overtaking steampunk as the fantasy setting du jour.

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade

from GamestormVR

Seek & Destroy - Steampunk Arcade - screenshot courtesy Steam
Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade – screenshot courtesy Steam

And speaking of steampunk, Seek & Destroy – Steampunk Arcade gives you all the brass robots, gear-driven mechanisms and Tesla-inspired lightning gloves you could possibly hope for, if you’re a fan of science fiction Victoriana. At heart it’s a wave shooter, but with level names like “Panic in the Streets of London” and “Kick in the Crown Jewels,” we like that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

It’s also compatible with the 3dRudder foot controller to make dodging steam-driven automatons all the more realistic.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $5.99 from Steam

KIN

from House of Secrets

KIN game screenshot courtesy official site
KIN – screenshot courtesy official site

Previously released on Gear VR, this overhead-view platformer set on an alien planet marks developers House of Secrets’ leap from VR music videos to games proper.

Both the combat and the 3D puzzle-solving in KIN look engaging, and we particularly like the contrast between the light, airy quality of the main character – and the enemies she encounters – and the clunky but colorful low-poly environments to explore.

Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $14.99 from Oculus

Down to Dungeon

from Far North Entertainment

Down to Dungeon game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Down to Dungeon – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Simple cartoonish graphics belie the depth of this fast-paced dungeon crawler for Gear VR. Played from a third-person overhead perspective, Down to Dungeon offers plenty of procedurally generated levels and hordes of enemies to dispatch – not to mention loads of loot – for discerning action RPG fans.

Gear VR | 205 MB | $2.99 from Oculus

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases

In Death

from Solfar Studios

In Death game screenshot courtesy Steam
In Death – screenshot courtesy Steam

This Early Access archery game interests us both with its innovative approach to VR locomotion in VR – involving teleportation arrows fired from the same bow used to dispatch enemies – and its gothic architecture.

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

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife

from Future Lighthouse

In the Cloud: VR Afterlife game screenshot courtesy Oculus
In the Cloud: VR Afterlife – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Somewhere between in interactive vignette and a short film, In the Cloud: VR Afterlife is an excursion into cyberpunk/transhumanist paranoia that will appeal to those of us who used to read Mondo 2000.

Gear VR | 65 MB | FREE from Oculus

Baby Hands

from Chicken Waffle

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

Almost literally a sandbox, Baby Hands lets you fill the shoes – and tiny, destructive hands – of a toddler. Family-friendly but legitimately funny, given all the options for mayhem available even now in Early Access.

Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $24.99 from Steam

Check back next week for more Oculus releases.