Tag Archives: Oculus Rift

Top 5 Oculus Games – Oct. 14-20 – A Week of Wonder-Filled Magical Releases

With every week that goes by in VR time, we see the positive return from the many conversations, panels, talks, experiments, game jams and cash infusions that have piled up over the past five years. As VR game devs mature and audiences teach them what is working and what is not, the resultant fare is beginning to find its bearings and even show traces of a soul.

At OGR, we try to look at titles that depart from the overabundant roller coaster sim or rail shooter, and it is getting easier every week to find innovative story and world-rich new works. This week’s offerings have been particularly compelling, and here are five we especially liked for all audiences:

Top Five Oculus Games – Oct. 14th-20th, 2017

Luna

from Funomena

Luna game screenshot courtesy Steam
Luna – screenshot courtesy Steam

From the team whose members created such luminary titles as Journey, Flower, Boom Blox and The Sims 2, Luna developer Funomena describes this winsome virtual reality experience as an interactive fable about learning by the light of unexpected mistakes.

We had an opportunity to try the demo out at IndieCade 2017, and what we saw was quite breathtaking. Luna is not a hard game, nor is it fundamentally innovative, but it does something many games fail to accomplish: a unified and aesthetically delightful tone that understands how to use spatialized media to its fullest. The simple spiderweb puzzles left us pulling strands to and fro just because it was such a cool feeling, puzzles be damned.

The reveal of a new element returning to life after each puzzle is solved, the endearing interactive animations elicited by waving one’s hands over the critters, the beautiful score by Austin Wintory all come together to make Luna one of the must-have VR experiences of the year.

Oculus Rift [1.72 GB] | $16.99 from Oculus or from Steam

The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone

from Cloudhead Games

The Gallery - Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone game screenshot courtesy Steam
The Gallery – Episode 2: Heart of the Emberstone – screenshot courtesy Steam

Though Call of the Starseed had some minor quibbles, its inventory system was one of the first great demonstrations of how to manage things in embodied narrative space. The game was one of the better looking launch titles and promised a brighter future than most of the shovelware that was being dropped on Steam and other storefronts at the time, like so many Atari E.T. cartridges in a sandpit.

It is telling that the sequel, part two of The Gallery series from Cloudhead, then, comes with only moderate fanfare by comparison, because it is better in every way: graphically, functionally and thematically. The game also uses a similar technique for recounting exposition as Fullbright‘s Tacoma: via holographic recordings. Also, it isn’t epic in length; at under four hours, you can work your way through it in a dedicated night of play. Some people prefer shorter games, and if you are one of them, don’t miss this.

Oculus Rift [15.18 GB] | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam

SkyWorld

from Vertigo Games

SkyWorld game screenshot courtesy Steam
SkyWorld – screenshot courtesy Steam

SkyWorld brings the oft-overlooked strategy genre to VR with a mixture of turn-based and real-time action. While the mechanics tend to be on the “accessible” side – think the Clash of Clans games rather than Starcraft II or Command and Conquer – the beautifully animated little battlefields make up for any lack of complexity. If you’ve ever wanted to see a dragon lay waste to a tiny snowglobe-like village in VR, this is the game for you.

Oculus Rift [5 GB] | $39.99 from Oculus or from Steam

The Talos Principle VR

from Croteam

The Talos Principle VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
The Talos Principle VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

The highly acclaimed first-person adventure and its poignant tale of artificial intelligence makes its way to VR, and between the glowing laser puzzles, beautifully decayed buildings and philosophical tone, it’s a perfect fit. The original game’s developers rebuilt The Talos Principle VR from the ground up, so it’s totally optimized for VR and also includes the extensive Road to Gehenna DLC.

Oculus Rift [6 GB] | $39.99 from Steam

DreamTank

from Studio 229

DreamTank game screenshot courtesy Steam
DreamTank – screenshot courtesy Steam

DreamTank is VR at its most meditative – no shooting, no action, no puzzles. Instead, selecting one of 10 ambient compositions sets the program in motion, procedurally generating vast alien worlds driven by the sonic evocations. Find one you like, and choose to stay awhile, or let the world continue to evolve around you.

Oculus Rift [1 GB] | $9.99 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Reaching for Petals: VR Edition

from Blue Entropy Studios

Reaching for Petals: VR Edition game screenshot courtesy Steam
Reaching for Petals: VR Edition – screenshot courtesy Steam

Previously released as a standard PC title, this “walking simulator” has been rebuilt for VR (and if you buy it on Steam, you get the standard version included for free). Like the best walking simulators, Reaching for Petals tells a heartfelt story that we don’t want to spoil here, but the chance to walk through its sun-dappled forests alone in VR is worth the low price of admission.

Oculus Rift [5 GB] | $4.99 from Steam

Until None Remain: Battle Royale VR

from D.W.S.

Until None Remain: Battle Royale VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Until None Remain: Battle Royale VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Just released in Early Access, Until None Remain: Battle Royale VR is a brutal, fast-paced multi-player deathmatch. As if other players and their range of weaponry weren’t dangerous enough, each 15-minute session features poisonous gas forcing all participants into an ever-shrinking play space, so there’s no chance of hiding off in the corner and playing sniper.

Oculus Rift [5 GB] | $7.99 from Steam

Top Five Oculus Rift Releases – August 13-19, 2017

With the growing tide of VR releases, we here at OGR want to do our part to highlight a few of the most interesting. With no further ado, our weekly series of top five releases (plus a few extras), in no particular order:

Out of Ammo: Death Drive

by RocketWerkz

Out of Ammo: Death Drive game screenshot courtesy Steam
Out of Ammo: Death Drive – screenshot courtesy Steam

A follow-up to the developer’s popular VR strategy game Out of Ammo, this standalone sequel adds first person action and base-building to the mix. Survive in a post-apocalyptic – but rather cute, thanks to voxel-based graphics – wasteland by gathering scrap, reinforce your base and lay waste to zombies and bandits. Did we mention that you can also summon a magic healing dog?

Oculus Rift | 6 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul

by VRWERX

Paranormal Activity: Lost Soul game screenshot courtesy Steam
Paranormal Activity: Lost Soul – screenshot courtesy Steam

Based on the film series of the same title, Paranormal Activity: The Lost Soul is already being called the scariest VR game ever developed. Some people have reported issues with movement and motion sickness, though, so this one should be avoided by those with weak stomachs – and weak hearts.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $39.99 from Steam

Killing Floor: Incursion

by Tripwire Interactive

Killing Floor: Incursion game screenshot courtesy official website
Killing Floor: Incursion – screenshot courtesy official website

Killing Floor: Incursion brings the popular series of gory mutant zombie killing into the world of VR. In addition to the over-the-top violence and heart-pounding terror fans of the Killing Floor games have come to expect, Killing Floor: Incursion features a multi-hour story mode and environments ranging from farmhouses to catacombs to scientific research facilities.

Oculus Rift | 10.7 GB | $39.99 from Oculus Store

Miniature TD – VR

by Reality Reflection

Miniature TD - VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Miniature TD – VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

A cute and colorful tower defense game with lots of eye-popping voxel explosions, Miniature TD – VR takes advantage of the Oculus Touch for map-building and artillery placement. The game also provides players with a more active role, allowing them to directly bombard a variety of adorable enemies.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $4.99 from Steam

Nano Shift

by Egg Roll Digital Studios, Inc.

Nano Shift game screenshot courtesy Steam
Nano Shift – screenshot courtesy Steam

A room-scale adventure with a dark edge, Nano Shift is still in Early Access, but its promise of immersive puzzle-solving and story of a world ravaged by a mysterious nano virus already has us intrigued.

Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:

Journey VR

by Capon Design

Journey VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Journey VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Shifting directions from zombie apocalypses and supernatural horror, Journey VR is a short film for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and OSVR that explores outer space. Relying on stunning visuals and a cinematic soundtrack rather than narrative, this is less a “story” than an “experience,” but its exploration of other planets and asteroid fields are impressive.

Oculus Rift | 50 MB | $2.99 from Steam (or $1.99 to rent)

The Raven VR

by Thomas Pasieka

The Raven VR game screenshot courtesy official website
The Raven VR – screenshot courtesy official website

An animated retelling of the titular poem by Edgar Allen Poe, The Raven VR features music by Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess. Think Poe is too old-fashioned for virtual reality? Nevermore!

Oculus Rift | 254 MB | FREE from the Oculus Store

Aquila Bird Flight Simulator

by Graeme Scott

Aquila Bird Flight Simulator game screenshot courtesy Steam
Aquila Bird Flight Simulator – screenshot courtesy Steam

“Fly like an eagle.” Steve Miller’s lyric goes VR in this bird flight simulator, currently in Early Access. While playable using a gamepad, using an Oculus Touch Controller is the way to go; you want to flap those wings and really feel like a bird. As the joke goes, “I just played Aquila Bird Flight Simulator, and boy, are my arms tired!”

Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $4.99 from Steam (or FREE demo)

In other Oculus Rift news, social and game-playing space Rec Room continues to add loads of free updates, with this week seeing the launch of a new quest, The Curse of the Crimson Cauldron, featuring two new player avatars.

Be sure to check back next week for more exciting VR releases!

StagePresence_game_screenshot_purple_800x450

tinyBuild GAMES Announces First VR Signing – Stage Presence

tinyBuildGAMES_logo

TinyBuilding a Stage Presence in VR

tinyBuild GAMES, the indie publisher behind such games as Boid, SpeedRunners and No Time to Explain, has announced its first virtual reality offering: Stage Presence.

Designed by Manchester, UK studio Sea Green Games, the developers rather cheekily describe Stage Presence as “a microphone-based music festival and angry mob simulator.” Virtual reality explorers take on the role of lead singer for a band…right when the power cuts out. Players are then required to do their best to keep the virtual audience entertained using only the power of their voice.

Twitching with Stage Fright

Sea Green Games’ approach to Stage Presence appears to be inspired as much by horror – albeit a more mundane sort of horror than the usual zombies and giant spiders – as by the fantasies catered to by games like Guitar Hero. Your primary goal is to keep the crowd from booing you off the stage.

Adding insult to injury, Stage Presence features multiple methods of online humiliation. Players can invite their friends to join the virtual crowd, and said friends can then express their distaste with your singing voice by throwing bottles of urine at you (although if they’re throwing bottles of urine at you, maybe they’re not really your friends).

If you’d prefer to be humiliated by strangers, you’ll also have the ability to not only stream your session on Twitch, but you can let the Twitch chat channel control the crowd.

StagePresence_game_screenshot_blue_800x450

Furthering the Twitch connection, Stage Presence bears the distinction of being the first VR to be shown live on the Twitch stage at PAX East, which took place over the weekend of April 22nd to 24th in Boston, Massachusetts.

Stage Presence is due for release this summer on Steam and for the Oculus Rift.

In the meantime, watch the announcement trailer below: