Lots of new shoot-’em-ups for the Oculus Rift this week, but don’t worry. If a voyage to bullet hell doesn’t sound like heaven, there’s also soccer (or football, if you prefer) and sailing:
by Frame Interactive Studio
Ostensibly a game about heading soccer balls – in other words, bouncing them off your head – Headmaster combines VR sports action with puzzles. Honestly, we’d have been satisfied with a well-designed sports game (and since it’s VR, there’s no worry of repetitive brain trauma), but we’re extra intrigued by the menacing yet comedic wrapping of a prison-like “Football Improvement Camp.”
The whole thing reminds us of The Prisoner if Douglas Adams had written it. Needless to say, we’re intrigued.
Sea Hero Quest VR
by Glitchers Ltd.
Originally developed for mobile platforms, Sea Hero Quest VR makes its way to Gear VR this week. Ostensibly a free game about exploring the ocean, navigating by ship and tracking down mysterious sea creatures, it was developed in part by Alzheimer’s Research UK and scientists from University College London and the University of East Anglia. Because spatial navigation is one of the first skills to go in Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, Sea Hero Quest VR tracks players’ navigation within the game and uses the data to better understand the way our brains help move us through three-dimensional space.
Not only does this game involve steering a boat and photographing adorable sea monsters – honestly, adorable sea monsters were enough to get us “on board,” so to speak – it also contributes to incredibly important research. Science!
Gear VR | 375 MB | FREE from the Oculus Store
Blasters of the Universe
by The Secret Location
After a long time in Early Access, Blasters of the Universe is an attempt to bring the bullet hell shooter into first-person VR. From The Secret Location, winners of the first Emmy for a VR experience (“Sleepy Hollow”), Blasters of the Universe combines seemingly endless gun customization with high speed bullet-dodging and a late ’80s cyberpunk/vaporwave aesthetic.
It starts off slow enough, but by the time you realize you need to move your entire body to dodge the incoming waves of neon bullets, the wave patterns have changed…and they’re coming in faster – as are the game’s relentless one-liners.
by House of How
It must be bullet hell week. Spartaga is a more traditional take on the classic shoot-’em-up, drawing on some obvious Zaxxon influences. Swedish ambient duo Carbon Based Lifeforms provides an electronic score that should go well with the game’s vivid tanks and spaceships.
Oculus Rift | 1 GB | $19.99 from Steam
by Chronish Games
Yet another high-octane shooter in a week that’s already filled with them, Remnith provides a slightly different take on things by focusing on accuracy instead of speed – the more missed shots you make, the stronger your enemies get. It’s also got a graphics style that manages to mix dingy industrialized landscapes with flashes of vivid color, reminding us a bit of Blade Runner or the most interesting parts of the Matrix films.
Oculus Rift | 5 GB | $9.99 from Steam
Other Noteworthy Oculus Releases:
ARK: Survival Evolved
by Studio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efectro Studios and Virtual Basement, LLC
Arguably the biggest – or at least the most publicized – release of the week, ARK: Survival Evolved and its ambitious attempt at a sandbox survival game wherein one can both kill and ride dinosaurs could be amazing. Unfortunately, the game has been plagued by complaints about overpriced DLC, unfinished game elements and poor performance – and that’s just when running it on a regular desktop. We can’t imagine that the game runs any better in VR mode. Hopefully, the VR-exclusive spin-off ARK Park will be better.
Oculus Rift | 60 GB | $59.99 from Steam
Preta: Vendetta Rising
by Ilion Corp
Another ambitious offering, Preta: Vendetta Rising attempts to bring the hack-and-slash fantasy MMORPG into VR space. Between complaints about its reliance on micro-transactions and gameplay that involves more grinding than fun, this one might not be all the way there yet.
Oculus Rift | 12 GB | $9.99 from Steam
by Lockem Reality
If you’re looking for an ultra-realistic cooking simulator, this might not be for you, but if a culinary-themed take on Surgeon Simulator or Job Simulator sounds amusing, ChefU might be right up your alley…at least until KFC makes their VR chicken-frying simulator available to the general public.
Oculus Rift | 8 GB | $29.99 from Steam
Be sure to check back next week to see what else is cooking for the Oculus Rift and Gear VR!