Top Five Oculus Releases – August 26th-September 1st – A Heavenly Week for Bullet Hells

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:

Headmaster

by Frame Interactive Studio

Headmaster game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Headmaster – screenshot courtesy Steam

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.

Oculus Rift | 1.8 GB | $19.99 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Sea Hero Quest VR

by Glitchers Ltd.

Sea Hero Quest VR game screenshot courtesy of Oculus website
Sea Hero Quest VR – screenshot courtesy Oculus

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

Blasters of the Universe game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Blasters of the Universe – screenshot courtesy Steam

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.

Oculus Rift | 4.9 GB | $12.74 from the Oculus Store or from Steam

Spartaga

by House of How

Spartaga game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Spartaga – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

Remnith

by Chronish Games

Remnith game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Remnith – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

ARK: Survival Evolved game screenshot courtesy of Steam
ARK: Survival Evolved – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

Preta: Vendetta Rising game screenshot courtesy of Steam
Preta: Vendetta Rising – screenshot courtesy Steam

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

ChefU

by Lockem Reality

ChefU game screenshot courtesy of Steam
ChefU – screenshot courtesy Steam

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!