Category Archives: Best Oculus Games

falcon age

Top New Releases for Oculus Quest – September 2020

September 2020’s Best Releases for the Oculus Quest

Now that we know the Quest will be discontinued for its younger, sleeker, cheaper successor, creatively named the…uh…Quest 2, this almost seems like a fruitless exercise. But we can console (no pun intended) ourselves with the fact that there are roughly 700,000(source) Quest users out there, hungry for new fodder.

Cubism

by Thomas Van Bouwel
Release Date: September 17th, 2020

Essentially a series of Tetris-like puzzles in 3D, Cubism scratches that itch for puzzles that are both thought-provoking and relaxing.

The compulsive need to fit blocks together will have you “playing” this on your inner eyelids as you’re falling asleep, long after you’ve taken off your headset and put your controllers away, but the clean, pastel color scheme and gentle piano score will keep you relaxed enough that your waking Cubism dreams will be a pleasant experience, not a lingering effect of psychological trauma.

Falcon Age

by Outerloop Games
Release Date: September 3rd, 2020

Falcon Age was a pretty cool indie game release, but it clearly always wanted to be a VR title. That has now become…er…reality. We love the story, the setting and the central concept here. As a young revolutionary on a dying planet, it’s your job to fight against the oppressors and bring freedom to your people.

It’s not all grim and political, though, because you have a bird friend, and you can put a hat on the bird!

In all seriousness, Falcon Age really does do a wonderful job combining cute bits – the falcon uses her beak to put the hat on! Sometimes she also wears glasses! – with sci-fi Western robot-fighting action, and the combat, which involves both falconry and an electric whip, is more innovative and interesting than the typical double-wielded pistol VR developers usually settle for. Also, learning increasingly nuanced behaviors that you can teach or understand about your Falcon creates what feels like a true relationship with the avatar.

Sphere Toon – VR Comic

by Studio HORANG
Release Date: September 10th, 2020

Just in time for Halloween, Sphere Toon is here to offer you loads of scares. This free program acts as a platform for the animated supernatural horror comics of Studio HORANG in Korea.

There are currently eight short, sweet web-comics available in English, weighted toward ghost stories with titles like Ok-Su Station Ghost, Bongcheong-Dong Ghost and Ghost in Masung Tunnel, plus loads more Korean-language material.

Holopoint: Oculus Edition

by Alzan Studios
Release Date: September 10th, 2020

Holopoint was a game that we returned to over and over again on the now-venerable HTC Vive. Now, on the tether-less Quest, it all makes so much more sense.

If Beat Saber is a physically active game with Star Wars influences, Holopoint takes things back to one of George Lucas’s original Jedi inspirations: the venerable Samurai epic. In fact it predates Beat Saber!

You’ll barely have time to appreciate the minimalist but beautifully presented Kyudo dojo, though, because you’ll be firing arrow after arrow, hoping to defend yourself against that last wave of swordsmen before keeling over with exhaustion.

Void Racer: Extreme

by Coplanar Games
Release Date: September 17th, 2020

Look no further than Void Racer: Extreme to get your fix of arcade hoverbike racing action…if you’ve got the legs for it.

Inspired by franchises like Wipeout and F-Zero, Void Racer features over a hundred levels, a dozen tracks – with individual comfort ratings, if you’re the type who gets motion-sick while riding hoverbikes – plus multi-player modes.

And of course, there are weapons to take out rival racers, if speed alone isn’t quite giving you the adrenaline rush you need.

What were your favorite new Quest releases in September 2020? What did you think about Facebook Connect? Will you buy a Quest 2? So many questions….

Karnage Chronicles splash image

Karnage Chronicles VR Review

Karnage Chronicles header

TITLE: Karnage Chronicles
GENRE: Action, Adventure, RPG
DEVELOPER: Nordic Trolls
PUBLISHER: Nordic Trolls
RELEASE DATE: July 31st, 2020

Karnage Chronicles is a classic fantasy adventure game in which the goals are to collect treasure, complete quests and generally survive a world jam-packed with murderous creatures.

Kavernous Karnage

It takes place in a rocky cave setting peppered with over-sized organic plants and minerals and mushrooms, all of which are breathing or swaying or glowing. The ground itself – when you first log in – is the least believable aspect. But once you get into the game and are looking out for enemies and coins, you no longer notice the ground.

The plants and mushrooms are familiar but alien in their luminescence. They give tangible life to the environment.

Karnage Chronicles Mushrooms and skulls

The NPCs in the game are similar in style and reminiscent of The Dark Crystal – Jim Henson’s 1980s fantasy, life-sized mechanical puppetry. The usual cast of characters is present: trolls, goblins and wizards. There are also handsome, lion-like wolves which I regretted having to kill and pretty – but truly terrifying – giant spiders, as well as extra aggressive bees which I mistook for mosquitoes.

The sound is visceral and presence-inducing – cavelike dripping and echoing – and when the whispers and the music come in, it increases the tension and suspense. There are both menacing sounds and satisfying ones, like the sword cutting through the air with a swoosh.

Kumulative Karnage

As is common in VR, you can choose to move by gliding forward or teleport ahead in jumps. Jumping is less taxing on the brain (in terms of cumulative nausea), and you can see a shell of your armored character ahead as you advance into each jump.

There is a wealth of options in terms of levels and paths and portals, and it seems you could play for weeks. The incessant battling has the potential to become monotonous – as in Hobbit 1, 2, and 3 – but Karnage is the name of the game.

The adventuring, collecting, and discovering part is quite enjoyable, and though I played alone, I imagine it would be even more so with friends.

The gameplay is intuitive and the weapons are extremely effective. It is so fun to physically pull the bow and shoot an arrow that really flies and hits the mark – or doesn’t. (The trolls can duck really well.) Either way, it brings you right into the cave and into the game.

You carry all the items you find and collect on a belt that you can hide and unhide.

Komedy Miskalculations

One word of caution to whoever writes the script: girls might like to play this game, too, and gratuitous jokes about female anatomy – even very small jokes – can serve to alienate and subtly say “this world is for boys.” Not to mention what it says to the boys.

The default – and really only – character gender is male. Some choice would be nice. But, at least respect for all humans and players is, in itself, valorous.

Karnage Chronicles combat

Karried off into a Fantasy World

It is like a lot of treasure-seeking adventure/battle games. It has all of the same elements – quests, keys, weapons, potions, puzzles, food to nourish you, foes to battle, challenges to face – but the medium of VR raises the stakes and the visceral quality.

Even though it is classic fantasy fair, there is a real sense that you are actually gathering when you scoop things up and collect them; there is a sense of danger, knowing that any kind of terrifying creature might run at you from behind a rock. And when you are fighting in battle, you are right in there.

Karnage Chronicles puzzles

There were a couple of times when I was exchanging arrows from a distance with an enemy, and I felt just like I was inside a movie. When he shot at me, I could actually jump behind a pillar and then jump out to quickly aim my arrow at him before he got a chance to shoot again. That was amazing.

A little bit later, when the giant spiders jumped on my head, I screamed out loud and had to pull off the headset as they piled on top of me. A great game for lovers of the fantasy genre – and for those who like to battle and quest.

-Pearl Hyacinth

OGR’s Top 5 Favorite Experiences for Oculus Quest 2020 (You Might Not Expect)

Each of these titles was chosen for its particular excellence for being expressive and benefiting from the Quest’s tetherless and dynamic form factor. Being able to quickly move between areas of your apartment or house or soccer field to punch, fish, groove or get strange enhances the value of these excellent Virtual Reality works.

In no particular order:

Real VR Fishing

Developer: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Publisher: MIRAGESOFT, Inc.
Website: https://www.realvrfishing.com
Release Date: September 12, 2019

This little gem came seemingly out of nowhere but has quickly won over not only our hearts but those of the Internet. Based out of South Korea, Miragesoft has filmed various locations around their country with high resolution 360 video that they then mapped over a 3D mesh and enhanced with various digital add-ons, flocks of birds, weather and lighting.

You can also use your own custom music library, which it plays through a built-in player that lets you shuffle, repeat or manually select tracks.

Furthermore, many varied and photo-realistic fish you catch can be added to a huge aquarium in your lodge, so you can enjoy them all together. Various unlockable upgrades to your fishing gear, aquarium, and home base can be added through your hard work out on the lake.

Constant updates are being added, most recently a complete saltwater fish update, with multiplayer promised by Q2 of 2020. Oh yeah, and did we mention the fishing physics are great? Seasoned fishermen have given the game their seal of approval, particularly in an advanced mode that doesn’t use color cues but only nuanced haptics and your rod, tackle and line. An amazing and transportive experience.

The Under Presents

Developer: Tender Claws
Publisher: Tender Claws
Website: https://tenderclaws.com/
Release Date: November 19, 2019

Tender Claws established themselves early on as one of the main VR developers to watch and moreover have helped to advanced the very nature and quality of the medium with their postmodern narrative efforts via Virtual Virtual Reality. and now The Under Presents.

Using a terrific warpy-world pulling locomotion mechanic, dioramas, time-delayed self-cloning and all sorts of other tricks of the trade, The Under Presents is a haunting, hilarious, imaginative, deep and puzzling romp through wonderfully creative scenarios tied together by a plot that would make Italo Calvino proud. An essential if sometimes flummoxing VR experience.

Wander

Developer: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Publisher: Parkline Interactive, LLC
Website: http://www.parklineinteractive.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

Wander fills the very important gap for Quest left by the absence of Google Earth VR. It allows you to travel very smoothly through many awe-inspiring locations around the world, bookmark them, search them using voice or keyboard and learn a few fun facts along the way.

Far from as comprehensive as Google Earth but a rich and inspiring experience nonetheless, this is a beautiful thing to share with others, or just wander through alone, investigating many places you may never personally get to in your own life…or that may not be here much longer.

Dance Central

Developer: Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.
Publisher: Oculus Studios
Website: http://www.dancecentral.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

This port of the original console game from the makers of Rock Band is a perfect pairing for the tetherless and nimble Oculus Quest. While we do recommend getting one of the various aftermarket head-strap add-ons that better balance the weight of the headset, Dance Central will give you the fun of going to your own nightclub where you will make new friends and learn or practice some pretty great hip-hop moves.

The app also has a calorie tracker and pretty banging – although decidedly short – catalog of songs, which does include tracks from Cardi B, Flo Rida, Psy, Ellie Goulding, Salt-N-Pepa, Young MC, Chainsmokers and Chvrches. Unfortunately, it seems they do not have any new DLCs planned, and the forum link for song requests is broken at their support page, but this is by far one of our favorite little corners to hang out – and sweat it – out in VR.

Box VR

Developer: FitXR
Publisher: FitXR
Website: http://www.fitxr.com/
Release Date: May 21, 2019

If you want a workout you will feel in the morning and not just swing like a lunatic at your opponents – like in some boxing VR games – this one uses extremely precise movement to register your jabs, dodges, crosses and uppercuts. With a lot of music in various categorized genres, a professionally designed athletic program and a huge community, Box VR is a true fitness tool that you can use with some assurance that it takes into mind consistency, development and mitigating injury.

Of course, the ultimate responsibility is yours.