Category Archives: Best Oculus Games

Raccoon Lagoon game screenshot courtesy official site

Top Oculus Game Releases – July 2019

While many were justifiably excited about the release of Oculus Quest, it carried over the same problem of a lack of content. Some might call it the Beat Saber toy. Then we had the controversy around Oculus’ aggressively “curatorial” stance, which was accused of being overly like a walled garden that shunned experimental, indie or otherwise unproven titles. Going into month two and three, however, we are starting to see some interesting new titles pop up, and blow through a much needed air of novelty and refreshment. Here are some of our top picks.

Defector

from Twisted Pixel

Incorporating a little of every sort of action – from high tech gun play to down-and-dirty fisticuffs – as well as stealth, deception and even psychological warfare, Defector is a plot-driven spy thriller with multiple diverse missions.

While some of the promotional material compares this to Mission Impossible, the combination of futuristic weaponry and Middle Eastern setting had us thinking of George Alec Effinger’s stories set in the Arabic cyberpunk metropolis of Budayeen.

In any case, this is a polished FPS action experience for VR players looking for something a bit more meaningful than wave or rail shooters, and its setting is close enough to the “real world” to make its action all the more immersive.

Oculus Rift, Oculus Rift S | 25 GB | $19.99 from Oculus

Journey of the Gods

from Turtle Rock Studios

We’ve all been on our fare share of heroic fantasy quests where the fate of the very world itself hangs in the balance, but we’ve never seen one that looks quite like Journey of the Gods.

This game’s bizarre vistas and weird, angular – and occasionally tentacled – inhabitants are as far from the usual elves and dragons as you can get, with color schemes and creature designs drawing less from the usual European myth than from recent indie games like Hyper Light Drifter and even Sundered.

No doubt the titular Journey of the Gods – and the related quest to save the world or whatever – is plenty compelling, but the setting alone is worth giving this one a look.

Oculus Rift, Oculus Quest | 970 MB | $29.99 from Oculus

Raccoon Lagoon

from Hidden Path Entertainment

Raccoon Lagoon game screenshot courtesy official site
Raccoon Lagoon – screenshot courtesy official site

Based on the title, I was expecting Raccoon Lagoon – from the same studio behind Defense Grid and Brass Tactics – to be nonstop trash pandas. It isn’t, but my disappointment wore off quickly when I realized that it’s actually an incredibly charming farm simulation for VR.

The relaxing rural chores of the Harvest Moon series combine with cute, Pokemon-inspired creatures and a pastoral island setting that gives you plenty to do but doesn’t hurry you along.

This is VR gaming at its most relaxing; go on quests, turn your island into a thriving home…or just take off and spend the day fishing.

Oculus Rift S, Oculus Quest | (COMING SOON)

Accounting+

from Crows Crows Crows

So happy to see the continued success of the wacky stuff: Accounting+ comes with tremendous game dev pedigree – William Pugh (The Stanley Parable), Dominik Johann (Minit) and Justin Roiland (Rick and Morty).

The game started as a jam, but has ballooned/blossomed into a much bigger experience in its two years. It also has a killer soundtrack. Give yourself a little Dada, Po-Mo joy and hop into this zany world. You will laugh. Your mouth will be agape. You will swim in meta. Just do it. Account.

Oculus Quest, Rift, Rift S | 1.93 GB | $11.99 from Oculus

Gravity Sketch

from Gravity Sketch

Excited to see this exacting design tool get the Oculus Quest port treatment. Of course, we don’t like having to pay for stuff a second or third time for device-specificity, but at the same time, we know that devs, investors and Facebook/Oculus have spent money on not only making these ports but improving the experiences in the process. We also note that slowly the prices are coming down from their nose-bleed heights and many of these tools/games are now quite affordable – about the cost of a lunch for two.

Gravity Sketch is not just another Tiltbrush or Quill – it is geared towards creating detailed models, scenes and artwork that can be exported into other design tools, CAD software, game engines, or 3D printing platforms.

It will be amazing to see what the combo of this kind of design software can do when combined with tetherless, free roaming hardware.

Oh and did we mention that it’s a tiny download?

Oculus Quest, Rift, Rift S | 121.6 MB | $29.99 from Oculus

What VR games did you play this month (excluding Beat Saber)?

Top 5 Oculus Releases – November 10th-16th – Slime, Stealing and Strategy

This week’s top five Oculus releases incorporate a little of everything, from cooperative heists to alien agriculture. There’s also plenty on offer for mobile VR users – no Rift required.

Slime Rancher: VR Playground

from Monopark

Slime Rancher: VR Playground game screenshot courtesy Steam
Slime Rancher: VR Playground – screenshot courtesy Steam

We loved the original version of this game – so much that we named it 2017’s Game of the Year on our sister site – so of course we’re beyond excited about the VR version.

A cute farming simulator inspired by classic JRPGs that – at least for us – can turn into an unsettling metaphor for industrial agriculture surprisingly quickly, Slime Rancher is fascinating and addicting.

Its simple “suck and blow” mechanic (using a vacuum tool) is easy to pick up and belies the complexities at play beneath the surface as herds of slimes eat, breed and mutate.

A big part of the fun is exploration the wilderness around your ranch, and Slime Rancher: VR is a stand-alone experience letting you explore three of its environments. While it doesn’t include a full implementation of the entire game, there’s plenty to suck and blow, and the focus seems to be more on the relaxing and exploring elements than the factory farming bit, which is fine with us.

Oculus Rift | 1 GB | FREE from Steam to owners of the original game

Crow: The Legend

from Baobab Studios

Crow: The Legend - screenshot courtesy Oculus
Crow: The Legend – screenshot courtesy Oculus

Directed by Eric Darnell (best known for Madagascar), this week’s most hyped VR release is an animated retelling of a Native American legend and featuring the voice of Oprah Winfrey, John Legend and Constance Wu, among others and was featured at Cannes.

Oculus Rift | 6.6 GB | FREE from Oculus
Oculus Go | 1.9 GB | FREE from Oculus
Gear VR | 1.9 GB | FREE from Oculus

Covert

from White Elk

Covert game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Covert – screenshot courtesy Oculus

A clever two-person cooperative concept based on heist movies, Covert makes good use of an asymmetric dynamic in a similar vein as Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. The VR player is the thief, physically breaking in to highly guarded locations, while a non-VR player acts as the hacker, breaking into the security systems to assist the thief in getting away with the goods.

Crawl acrobatically through laser grids like Catherine Zeta-Jones in Entrapment! Hack like the hackers in Hackers! Live out other film-based fantasies, maybe even from movies that came out past the 1990s!

Oculus Go | 2.1 GB | $9.99 from Oculus
Gear VR | 2.1 GB | $9.99 from Oculus

Voxel Fly

from Cenek Strichel

Voxel Fly game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Voxel Fly – screenshot courtesy Oculus

We’re suckers for well-made, old-fashioned shoot-’em-ups, and Voxel Fly combines the entomological science fiction aesthetic of classics like Space Invaders and Yars’ Revenge with a voxel-based, blocky approach to graphics that’s one part Zaxxon and two parts Zenzizenzic.

Honestly, you had us at “space bugs,” but multiple game modes and different ships to select – from classic space fighters to blimps – just add to the fun.

Oculus Go | 56.2 GB | $1.99 from Oculus

Voronium – Locus Sols

from Gamalocus Studios

Voronium - Locust Sols game screenshot courtesy Steam
Voronium – Locust Sols – screenshot courtesy Steam

We’re also suckers for well-made tower defense games, in or out of VR, and Voronium – Locus Sols definitely delivers on that front. Combining tower defense and FPS mechanics with a science fiction narrative, this is a solid blend of strategy and action.

Oculus Rift | 5.5 GB | $14.99 from Oculus or from Steam

Top 3 Oculus Experiences at FIVARS 2018

OGR attended this year’s FIVARS Festival of International Virtual & Augmented Reality Stories in Toronto, Canada and found a curated collection of new narrative works for Virtual Reality, roomscale, 360 video, holography and augmented reality.

Of course we wanted to cover the new ideas coming in from around the world for the Oculus platform so here are our three top picks:

Battlescar

directed by Nico Casavecchia and Martin Allais

Battlescar film screenshot courtesy official site
Battlescar – screenshot courtesy official site

Winner of the Grand Jury prize, this pumping punk rock diary is brought to life through lighting, a killer soundtrack, a performance voiced by Rosario Dawson and use of dioarama, decoupage and other artistic techniques as ported to a CG VR context. This first episode is an amazing visual feast that feels like a cross between a Ramones music video and an off Broadway play, set in the 1970’s in Alphabet City. We’re looking forward to the next installments.

Oculus Rift | Produced by Atlas V in co-production with 1STAveMachine, Fauns and Arte France in association with Kaleidoscope

Mel’s Wake

directed by Luisa Valencia

Mel's Wake game poster

From the developers behind “We Happy Few” comes an ambitious experiment in branching spherical video narrative. While still under development, Mel’s Wake has you in the role of a ghost at her own funeral, eavesdropping on various characters from her life. Which way you look affects the way conversations unfold in realtime. At the end you are shown what characters you most interacted with/fixated upon. This could form the basis for very interesting future content.

Oculus Rift | Produced by Signal Space Lab

Where Thoughts Go

by Lucas Rizzoto

Where Thoughts Go game screenshot courtesy Oculus
Where Thoughts Go – screenshot courtesy Oculus

We are always on the lookout for people using the tech in new ways, and Lucas Rizzoto’s intimate piece does just that – over several chapters you are asked philosophical or personal questions. Reaching out into one of several dreamy environments, you grasp onto a cute floating sphere (with eyes) and here someone respond to the question – for example: “what did you want to be when you grew up?” After doing several of these, you are invited to grip both triggers and record your own. You are anonymous of course, and, at the festival this was supported by having you in a curtained off tent with little glowing lights and pillows, where you sat on a shag carpet. Your recording is then sent off into the virtual and literal cloud to join the growing number of others. A beautiful and clever exercise.

Oculus Rift | Produced by Where Thoughts Go | $9.99 via Oculus