The central thread connecting our top Oculus releases this year is realism – or rather the lack thereof. If you’re here for ultra-realistic combat or vehicle simulations, you’ve picked the wrong week. Instead, we offer you a handful of delightfully unrealistic offerings, ranging from cartoonish boxing to hot air balloon battles to realism’s very weird cousin, Surrealism:
Knockout League – Arcade VR Boxing
from Grab Games
Delivering exercise and amusement in a one-two punch, Knockout League – Arcade VR Boxing is virtual reality’s upgrade of NES classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!!, so expect campy, arcade-style boxing, not realistic pugilism. Your opponents might be cartoonish – our favourite being the moustachioed octopus, of course – but the work-out is real. And please, don’t play this around glass coffee tables or your prone grandma.
Knockout League is finally out of Early Access, complete with new opponents, new training mini-games and an additional difficulty mode.
Oculus Rift | 3.6 GB | $29.99 from Oculus or from Steam
Dreams of Dali
from Half Full Nelson, Goodby Silverstein and Partners
Originally featured at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, Dreams of Dali is more “walking simulator” than a proper game, but who wouldn’t jump at the chance to experience legendary surrealist painter Salvador Dali’s work from the inside?
Though based primarily on the lonely, looming towers of “Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus,’” this VR experience also includes visions of his spindly-legged, misshapen elephants.
Oculus Rift | 1.4 GB | FREE from Oculus or from Steam
from BitCutter Studios, Inc.
Though still in Early Access, this game of hot air balloon combat is already getting rave reviews for its fast-paced, multi-player action – some have gone so far as to compare it to Rocket League – and its incredibly smooth locomotion and controls.
In a scenario that also summons up memories of Steampunk Zeppelin arena Guns of Icarus, players fly hot air balloons, using a massive slingshot to launch projectiles – ranging from rockets to boxes full of bees – at one another. And since it’s cross-platform compatible, you can even play Balloonatics with your VR-deficient friends!
Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $14.99 from Steam
Brass Tactics: Arena
from Hidden Path Entertainment
Perhaps the most hyped release of 2018 so far, steampunk RTS game Brass Tactics isn’t out for another week, but as a teaser, Hidden Path Entertainment has released Brass Tactics: Arena, offering multi-player and AI matches on a single map.
It’s also totally free, so even if you’re one of the few VR players that hasn’t already heard about this game, it’s worth checking out before you make a decision on purchasing the full version.
Oculus Rift | 3.5 GB | FREE from Oculus
from Skyward Digital
A little like a cross between Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale and Job Simulator, this release from Skyward Digital offers a comedic take on the stereotypical fantasy RPG item shop, complete with shoplifters and angry customers.
Oculus Rift | 4 GB | $14.99 from Steam
Be sure to check back next week for the latest and best releases in Oculus-based virtual reality – and unreality.
OTHER NOTEWORTHY OCULUS RELEASES
The Cathedral: Allison’s Diary
from KR Games
The follow-up to last year’s The Hospital: Allison’s Diary, the second game in the series takes place two years after the first and expands upon the original’s atmospheric horror.
Oculus Rift | 3 GB | $2.99 from Oculus or $5.99 from Steam