Category Archives: Oculus Rift News

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

Top 5 Oculus Releases – August 11th-August 24th – Strategy and Speed in the Stars

Our latest top five new Oculus releases is heavy on interstellar action – whether that be the measured action of outer space naval battles or more frantic dodging and shooting inspired by classic arcade games.

Flotilla 2

from Blendo Games

Flotilla 2 game screenshot courtesy Steam
Flotilla 2 – screenshot courtesy Steam

Released eight years ago, this game’s predecessor was a wonderful blend of 3D space strategy stripped down into easily digestible chunks and set in a lighthearted universe with space pirate penguins that owed as much to Douglas Adams as it did to more “serious” science fiction.

Flotilla 2 builds on that with a similar premise – think the large-scale 3D battles of the Homeworld series boiled down into simple skirmishes that you can fight your way through during your lunch break – but exclusively in VR, which is perfect for turn-based spaceship combat.

Oculus Rift | 100 MB | $9.99 from Steam

Orch Star

from Orch Star Studios

Orch Star game screenshot courtesy Steam
Orch Star – screenshot courtesy Steam

Now out of Early Access, Orch Star offers more interstellar strategy, but this time RTS instead of turn-based. Playable both on standard PCs and in VR, it features both extended single-player campaign, level editor and multi-player matches.

The setting is also intriguing, and its blending of fantasy and space opera tropes reminds us a bit of Warhammer 40,000 without all the over-the-top edgy parts. It’s also got a ton of visual appeal; its fleets of ships reminds us of ‘70s and ‘80s-era sci-fi animation.

Oculus Rift | 2 GB | $14.99 from Steam

Space Maze

from Redox Entertainment

Space Maze game screenshot courtesy Steam
Space Maze – screenshot courtesy Steam

If strategy isn’t your thing, maybe you’ve just got the need for speed? Space Maze is classic arcade action, right down to the scorching neon colors and low-poly designs, but designed for VR.

With a third-person view of your ship and action that borrows elements of everything from Asteroids to Descent, this is a simple but compelling take on high-adrenaline shoot-’em-ups.

Oculus Rift | 450 MB | $7.99 from Oculus or from Steam

RotatorX

from DEFICIT Games

RotatorX game screenshot courtesy Oculus
RotatorX – screenshot courtesy Oculus

There’s high-speed spaceship fun for mobile VR players this week, too, in the form of RotatorX, a twitchy but meditative take on the endless racer genre. With its swirling colors, electronic soundtrack and tense, oppressive feel, this one has us thinking a bit of 2016’s stunning “rhythm violence” game, Thumper.

Oculus Go | 136 MB | $3.99 from Oculus

Titanic VR

from Immersive VR Education

Titanic VR game screenshot courtesy Steam
Titanic VR – screenshot courtesy Steam

Shifting gears from spaceships to…well…regular ships, Titanic VR is a historically accurate recreation of history’s most famous shipwreck through the perspective of one of the survivors.

Even more impressive to us, though, is the ability to commandeer a submersible drone to explore the wreckage in the present day. Then again, we’re suckers for diving simulators.

Oculus Rift | 10 GB | $19.99 from Oculus or from Steam