Great New Oculus Releases for the Weirdest Summer Ever
No world is out of reach. Grab your headset and let these enchanting worlds come to life with this month’s titles.
by ARVORE Immersive Experiences
Release Date: July 9th, 2020
Winner of “Best VR Experience” winner at the Venice Film Festival, The Line is set inside a miniature model of São Paulo, Brazil in the 1940s and features narration by Rodrigo Santoro of Westworld fame.
As you fiddle with machinery and twiddle with knobs in this 20-minute roomscale experience, you’ll reveal an unlikely love story between two miniature dolls.
by Pixel Reef, published by Plug In Digital
Release Date: July 24th, 2020
Explore a beautiful, strange and beautifully strange world of artificial life – a new ecosystem evolving in hidden spaces deep inside the Internet – in Paper Beast, the newest creation from Another World creator Eric Chahi.
Paper Beast offers two games modes, a puzzle-based adventure and a sandbox, but the real star here is the environment, populated by (artificially) intelligent creatures resembling something like a cross between Wayne Douglas Barlowe’s alien animals and ’90s visions of cyberspace.
Add the ability to alter the landscape, plus a soundtrack featuring Japanese punk trio TsuShiMaMire and electronic producer Roly Porter, and we’re more than intrigued, we’re obsessed!
by Tender Claws
Release Date: July 6th, 2020
The Tempest is the latest interactive live theatrical adventure from The Under, a multi-player VR experience from Tender Claws, and gives players the chance to work magic with Prospero in an innovative new approach to the Shakespeare classic. (In order to participate, players will need to purchase a ticket and set a showtime, as this is a “live” experience, running through September.)
Also available: Timeboat!, a single-player adventure about an arctic research ship, complete with time travel and a mysterious dolphin.
by Bloober Team S.A.
Release Date: July 9th, 2020
Much as we enjoyed the original 2016 release, Layers of Fear is even better in VR. Drawing less on jump scares than atmosphere to create its sense of dread as it puts players behind the eyes of a troubled painter losing his grip on reality as he tries to create his masterpiece.
As perception blurs the lines between reality and hallucination, the artist’s mansion seems to rearrange itself, doors disappearing and reappearing in different places, oil paint dripping from the walls like blood, and artistic genius dances a minuet with madness.
Its very premise makes this one part psychological horror and one part virtual art gallery (albeit a gallery for those who prefer Francis Bacon and Francisco Goya to Manet or Monet).
Enjoy the art, and remember that paintings can’t hurt you…or can they?
by Steel Wool Studios
Release Date: July 16th, 2020
On the other hand, maybe jump scares are your thing! In that case, check out Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted, bringing the ridiculously popular franchise to the Oculus Quest with a collection of both classic and brand new mini-games set in your favorite twisted pizza parlor.
It’s particularly poignant as hundreds of Chuck E. Cheese’s are now being shut down, likely due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the already creepy and wonderful animatronic mouse and his colleagues upon which this insanely popular indie hit is based are now littering desert landfills nationwide. (Someone save them!)
Featuring updated scenes from Five Nights at Freddy’s 1 through 4 as well as Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location, this collection makes hiding from murderous animatronic animals more visceral than ever.
Personally, if I were hired as a night repairman for a pizza restaurant, I’d probably quit after the first night of being chased by a killer Chuck E. Cheese knock-off – nostalgia for good times past or not – but your mileage may vary.